Sermons - January 2020 Print E-mail

19 January 2020

Opening a Letter. 

This morning we’ve read someone else’s mail. Admittedly, this letter was written back in 55 A.D., and it’s been read by countless others since then. Nevertheless, that’s what we’re doing. It’s a letter addressed by Paul to a fledgling faith community in the Mediterranean city of Corinth...

2nd Sunday of the Epiphany
Isaiah 49:1-7; 1 Corinthians 1:1-9; John 1:29-42

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Our Priest in Charge, the Rev'd Alister Hendery, is making available his sermons via this website. Here is your opportunity to download a sermon as a Pdf file and read it at your leisure.  See other sermons here: www.stmatts.org.nz/sermons.html

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12 January 2020

The baptism that wasn’t meant to happen.

So far in Matthew’s story we’ve been hearing about Jesus the baby. Now we fast forward and meet the man. Jesus has arrived at the Jordan river where John was doing what John did – baptising. It was a baptism for repentance...

Baptism of the Lord - 1st Sunday of the Epiphany
Isaiah 42:1–9; Acts 10:34–43; Matthew 3:13–17

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5 January 2020

‘Arise, shine, for your light has come….’

Long ago, when a man named Herod was king, and after Jesus was born in a place called Bethlehem, there were some very wise men who were sitting in their own countries minding their own business. One day a bright star shone in their eyes...

Feast of the Epiphany
Journeys – Isaiah 60:1-6 & Matthew 2:1-12

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Sermons - December 2019 Print E-mail

Our Priest in Charge, the Rev'd Alister Hendery, is making available his sermons via this website. Here is your opportunity to download a sermon as a Pdf file and read it at your leisure. Below are this month's sermons.  See other sermons here: www.stmatts.org.nz/sermons.html

 

25 December 2019

Christmas Day
An Innkeeper and the Interrupting God


You’re familiar with the characters in the Christmas story. In addition to Jesus there is Mary and Joseph, we hear the angels and watch the shepherds come along. Then in time the wise people appear. Visit the manager and you’ll see these characters – though the wise people are still journeying so they are further away. But there’s one person that’s not present, though if you’ve ever seen a Christmas pageant, he always appears – though listening to the gospel story, you’ll notice he doesn’t get mentioned...

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24 December 2019

Christmas Eve
Isaiah 9:2-7; Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-20
‘the hopes and fears of all the years’

In 1865, Philip Brooks, an Anglican priest from Philadelphia visited Bethlehem. Three years later he wrote the poem that we’ve just sung:

Yet in your dark streets shining
is everlasting light;
the hopes and fears of all the years
are met in thee tonight.

We’ve come – through the streets, in the dark – we’ve come, because we sense that somehow, our hopes and hurts, our dreams and fears, our longings and griefs – are met in Christ this night.

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22 December 2019

God’s googly
Advent 4 (A)
Matthew 1:18-25  

It’s not uncommon to describe Matthew’s account of Jesus’ birth as viewed through Joseph’s eyes, whereas Luke tells it from Mary’s perspective. While there’s truth in that observation, it’s not quite that simple.  

Preceding the passage that we’ve just read is a detailed genealogy. It’s the sort of thing that people enjoy researching, and they often discover some surprises in their ancestry. Mine for example, includes Barry Crump, early settlers who landed at Petone, a bigamist, and a clan of Jacobian Scots...

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15 December 2019

The Disappointed Prophet
Advent 3 (A)
Matthew 11:2-11

John the Baptist, the fiery prophet who proclaimed Jesus’ coming – the fearless herald who drew crowds and rebuked religious leaders – who stood on the banks of the River Jordan calling people to repentance. Now he’s in prison, paying the price for publicly rebuking Herod Antipas for marrying his brother’s ex-wife – a relationship that was banned under Jewish law.

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8 December 2019 - Guest preacher

 

1 December 2019

A New Year
Advent 1 (A)
Isaiah 2:1-5; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:36-44

Happy New Year! … Advent is the beginning of the church year, and there’s something special about a New Year. It’s a marker that something new is happening – a reminder that what matters most lies, not in the past, but in the present and in the future – that there are always new possibilities. Do you remember that very old TV ad (I think it was for Post Bank)? It used the catch phrase: ‘Today is the first day of the rest of your life.’

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Sermons - November 2019 Print E-mail

Our Priest in Charge, the Rev'd Alister Hendery, is making available his sermons via this website. Here is your opportunity to download a sermon as a Pdf file and read it at your leisure. Below are this month's sermons.  See other sermons here: www.stmatts.org.nz/sermons.html

 

24 November 2019

Christ the King

Oirdinary Sunday 34 (C)
Jeremiah 23:1-6; Colossians 1.11-20; Luke 23:33-43

Christ the King… I wonder what associations come to mind when you hear the title king. The History Channel serves as my default channel, so I tend to think of historical figures that ruled for good or ill and, of course, the British monarchy is presently experiencing some uncomfortable challenges. Whether we’re monarchists or republicans, we bring to the word our own agendas. But Christ the king – what does this mean?

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17 November 2019 - Guest preacher

 

10 November 2019

Dragonflies and Resurrection

Ordinary Sunday 32 (C)
Luke 20:27-38

In the bottom of an old pond lived some grubs that couldn’t understand why some of their kind never came back after crawling up the stems of the lilies to the top of the water. So, they promised each other that the next one who was called to make the upward climb would return and tell what happened to him. Soon one of them felt an urgent impulse to see the surface. He rested himself on the top of the lily pad and went through a glorious transformation that made him a dragonfly with beautiful wings. In vain he tried to keep his promise. Flying back and forth over the pond, he peered down at his friends below. Then he realised that even if he could see them, they would not recognise such a radiant creature as one of their number...

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3 November 2019 - All Souls

None are Lost.
Lamentations 3:17-26, 31-33 & John 6:37-40

The death of a person we love, the death of one who has, in some way touched our lives, leaves us grieving. We know that our lives will never be the same again. Our grief is always a part of us. For some of us it is still very raw; for others it has softened, as gradually we learn to live without their physical presence. But we each know, in our own way, what it is to grieve, and we may echo the words of the ancient poet who penned our first reading – a poem of lament and sorrow: “my soul is bereft of peace; and is bowed down within me.”

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3 November 2019 - All Saints

The Feast of All Saints
Ephesians 1:11-23 & Luke 6:20-31

This feast of ‘All Saints’ is a very old celebration – going back to the third and fourth centuries. It’s a way of honouring our sisters and brothers in Christ who have, in some way, made Christ visible. It’s a celebration that allows us to express our sense of oneness with them, reminding us, that with them, we are part of Christ’s body, God’s family, which extends across the face of the earth, but also transcends all time, uniting the church on earth with the church in heaven...

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Sermons - October 2019 Print E-mail

Our Priest in Charge, the Rev'd Alister Hendery, is making available his sermons via this website. Here is your opportunity to download a sermon as a Pdf file and read it at your leisure. Below are this month's sermons. See other sermons here: www.stmatts.org.nz/sermons.html

 

27 October 2019

The Tax Collector and the Pharisee in us
Ordinary Sunday 30 (C)
Luke 18: 9-14

The Gospel reading tells of two characters, a Pharisee and a tax-collector. As you listen to the story, ask yourself this question: which character do I most readily identify with?

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20 October 2019

The Judge & the Widow
Ordinary Sunday 29(C)
Luke 18:1-8

There’s this corrupt judge who has no conscience. He’s only concerned for himself. Then one day a widow appears in his courtroom. She’s poor and powerless – not the sort of person he would’ve taken notice of. She’s got no money to bribe him, and she can’t afford a lawyer to represent her. So,speaks up for herself. “Grant me justice against my opponent.” But even
though the judge won’t give her the time of day, she persists and refuses to be silent. Finally, the judge grows tired of the woman’s badgering. She’s a tough character...

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13 October 2019

Being Eucharistic People
Ordinary Sunday 28 (C)
Luke 17:11-19

Jesus enters a village and runs into a group of ten lepers. They cry out to him, “have mercy on us.” Jesus tells them to go and show themselves to the local priests, promising by implication, that they’ll be healed – and they discover they are – all ten of them...

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6 October 2019

Let’s Lament
Ordinary Sunday 27 (C)
Lamentations 1:1-6

The current book I’m writing is about loss and grief. Called The Grief Walk, I’ve written it with you people in mind, and today, it’s something that has a particular edge as many of us mourn the death of Tom – who, along with Joan, has been a treasured member of our parish family for decades...

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Sermons - September 2019 Print E-mail

Our Priest in Charge, the Rev'd Alister Hendery, is making available his sermons via this website. Here is your opportunity to download a sermon as a Pdf file and read it at your leisure. Below are this month's sermons.

See other sermons here:

Sermons Latest

Sermons 2019 Jan - March

Sermons 2018 44 - 47 (Dec)

Sermons 2018 34 - 43 (Oct - Nov)

Sermons 2018 26 - 33 (Aug - Sept)

Sermons 2018 18 - 25 (May - July)

Sermons 2018 8-17 (Mar - May)

Sermons 2018 1-7 (Feb - Mar)

1 September 2019

Seating Arrangements and Guest Lists
Ordinary Sunday 22 (C)
Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16 & Luke 14:1, 7-14

In Lukes Gospel Jesus is into meals, as in todays reading, where hes dinning at a Pharisees house. This isnt the first time hes accepted a dinner invitation from a Pharisee. Luke tells of two other occasions, both of which turned into social disasters. At one a woman scandalised the guests by washing Jesus feet, then anointing and kissing them. The other ended with Jesus giving a theological dressing down of the host and his friends. These episodes, not surprisingly, left some of the Pharisees feeling rather hostile towards Jesus, and it seems that Jesus had been invited to this meal so they could catch him out. Thats the implication of the opening verse, they were watching him closely.

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Sermons - August 2019 Print E-mail

Our Priest in Charge, the Rev'd Alister Hendery, is making available his sermons via this website. Here is your opportunity to download a sermon as a Pdf file and read it at your leisure. Below are this month's sermons.

See other sermons here:

Sermons Latest

Sermons 2019 Jan - March

Sermons 2018 44 - 47 (Dec)

Sermons 2018 34 - 43 (Oct - Nov)

Sermons 2018 26 - 33 (Aug - Sept)

Sermons 2018 18 - 25 (May - July)

Sermons 2018 8-17 (Mar - May)

Sermons 2018 1-7 (Feb - Mar)

25 August 2019

Freedom on the Sabbath
Ordinary Sunday 21C
Luke 13:10-17

One Sabbath, while Jesus is teaching in a synagogue, a woman appears who had been crippled for eighteen years so crippled that shes unable to stand up straight. Imagine how it was for her. For eighteen years, unable to look anyone in the eye, unable to be part of life on the same level as anyone else. Work, worship, even walking along the road would have been difficult and painful. That is, until this sabbath, when everything changes...

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18 August 2019

The forearm technique
Ordinary Sunday 20 (C)
Isaiah 5:1-7 & Luke 12:49-56

Beethoven would sometimes play a rather naughty trick on terribly polite high society audiences, especially when he thought they werent really interested in serous music. He would perform a piece on the piano, perhaps one of his slow, gentle movements, which would lull the audience into thinking the world was a cosy, beautiful place. As the audience relaxed into a semi-slumber, and the final notes were dying away, Beethoven would bring his forearm down with a crash across the keyboard and laugh at the shock he had caused...

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11 August 2019

From Anxiety to Treasure
Ordinary Sunday 19 (C)
Isaiah 1:1, 10-20 & Luke 12:32-40

Anxiety fear worry . Its familiar stuff. Were all afraid of something; its just that some of us manage to mask it better than others. It can be about so many different things: fear of getting things wrong, of failing, fear about how were going to cope with a situation, or maybe its worries about our health or finances. The possibilities are endless.

Jesus comes along and says, Do not be afraid. Sounds good, but is it one of those pie-in-the sky platitudes? Then he goes on: Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Fathers good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Not exactly what you get in one of those self-help books that teach how to banish anxiety from ones life, but then Jesus is offering a very different way of seeing life...

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4 August 2019

Greed
Ordinary Sunday 18 (C)
Psalm 107:1-9, 43; Colossians 3:1-11; Luke 12:13-21

In first century Palestine it wasnt uncommon for people to take a dispute to a rabbi for arbitration. Thats how our Gospel reading starts. A man requests Jesus to settle an argument over the division of a family inheritance. Jesus, however, refuses to get involved in this family squabble over property. Instead, he addresses the bigger question...

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Sermons - January 2020
Date Posted: Sunday, 05 January 2020 00:46
19 January 2020 Opening a Letter.  This morning we’ve read someone else’s mail. Admittedly, More...
Sermons - December 2019
Date Posted: Sunday, 05 January 2020 00:44
Our Priest in Charge, the Rev'd Alister Hendery, is making available his sermons via this website. More...
Sermons - November 2019
Date Posted: Sunday, 05 January 2020 00:43
Our Priest in Charge, the Rev'd Alister Hendery, is making available his sermons via this website. More...
Sermons - October 2019
Date Posted: Sunday, 05 January 2020 00:27
Our Priest in Charge, the Rev'd Alister Hendery, is making available his sermons via this website. More...