August offerings

The gospel readings for the month are all focussed around John 6 “I am the bread of life” and similar themes. They are linked to readings from the letter to Ephesus which traditionally was the community associated with John’s gospel. 9 August
What gives life in the Christian path of faith, is it the formulaic presentation of Ephesians or is it feeing on the daily bread
16 August
I look at the imagery in John and the place of bread in Middle Eastern living and compare it with the casual way we view bread and waste food in western society. I am grateful to Ruth Seabright for an up to date version of the leaflet the Waikato Environment Centre has produced about Kaivolution, the Hamilton based food rescue service. I had this on the screen throughout the proclamation
23 August
It was the AGM for Scots and I used the OT passage of Solomon’s temple from 1 Kings 8. Each reflection invited members to think about how we view Scots as Sacred Place, our community of faith travelling the Sacred Way, and attending to the Sacred Life within.
150823 short version.pdf


August 2

Back at Scots after having been to Wellington to visit the burial place of Denise’s ashes and to catch up with family and friends.
I have adapted a sermon from way back in my ministry here but which addresses issues we are still dealing with. I was moved by the strong affirmations I received after the service.

Catching up: Part 2

These two sermons I used the Ephesians readings as the springboard for what I wanted to say.
My approach to Ephesians has long been linked to an hypothesis that Mark’s gospel is also addressed to the same community. Mark is encouraging a discipleship along the lines of following the example of the women disciples. The writer to the Ephesians (not Paul) is concerned to rein in such a leadership group so that the community can co-exist peacefully with the surrounding community. Yet that does not make me throw out the whole of the letter.

The first draws on the imagery of the creation of the universe and the place of Christ. Seeing the Ephesian community alongside the mystery cults and their search for salvation parallels where we are in contemporary society. Anywhere will do, any morality will suffice.
I prepared this and then ended up with a reaction to antibiotics that laid me low. I passed it on to Dennis, the Parish Clerk, and he read it to the congregation. I’ve had a number of responses , from the Men’s Breakfast – “That was the best one you never preached!” – to a parishioner who wrote in a card, “There is a wonderfully positive challenge to each of us to live our lives as you describe” That response is one of the most humbling I have received.

Catching up

I’ve been caught up with grief and ill-health so haven’t kept up the flow of posting sermons.

For the 28 June, I picked up on this idea of purity and how we today cover up our attitudes, except… they get revealed in other ways.
The PCANZ seems to have a thing about purity=holiness and here is a story which crosses all those strictures.
The following week I explore that along with the ideal of purity is also the ideal of worthiness. It is held up to us as ministers. I think it relates also to an unrecognised Platonic dualism. By holding an ideal in our collective mind we get a picture of an ideal church with an ideal minister who does everything just right. Are our leaders/ministers worthy leaders?