My passion is to preach Christ from all of Scripture. Should you wish to listen, I invite your reflection (and comments if you wish) as to whether the words you hear bear His character. Are they, like him, “full of grace and truth”? (John 1:14)
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We all want to know why God makes us wait so often. Whilst God doesn’t have to answer to us, the Bible gives some clues. In this extended account of the sickness, death and raising of Lazarus, we grasp that Jesus has some greater purposes in mind than our immediate relief or satisfaction. His priorities are the glory of God, the engendering of belief, and the dispensing of eternal life, God’s life. His raising of Lazarus is a demonstration of his capacity to achieve those ends, which are to our eternal benefit.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 26:11 — 3.0MB)
Naming & Circumcision of Jesus
A creation psalm like Psalm 8 sets us humans where we rightly belong in the universe, namely in the worship of God as his most honoured creatures. This psalm sets out first the glory of God, and second the great dignity of humanity, quietly pointing to the perfected humanity made flesh in Jesus. Our place in the universe is as leaders in the undoubting praise God deserves.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 24:54 — 2.9MB)
“As on the day of Midian”, says the prophet, so on the day of Christ. Isaiah uses the memory of a great battle when God saved the nation of Israel through a small force with no weapons to announce a time when he will save the whole world, starting with the birth of one child. God’s Son has been given to us, to start a new government of peace over our hearts and thence the world.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 12:57 — 1.5MB)
Advent 4, Year A
The Lord’s promise to Ahaz King of Judah in 735BC, that despite appearances he the Lord with be with him against an external military threat, becomes our promise that God will be with us (Immanuel) to save us from a far deeper threat – our sin, and save us forever.
If you do not stand firm in faith, you shall not stand at all. Isaiah 7:9b
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 20:53 — 2.4MB)
Spiritually speaking, everyone is born blind. Jesus is the light of the world, so he has come to take away that blindness. In this sign he gives physical sight to a man who has never seen, as a pointer to the spiritual sight the man himself – and everyone – needs. As the narrative progresses, so too does the man’s appreciation of who Jesus is. Finally he worships him. Don’t give up the quest to know more about Jesus merely because you don’t have perfect sight now.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 23:06 — 2.7MB)
Advent 2, Year A
To avoid another ordinary Christmas, please read the Old Testament. It’s then that we begin to see just what a very big deal the coming of God’s Messiah was. Like the parables of Jesus, the biblical prophets often used word pictures to convey concepts otherwise beyond the grasp of the hearers. Isaiah here paints a picture of a world governed by perfect justice. Christians labour for justice now because such is the world God is bringing in through the Son, made flesh among us and coming to reign.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (2.2MB)
Occasion: Funeral Thanksgiving service for Wally Mills, servant of the Gospel.
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Two reasons not to give up the Christian walk: God rewards patience, and God doesn’t lie. Therefore Christ can and will hold you always and forever.
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Ordinary Sunday 29, Year C
Luke’s gospel frequently highlights the wider biblical theme of God reversing the status of the mighty and the lowly. The gospel itself is about the ultimate prize going to the least deserving. Here are two parables of Jesus which express the great reversal of the gospel. Focussing on the second of them (Luke 18:9-14) we meet today two types of righteousness: self-righteousness and God’s righteousness. God’s salvation is for those who trust only in his mercy.
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John recounts the famous incident of Jesus walking on water, but much more briefly than Matthew or even Mark. John seems to want us to dig beneath Jesus’ assuring word “It is I” (ego eimi) to realise that God rules the world in his Son.
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