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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Returning wonderfully refreshed from Long Service Leave, rest is a theme worthy of reflection. In just a few lines here in Matthew 11 Jesus says something profoundly liberating about grace. Anyone who follows him may be set free forever from religious obligation, able to rest in the grace of a loving Father.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 16:09 — 1.9MB)
Ordinary Sunday 19, Yr B
Psalm 130 is a penitential psalm. But it’s also a gospel-shaped psalm. It poses the weighty question of whether God keeps a record of our sins, and answers it with a litany of glorious news for sinners – that with God there is forgiveness, a never-empty reservoir of love, and ample redemption. Finally it preaches Christ to our hearts with a promise that all the sins of God’s people will be redeemed.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 15:13 — 1.8MB)
Being the Messiah’s people, citizens of the Kingdom of God, means recognising that the Kingdom is of ultimate importance. Let nothing keep you from it. The alternative is unthinkable. Citizens of this Kingdom are to resist being ‘clubby’ in favour of flavouring their world with the distinctive taste of peace among themselves, the taste of Jesus, so others will seek to feed their empty spirits on Him.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 10:38 — 1.2MB)
Jesus can expel a demonic force by his word because of who he is. But in this narrative, Mark’s interest isn’t primarily in the demonic opposition, but rather in the obstacle of human disbelief. This story is foremost about faith (or belief). Faith is not a human ability that makes things possible. Rather it is risking even the little faith we have on the strength of who Jesus is. Prayer is directed faith, faith directed to the one who uniquely is able.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 18:47 — 2.2MB)
A climax becomes an anticlimax. Jesus’ spiritually blind disciples finally see that Jesus is more than the herald of the Kingdom of God — he is the King in the kingdom. But it’s soon plain that they don’t yet see clearly. Now they and we must learn first that Jesus is the Messiah for whom rejection and death are central, and second that following him means ranking God’s kingdom above even our lives.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 16:22 — 1.9MB)
Jesus was given over to the heavenly Father’s purposes without reserve, even when those purposes involved suffering and injustice. He seeks followers ready to do the same.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 16:27 — 1.9MB)
In one breath Jesus consigns all the food laws of Judaism to history. They have no place in God’s Kingdom or in the new covenant he has brought in. In Christ’s Kingdom holiness matters absolutely. But it’s not the ritual cleanness of religious duty. Rather it’s the inner cleanness of a heart made clean by God’s word, issuing in pure living.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 18:44 — 2.2MB)
The Shepherd-King of Israel feeds a multitude in a desert, after feeding souls with the word of truth. The disciple’s part is to distribute to others from the abundance of good food He alone provides.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 18:30 — 2.1MB)
The tragic and terrible death of John the Baptist at the hands of Herod Antipas and his wife Herodias tells us starkly that Christian discipleship is not for the half-hearted. The call to follow Jesus is for dark times as well as light times. Christians who last the distance are those who know that their reward is not success or even safety, but the certain knowledge that they are serving God’s great purposes.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 17:19 — 2.0MB)
Scepticism is normal, and God will not force anyone into a positive response to his Son or his message. But there comes a point where a person needs to be willing to ‘park’ their scepticism and try faith (or belief). Only then will the hand of God become evident, and only then can a person be God’s instrument in his mission to establish his kingdom.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 17:54 — 2.1MB)