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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Advent 2, Yr C
A promised messenger will come to prepare God’s people for the Lord who is the Covenant Messenger. In God’s time John the Baptist came to prepare the way for the Lord Jesus Christ, who did come to his temple, and who was the mediator of a new covenant. But his coming may not be pleasant in the short-term. He will come as a refining fire, to remove all dirt and all impurity, so that God’s people may again offer him acceptable worship. You may desire and welcome his coming. But are you ready for the blowtorch?
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 14:18 — 1.6MB)
Christ’s promised coming with great power and glory is as certain as every other promise he’s made, all of which have been fulfilled in history as he said. Therefore don’t fall into complacency as though his coming means nothing for your life. Be ready at every moment. Don’t be caught napping!
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 18:49 — 2.2MB)
In 70AD the Temple of God in Jerusalem was destroyed yet again, this time by the occupying Romans, never to be rebuilt. Such a disaster would have been like “the end” for Judaism. But Jesus’ conversation with his disciples in Mark 13 lets us know that it would not be the end for God. Rather it would be within his plan and foreknowledge. For by that time a new covenant had come into being, sealed with the blood of God’s Son, on a Roman cross, by which God could now be known and worshipped wherever people gather around the Son.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 21:29 — 2.5MB)
Ordinary Sunday 33, Yr B
The Christian future is built on trust: trust in the sovereign rule of God and his supreme Son, despite any earthly circumstances. Don’t be distracted by human deception or the news of the world. Give the future back to God and continue building his kingdom.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 17:03 — 2.0MB)
A fruitless fig tree (the nation of Israel) contrasted with a widow who offers the truest worship possible by offering all that she is and has to God. Our invitation to do the same.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 19:40 — 2.3MB)
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)