Sermons & Blog

Did you say "shrub"?

The kingdom of God … is like a mustard seed. That’s a relief. Finally that crazy Jesus whom we met last Sunday is starting to make some sense. Because we know what the parable of the mustard seed means, we’ve got this one under control. The kingdom of God, the God’s way, the activity and presence of God in our world might start small like a seed but it will grow into something big. It may look insignificant to begin with, but it will become important, big enough and strong enough to provide shelter and security for us, just like the majestic mustard plant provides cover for nesting birds. And that’s a happy story, and we can all go out of here singing “let my faith grow like a mustard s


When Jesus’ family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, “He has gone out of his mind.” Do you blame them? Think about what has happened over the last couple of months, think about it from the perspective of the family. Jesus grew up in a small village, the oldest son of the family, a good Jewish boy. He was living what probably looked to everyone like a normal life, when for some unknown reason, he left home and went off into the wilderness. There he was baptized by John, had a powerful, mystical experience of God and spent forty days fasting in the desert. When he re-emerged he was a changed man. He took on the role of prophet. He proclaimed the kingdom of G

The Authority Question

“Oh those Pharisees and their silly sabbath rules.” If that’s our reaction to today’s gospel reading, if that’s what we’ve been taught, then we’re missing the point. Yes, there’s conflict in today’s gospel, that’s for sure, but it’s not really a conflict over what you can do on the Sabbath. The Pharisees were not some sort of religious bad guys who hid in cornfields waiting to see if anyone would break a Sabbath rule. They were actually the good guys. They were the religious leaders who moved religion out of the temple. They saw faith more as a way of life than a system of temple ritual and sacrifice. They were well-liked, they were a political and religious force in society and they were

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