B125 – Pentecost 3 (Proper 6)

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B125 - Pentecost 3 (Proper 6)
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This week we focus on 1 Samuel 15:34-16:13 and Mark 4:26-34. Themes emerge regarding kingship and kingdoms. David is the surprising choice in 1 Samuel as the youngest and one chosen by the God who “looks on the heart”. The parables in Mark are about the Kingdom or Reign of God, bringing to the fore…

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B124 – Pentecost 2 (Proper 5)

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B124 - Pentecost 2 (Proper 5)
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This week we note the people’s demand for a king in 1 Samuel 8:1-20 is about wanting a visible, tangible site for authority. God’s offer of intimate relationship with the people, trusting their discernment, is not enough; the people don’t trust God or themselves. God, mercifully, but with dire warning, grants their wish. We talk…

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B 123 – Trinity Sunday (Rom 8:12-17, John 3:1-17)

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B 123 - Trinity Sunday (Rom 8:12-17, John 3:1-17)
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Rev. Assoc. Prof. Frank Rees, systematic theologian and Baptist minister,  joins us to discuss the relational and egalitarian nature of the Trinity. We discuss the various ways the communal, intimate, transcendent, and interdependent nature of God is revealed in Isaiah 6:1-8, Romans 8:12-17, and John 3:1-17.  Frank concludes that the triune nature of God reveals…

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B122 – Pentecost (Acts 2:1-12; Ezekiel 37:1-14)

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B122 - Pentecost (Acts 2:1-12; Ezekiel 37:1-14)
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Ian Ferguson joins us for our Pentecost episode, where we talk about the creative, regenerative power of the Holy Spirit as she comes to us in Acts 2:1-21 and Ezekiel 37:1-14. Ezekiel’s vision of the dry bones shows the power of God’s Spirit to bring life from death. In the Acts passage the Spirit is…

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B121 – Easter 7

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B121 - Easter 7
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Psalm 1, Acts 1:15-26, John 17:6-19 are the focus this week. Acts 1 narrates the choosing of a new leader to replace Judas, raising questions about how we choose leaders and what we look for in our leaders. The Psalm invites us to “mediate on God’s Torah (instruction)”. In many ways it frames and introduces…

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B120- Easter 6 (John 15:9-17, Acts 10:44-48)

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B120- Easter 6 (John 15:9-17, Acts 10:44-48)
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The readings this week invite us to reflect on change, the role of the Holy Spirit, and Jesus’ commandment to love. Acts 10:44-48 narrates the “gentile pentecost”, the delightful interruption of the Holy Spirit who falls upon everyone while Peter is speaking. This is the fourth pouring out of the Spirit in Acts, this time…

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B119 – Easter 5 (Acts 8:26-40; John 15:1-8)

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B119 - Easter 5 (Acts 8:26-40; John 15:1-8)
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The universal embrace of the gospel is embodied in the Ethiopian Eunuch in the Acts 8 passage. The usual social barriers are no barriers to his baptism and the joy of faith. We talk about the communal context of interpretation of scripture, the importance of teaching, and the proclamatory, spoken nature of the good news.…

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B118 – Easter 4 (Good Shepherd)

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B118 - Easter 4 (Good Shepherd)
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Robyn and Fran unpack the good shepherd imagery used for God in Psalm 23 and Jesus in  John 10:11-18. We discuss the complexity of “laying down one’s life” and its afterlife in the way we talk about veterans and self-sacrifice (noting it is Anzac Day in Australia this Sunday). We refer to a discussion of…

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B117 – Easter 3 (Acts 3:12-19, Luke 24:36-48)

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B117 - Easter 3 (Acts 3:12-19, Luke 24:36-48)
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Kylie Crabbe returns to discuss the reaction to Peter healing a man with a mobility impairment in Acts 3. This is a conversation between Jews (Peter and other Israelites) about the nature of God’s power and the continuity between God’s action in the past and in Jesus. Glorifying God and the invitation to repentance are…

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B116 – Easter 2 (John 20:19-31, Acts 4:32-35)

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B116 - Easter 2 (John 20:19-31, Acts 4:32-35)
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Kylie Crabbe joins the podcast to unpack the Acts passages this week and in the weeks ahead. We discuss the dating and authorship of Acts, the key themes, and genre. Resurrection is the key theme in the speeches of Acts, indicating how important resurrection theology was in the preaching ministry of early Christianity. In Acts…

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B115 Easter Sunday

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B115 Easter Sunday
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We begin talking about preaching Christ is risen by looking at 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, an account of the resurrection that predates the gospels. We note Paul’s  repeated use of ‘appeared’; how this passive voice places the initiative with Jesus, not Paul’s capacity to ‘see’. We explore the different emphases in Mark and John’s account of…

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B114 – Palm Sunday (Mk 11:1-11, Ps 118)

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B114 - Palm Sunday (Mk 11:1-11, Ps 118)
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Rev. Carolyn Francis, Pastor at Collins Street Baptist Church, joins us to unpack preaching on Palm Sunday. We explore the Markan emphasis in this well-known story of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem where he is lauded as king in the Davidic line. Jesus’ kingship will ultimately subvert worldly notions of kingship, rejecting military might and power…

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B113 – Lent 5 (Jer 31; Heb 5; John 12)

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B113 - Lent 5 (Jer 31; Heb 5; John 12)
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God’s faithfulness to the people of Israel is manifest in the Jeremiah reading with the promise of a new covenant that will not be broken – thanks to God’s radical forgiveness. Christians understand Christ partly through the lens of Jeremiah’s new covenant; in the paradoxical way the brokenness (of Christ’s body) makes up the un-breakability…

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B112 – Lent 4 (Num 21:4-9, John 3:14-21)

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B112 - Lent 4 (Num 21:4-9, John 3:14-21)
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Dorothy Lee joins us to unpack the themes and theology of John 3. We begin with the Numbers reading, looking at the people’s grumbling, the difficulty of transition, and the strange use of snakes as both punishment and redemption from punishment. Metaphorically, the lack of trust in God is poisonous for the community. John 3…

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B111 – Lent 3 (Exod 20:1-17; 1 Cor 1:18-25; John 2:13-22)

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B111 - Lent 3 (Exod 20:1-17; 1 Cor 1:18-25; John 2:13-22)
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Dorothy Lee joins us as we talk about the liberating force of the Ten Commandments as a grace-filled way to live out salvation. We touch on Paul’s counter-cultural theology of the cross in Corinthians: God goes with shame and undercuts our notions of strength and power. Dorothy outlines how worship and market places operated in…

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C107 Epiphany 5

By Robyn Whitaker | January 27, 2022 | Comments Off on C107 Epiphany 5
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C107 Epiphany 5
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Isaiah 6:1-13, Psalm 138, 1 Cor 15:1-11, and Luke 5:1-11 all pick up epiphany themes of divine manifestation, glory, and transformative revelation. We discuss the paradox that encounter with the divine both affirms human frailty (framed as uncleanliness, sinfulness, or wretchedness in the readings) as well as our worthiness to be called to participate in…

C106 – Epiphany 4

By Robyn Whitaker | January 20, 2022 | Comments Off on C106 – Epiphany 4
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C106 - Epiphany 4
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Jeremiah 1:4-10, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, and Luke 4:21-30 are the focus this episode. We discuss Paul’s ode to love and locate this ethic within his and other Christian teaching. Jeremiah and Luke both point to the challenge of prophetic call. Luke 4 continues to reveal Jesus’ identity and ministry focus. We refer to bell hooks…

C105 – Epiphany 3

By Robyn Whitaker | January 16, 2022 | Comments Off on C105 – Epiphany 3
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C105 - Epiphany 3
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Nehemiah 8:1-10, 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, and Luke 4:14-21 are discussed this week. Luke and Nehemiah invite reflection on how we interpret Scripture and its fundamental role in grounding and forming the gathered people of God. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul offers the metaphor of the body to describe the way the Christian community is in…

C 104 – Advent 4

By Robyn Whitaker | December 9, 2021 | Comments Off on C 104 – Advent 4
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Dr Anne Elvey joins Kylie and Fran for Advent 4 to talk about Mary’s visit to Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-45) and Mary’s Magnificat (Luke 1: 46-59). We mention Anne’s book Reading the Magnificat in Australia; Anne’s poem Sun Glint Drift: On visiting Elizabeth in the Western Australian Wheatbelt Mary sings a Song, and Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner’s poem…

C 103 – Advent 3

By Robyn Whitaker | December 2, 2021 | Comments Off on C 103 – Advent 3
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C 103 - Advent 3
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Fiona Winn, Kylie and Fran explore the readings for Advent 3 focussing particularly on Zephaniah 3:14-20 and Luke 3:7-18. We mention Christopher M. Hays’ Renouncing Everything: Money and Discipleship in Luke

C 102 – Advent 2

By Robyn Whitaker | November 25, 2021 | Comments Off on C 102 – Advent 2
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C 102 - Advent 2
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Fran and Kylie discuss Malachi 3:1-4, Zechariah’s song in Luke 1:68-79, and the gospel reading Luke 3:1-6. We focus on the reckoning of Advent, properly understood: opening ourselves to God’s cleansing fire through which we come face to face with God’s grace and kindness. We mention: Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Advent sermon, 1928, as found in  Kathryn…

C 101 – Advent 1

By Robyn Whitaker | November 18, 2021 | Comments Off on C 101 – Advent 1
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C 101 - Advent 1
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Fran and Kylie focus on Psalm 25:1-10 and Luke 21: 21-36 and talk about hope and revelation as they appear in both texts. What is it to wait on God, according to the Psalmist? And what does Luke say about our waiting in the light of Christ’s coming? We mention Howard Wallace’s Commentary on Psalms…

B 148 – Pentecost 26 (Proper 29) Reign of Christ

By Robyn Whitaker | November 11, 2021 | Comments Off on B 148 – Pentecost 26 (Proper 29) Reign of Christ
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B 148 - Pentecost 26 (Proper 29) Reign of Christ
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Carolyn and Fran take a more thematic approach to this week’s readings (Revelation 1:4b-8 and John 18:33-37) on the occasion of Reign of Christ Sunday, and explore the subversive intent behind the church’s establishment of the celebration. We note the enigmatic character of the book of Revelation, but highlight the very worldly and promisory message…

B 147 – Pentecost 25

By Robyn Whitaker | November 4, 2021 | Comments Off on B 147 – Pentecost 25
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B 147 - Pentecost 25
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Carolyn and Fran explore the profound suffering and faithful persistence that Hannah embodies in 1 Samuel 1:4-20; we note the evocative language used in the passage to describe her relentless ordeal of infertility and talk about the pastoral implications of preaching on the text. We note the abundant hope and thankfulness expressed in Hannah’s song…

B 146 – Pentecost 24 (Proper 27)

By Robyn Whitaker | October 27, 2021 | Comments Off on B 146 – Pentecost 24 (Proper 27)
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B 146 - Pentecost 24 (Proper 27)
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Rachel and Fran continue exploring the beautiful but enigmatic and challenging story of Ruth, focusing on 3:1-6; 4:13-17. We note the lengths to which Naomi had to go to secure her and Ruth’s future; we highlight the euphemistic language in the text, and underline the theme of redemption that runs through the whole narrative. We…