Easter Sunday followed by Easter 3 & 4
This is an offering reflecting on the rise of white supremacist thinking in the light of Palm Sunday
October was a busy month which culminated in my 1st wedding anniversary which Alison and I spent at Lake Rotoiti.
The September sermon was the finish of the Creation series for Year B at Scots. The next one follows the Year B lectionary reading from Mark and then from Job, both preached at St Stephen’s.
The final of the four was at a service that was celebrating the volunteers who have worked for Scots in the op shops and other areas of service.
5 Camden Place, Hamilton
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A response to the humanitarian crisis unfolding so far away from us yet in the Season of Creation being reminded of it through the theme of Humanity Sunday.
I came across the starting reflection on deafness some years ago and saved it without noting the source. A number of folk with hearing aids or deteriorating hearing at the service appreciated that addressing of how they sometimes feel.
On 30 August we had a choral service at St Stephen’s and used the approaching Seasons of Creation as a starting point.
I used an image out of my classical music education to describe the working of God in creation.
Reading around, a recent writer on SciBlogs eschewed such imagery because String Theory which underlies the picture is just a theory and hasn’t yet been demonstrated.
I am more interested in finding images that spark the imagination. As Richard Rohr puts it “We are made for transcendence and endless horizons…” and my task is to help find the image that helps make sense of it all.
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
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
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
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.
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.