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…

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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…

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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…

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B144 – Pentecost 22 (Proper 25)

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B144 - Pentecost 22 (Proper 25)
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Sean and Fran explore the final episode in the book of Job (42:1-6; 10-17), noting the ‘happily ever after’ narrative resolution, the pastoral minefield that this poses in preaching, and the apparent theological inconsistency that Job’s blessing represents. We emphasise the vulnerability Job displays in his story and how counter cultural that is for wealthy,…

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B143 – Pentecost 21 (Proper 24)

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B143 - Pentecost 21 (Proper 24)
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Fran and Sean continue the conversation on Job for Pentecost 21, namely on Job 38:1-7 (34-41) when God recounts the wonders of her creation to Job. God reminds Job of his creatureliness. We discuss the comfort amidst suffering that might be derived for Job, and us, to be reminded of God’s care at every juncture…

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B 142 – Pentecost 20 (Proper 23)

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B 142 - Pentecost 20 (Proper 23)
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For Pentecost 20 Fran and Sean focus on Job’s profound sense of God’s absence in Job 23:1-9; 16-17. We note that Job has loudly rejected the theology  of his friends, who all assert that Job’s suffering is the result of his sin. Job’s is a bold and courageous stance is to defy them, and to…

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B 141 – Pentecost 19, Proper 22

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B 141 - Pentecost 19, Proper 22
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Sally and Fran talk about the particular character of wisdom literature in Job (1:1; 2:1-10) and the urgent, pastoral and cosmic questions it asks about human suffering and theodicy. We touch on preaching against bad theology, and the way Job disrupts our human judgements. We invite a look at the Hebrews reading (Hebrews 1:1-4:2:5-12) for…

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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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B110 – Lent 2 (Mark 8:31-38; Gen 17:1-7; 15-17)

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B110 - Lent 2 (Mark 8:31-38; Gen 17:1-7; 15-17)
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God comes to Abraham with the promise of a new future, one where God is present and faithful. We talk about covenant, the paradox of walking before God and following the call. We mention the nature of human response to God: Abram falls on his face – laughing, Peter (in Mark) rebukes Jesus. God’s faithfulness…

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A142 – Pentecost 13 (Exodus 3:1-15, Matthew 16:21-26)

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A142 - Pentecost 13 (Exodus 3:1-15, Matthew 16:21-26)
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Moses’ encounter with God in the burning bush is a both a theophany and call story. We note that Moses wasn’t looking for God, rather God took the initiative and sought him out. We unpack the mysterious and playful I AM name for God, and highlight its uniqueness as a verb. God’s dynamic character comes…

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A136 – Pentecost 7 (Gen 28, Roms 8, Matt 13)

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A136 - Pentecost 7 (Gen 28, Roms 8, Matt 13)
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The Genesis narrative continues as Jacob encounters God in his dream (Gen 28:10-19a). Key themes here include God’s unfailing faithfulness to his covenant and the unexpected places God encounters us – in vulnerability and in the ordinary. Theologically it is significant that God found Jacob, not the other way round. Romans 8:12-29 continues the focus…

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A128 – Easter 7: 1 Peter 4-5 with Ian Paul

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A128 - Easter 7: 1 Peter 4-5 with Ian Paul
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Ian Paul joins the conversation to discuss suffering, hope, glory, and discipleship in 1 Peter 4:12-14, 5:6-11. We ask what it means to share in Christ’s suffering (specifically) and how we sustain hope in the midst of suffering. We also touch on the ascension in Acts 1:6-14. Ian Paul blogs about the Bible, theology, and…

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A127 – Easter 6: Divine comfort & unjust suffering (1 Peter 3:13-22)

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A127 - Easter 6: Divine comfort & unjust suffering (1 Peter 3:13-22)
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For Easter 6 (Acts 17:22-31; 1 Peter 3:13-22; John 14:15-21 and  Psalm 66)  Robyn and I begin our discussion with 1 Peter 3 by exploring Peter’s description of, and word of comfort for, the unjust suffering in his community. We look at the curious verse 19 “the spirits in prison” and talk about the significance…

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A126 – Easter 5: Living Stones and Christian Identity (1 Peter 2:2-10)

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A126 - Easter 5: Living Stones and Christian Identity (1 Peter 2:2-10)
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Christian identity and the nature of Christian community in the midst of suffering are themes that run throughout this week’s readings.  Fran and Robyn discuss Stephen’s martyrdom (Acts 7), John 14:1-14, and 1 Peter 2:2-10 to unpack the numerous metaphors used throughout.

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A121 – Good Friday: John 18:1-19:42 with Frank Rees

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A121 - Good Friday: John 18:1-19:42 with Frank Rees
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Rev Dr Frank Rees joins us this week to talk about preaching on Good Friday. We focus on the Hebrews readings (ch. 4 & 10) and John 18-19, discussing the strange, to modern ears, notion of sacrifice, and how Christ’s death might transform our understanding of it. We talk about the importance of preaching on…

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