B105 – Repentence, Mercy, Call (Jonah 3 and Mark 1:14-20)

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B105 - Repentence, Mercy, Call (Jonah 3 and Mark 1:14-20)
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The book of Jonah is deceptively simple. It is often reduced to a children’s tale when, using the vehicle of humour, Jonah delivers challenging themes about the abundant mercy of God – mercy that sees not only our enemies blessed, but that we, like Jonah, might actually be the instrument of that blessing. Repentance, while…

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B104 – Advent 4 (Annunciation and Magnificat, Luke 1:26-38, 46-55)

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B104 - Advent 4 (Annunciation and Magnificat, Luke 1:26-38, 46-55)
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Rev. Sharon Hollis, President-elect of the Uniting Church, joins the conversation for Advent 4. We discuss how Mary is portrayed as a prophet in Luke 1 and the surprising agency she has (for that time) in speaking her consent (1:26-38) and her song of praise and protest (1:46-55). Her particularity as a young Jewish girl…

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B103 – Advent 3 (Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11; Luke 1:46-55; John 1:6-8, 19-28)

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B103 - Advent 3 (Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11; Luke 1:46-55; John 1:6-8, 19-28)
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Dr Angela Sawyer returns to speak about Isaiah 61, a passage that reflects the concerns of returned exiles, the difficulty of life under colonial rule, and hope in God reversing the fortunes of the marginalised. The alternate to the Psalm this week is Mary’s Magnificat, a song that continues these themes hundreds of years later.…

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B102 – Advent 2 (Isaiah 40:1-11; Mark 1:1-8)

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B102 - Advent 2 (Isaiah 40:1-11; Mark 1:1-8)
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Dr Angela Sawyer joins us to explore the tender and powerful image of God in Isaiah 40, as well as the cosmic and personal hope the end of exile represents to Israel. We talk about suffering and the yearning for freedom and fulfilment in Israel’s foundational story, and how it informs and shapes ours (communally).…

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B101 – Advent 1 (Isa 64:1-9; Mark 13:24-37)

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B101 - Advent 1 (Isa 64:1-9; Mark 13:24-37)
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The lectionary readings at the beginning of Advent invite us to ponder the inbreaking of God. What might it mean to live as watchful Christians, to raise our eyes above the fray and look for the presence of God in our world? We acknowledge that the cry for divine justice in Isaiah 64 is a…

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A155 – Reign of Christ (Ezek 34; Ps 100; Matt 25:31-46)

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A155 - Reign of Christ (Ezek 34; Ps 100; Matt 25:31-46)
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On the last week of the lectionary year, Fran and Robyn delve into the way the reign of God is described in these readings. Ezekiel 34:11-24 imagines God as a shepherd who protects the sheep, unlike the priests Ezekiel condemns as having failed as leaders. Matthew presents the Son of Man as a judge who…

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A154 – Pentecost 24 (Judges 4:1-7; Psalm 123; Matthew 25: 14-30)

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A154 - Pentecost 24 (Judges 4:1-7; Psalm 123; Matthew 25: 14-30)
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This week is the only chance in the RCL to preach on the book of Judges, specifically on a section about Deborah, the only female of the 6 judges named. We are joined by Monica Melanchthon, who talks about the importance of preaching from Judges, both in spite of its difficult, violent themes, and because…

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A153 – Pentecost 23 (Josh 24, 1 Thess 4, Matt 25:1-13)

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A153 - Pentecost 23 (Josh 24, 1 Thess 4, Matt 25:1-13)
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This week preachers are invited to think about taking the opportunity to talk about resurrection and what happens at “the end” through the parable of the ten wedding attendants in Matthew (25:1-13), which is a way to talk about entrance into the future kingdom of heaven, or Paul’s assurance to the Thessalonians (1 Thess 4:13-18)…

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A152 – All Saints / Pentecost 22 (1 John 3; Rev 7; Matt 23:1-12)

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A152 - All Saints / Pentecost 22 (1 John 3; Rev 7; Matt 23:1-12)
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Rev. Dr. Sunny Chen joins us for a conversation about the Greek words for love, resurrection promises, preaching for All Saints (All Souls) day, and Christian leadership.  The All Saints readings discussed are: 1 John 3:1-3, Revelation 7:19-17, and Matt 5:1-12. Those following the regular Sunday passages can hear a discussion of the Matthew 23…

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A151 – Pentecost 21 (Deuteronomy 34:1-12; Psalm 90; 1 Thess 2; Matt 22:34-46)

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A151 - Pentecost 21 (Deuteronomy 34:1-12; Psalm 90; 1 Thess 2; Matt 22:34-46)
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Rev Dev Anandarajan joins us for a conversation about Moses’ humble leadership in the story of his death in Deut 32. Moses is not heard bargaining with God over not getting into the promised land. The story stresses, instead, the centrality of the journey of obedience for a people ‘on the way’. Dev explores psalm…

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A150 – Pentecost 20 (Exod 33; 1 Thess 1; Matt 22:15-22)

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A150 - Pentecost 20 (Exod 33; 1 Thess 1; Matt 22:15-22)
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Kylie Crabbe returns as guest co-host to discuss Moses’ request to see God (Exod 33:12-23), Paul’s opening thanksgiving and affirmation in 1 Thessalonians (1:1-10), and Jesus’ “test” about paying Roman taxes (Matthew 22:15-22). Exodus invites us to explore how we discern divine presence – how do we know God is with us? Jesus’ teaching to…

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A149 – Pentecost 19 (Exod 32:1-14; Matt 22:1-14)

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A149 - Pentecost 19 (Exod 32:1-14; Matt 22:1-14)
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Kylie Crabbe steps in as co-host to discuss the episode with the Golden Calf (Exod 32) and the difficult parable of Matthew 22. No one in the parable gets it right. Many are invited to the wedding banquet but few are “chosen,” inviting us to ponder what a response worthy of acceptance would look like? …

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A148 – Pentecost 18 (Exod 20:1-20; Matt 21:33-46)

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A148 - Pentecost 18 (Exod 20:1-20; Matt 21:33-46)
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Megan Turton, a specialist on law in the Hebrew Bible, joins us to talk about the Decalogue and legal narrative in Exodus. Holiness, identity, and mutual covenant are key themes to explore. In the gospel reading, conflict continues between Jesus and the other Jewish leaders. We discuss the parable of the vineyard in Matthew 21…

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A147 – Pentecost 17 (Exodus 17:1-7; Matthew 21:23-32)

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A147 - Pentecost 17 (Exodus 17:1-7; Matthew 21:23-32)
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Questions of Jesus’ authority – an ongoing focus in Matthew –  now come to the fore in the parable from chapter 21, as Jesus’ challenge to the temple authorities escalates. The theme of consistency, being publicly honest about what one believes, emerges. The gospel is real about our ongoing failure to be consistent. We point…

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A146 – Pentecost 16: (Exodus 16:2-15; Psalm 105; Matthew 20:1-16)

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A146 - Pentecost 16: (Exodus 16:2-15; Psalm 105; Matthew 20:1-16)
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The Israelites’ journey to freedom in Exodus is hard and their complaints understandable. The providence of God dominates the passage. God hears and responds to the people, providing what they need and testing their willingness to trust him into the future. God offers equity not ‘equality’ as we understand it, and how that can rile…

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