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Sermons

Sermons 2021 to 2022 Liturgical Year

All sermons open as PDF documents. Unless specified, these are all by Vicar Stuart Goodin.

January 16 - Second Sunday of the Epiphany

It is perhaps ironic that we should have that story from John’s gospel in a time when we can’t taste the wine of Holy Communion.

A rabbinic tale tells of how, long ago, a prince dreamed of creating more than a geographical or political kingdom. He dreamed of making a community where everyone cared for their neighbour, even at a cost to self. So the prince called a meeting where each chieftain and his clan were invited to join in the foundation of the new society. As part of the beginning of this new community, each was asked to search his cellar for the best wine produced from his ancestral vines. These treasured bottles would be uncorked, poured into a great communal vat and blended into a common vintage... Read more...

December 25 - Christmas Day

The heavenly conference room was abuzz with energetic conversation: the meeting was yet to be brought to order as the Boss was still to arrive. Some were asking why they had been called together. Something about making a list? Many of them felt that they had a long enough list, or indeed too many lists, at this time of the year already. A brainstorming session? A few rolled their eyes; but most were excited – these sessions were fun and filled with creativity. There were a few who thought they knew more: that apparently this meeting was something about a major new move in the Boss’s dealings with humanity? Read more...

December 24 - Eve and Vigil of Christmas

“In the beginning …” began John.

“Yes, I know this is to be the beginning,” replied Fotis with a sigh. “You’ve already told me that this is to be the prologue. But I can’t see why you’d want to attach a prologue – this Gospel thing of yours is quite a taxing read as it is!”

The two men had been at the task for weeks: John dictating his account of the words and deeds of Jesus; Fotis, his new secretary, manfully trying to keep up with the flow of words … and the two at times having earnest discussions about the right way to put this or that aspect of it all. While he had certainly heard of Jesus before he took on the task, Fotis wasn’t sure that he quite understood the reason for John’s enthusiasm. True, he quite enjoyed some of the ensuing discussions, but it really was just as well the hourly rate was pretty respectable... Read more...

Sunday December 19 - Fourth Sunday in Advent

Love is a remarkable thing, isn’t it? Love for someone we know is one thing; but all the more amazing in some ways is the strength of love we can feel for one we have yet to meet... Read more...

Sunday December 12 - Third Sunday in Advent

It’s rather like someone has dragged the needle across the record, isn’t it? Here we were listening to the jolly music of Zephaniah 3 – “Sing aloud! Shout! Rejoice and exult with all your heart!” – and the upbeat melody of Philippians 4 – “Rejoice! Let your gentleness be known! Do not worry about anything! Peace will guard you!” – and then screeeech!! we’re hit with John the Baptist and “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?”

As we near the end of a year that seems to have presented more than the usual share of hardships, disappointments, and sadnesses we’d much rather hang onto the joy... Read more...

Sunday December 5 - Second Sunday in Advent

In the eighth year of the presidency of Xi Jinping of China – when Joe Biden was president of the United States, Scott Morrison prime minister of Australia, and Jacinda Ardern prime minister of New Zealand – the anointing of the caucus came upon Christopher Luxon in the midst of the National Party’s wilderness. He went into the all the country of New Zealand declaring, “My faith has been often misrepresented and portrayed very negatively…. I want to be very clear: We have a separation between politics and faith.” Read more...

Sunday November 28 - First Sunday in Advent

When interpreting a passage of Scripture, it is often vital to read what comes before and what comes after the passage in question.

The little reading from Jeremiah 33 set down for today is a message of great hope. If we read before this passage, and read more widely of the events that give it context, we find that this message of hope was given by the prophet to a people who were in despair. Jeremiah’s world is in a state of collapse. Jeremiah himself is in prison for preaching that God would deliver the kingdom into the hands of the Babylonian prince Nebuchadnezzar for their failure to keep the covenant with their God. Meanwhile, the inhabitants of Jerusalem desperately attempt to protect themselves from Nebuchadnezzar’s inevitable invasion. The inhabitants of Jerusalem even go about tearing down their own houses in a vain attempt to save the city. In effect, they are destroying the city in order to save it... Read more...

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