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I have always found this a challenging and weighty passage, but far from teaching that we are saved or condemned by our good works (or lack of them) there is actually great blessing, hope and good news in this passage.
People who belong to the King live the life of the Kingdom: they share what God has prepared for them before they were ever able to do anything for God! And Jesus shows that he so identifies with his disciples that he is always present with them, even when they are sick, alone, naked, hungry and suffering.
This sermon was preached on Sunday 26th November 2017 at Pakenham Lakeside Church.
Enjoy!

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The biblical story begins with a wedding - between Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden - and ends with a wedding, the wedding supper of the Lamb, in Revelation. In between the picture of the wedding and its joy is a common description of the Kingdom of God. In Matthew 25 Jesus tells a parable about a wedding banquet and five wise and five foolish bridesmaids. 

The key point is that you are invited to the wedding party at the end of the universe! God doesn't want you to miss out.

This sermon was preached at Pakenham Lakeside Church on Sunday 12th November 2017.

Enjoy!

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I like a good courtroom drama. The tension of claim and counterclaim, of a lawyer leading a witness into a verbal trap: Just answer the question, yes or no, Mr Smith!  or of a witness springing a surprise piece of information which changes the whole tenor of the examination…it’s absorbing, deeply human stuff as those of us watching wonder what will happen? Who will come out on top? Will the truth win out, or will cleverness and deceit carry the day?

Our Gospel reading today is courtroom drama, with a hostile jury and much riding on the outcome of the cross examination. It’s set in the last week of Jesus life, with the stakes rising rapidly as the religious leaders try to find a way to trap and get rid of this pesky Galilean prophet who is eroding their power base  by calling for a heartfelt following of God in all of life, not just following their religious rules and rituals.

When Jesus is asked the question about paying taxes to the Roman emperor, his response is masterful, and unexpected, and contains great good news for us.

This sermon was preached at Pakenham Lakeside Church on Sunday 22nd October 2017.

It can be enhanced by viewing the Prezi zooming visuals found at this link.

Enjoy!

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In Philippians 3, Paul writes of what is of ultimate value to him. He had many things which he once thought made him 'right' with God and with which he attempted to fix the innate sense of wrongness that we all experience  - his identity, family connections, hard work, religiousness. But when he encountered Jesus, all of those things were shown up of little worth compared to the ultimate value of knowing Christ. It is intimacy with Christ, knowing Jesus and being known by him, which is both the ultimate value and motivating power for our life as Christians.

This sermon was preached at Pakenham Lakeside Church on Sunday 8th October 2017. 

Enjoy!

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In Matthew 20, Jesus tells what is often known as 'the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard.' It might be better named 'the Parable of the Generous Boss' as the employer is the main character - the one who shows deep compassion for those who haven't been hired, and is generous with his own money.

This parable has strong Christological links and shows us that the end of the day, God is just, God is gracious, God honours us and deals with our shame, and God is compassionate. At the end of the day, God is generous!

This sermon was preached on Sunday 24th September at Pakenham Lakeside Church.

It can be enhanced by viewing the Prezi zooming visuals found at this link.

Enjoy!

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In Romans 13:14, St Paul writes 'Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ...'

This is about 'getting into the character of Christ' - and it happens in three main areas of our life: our believing, our behaving, and our belonging - or in our thoughts, our actions, and our community.

This sermon explores what it means to 'get into the character of Christ' and where the power for Christian living comes from. The sermon can be enhanced by viewing the Prezi zooming visuals at this link.

The sermon was preached on Sunday 10th September 2017 at Pakenham Lakeside Church.

Enjoy!

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'Don't let the world squeeze you into its mould': that's how JB Philips translates part of Romans 12:2. But rather be transformed by the renewing of your mind. In what ways does the world squeeze us into its mould? How does that twist our life out of shape and make us less than fully human? And how is God's will GOOD for us in the face of this pressure?

Romans 12 describes life in the body of Christ - as a result of the mercy of God which Paul has so eloquently presented in the previous chapters of the book of Romans. God has been merciful. His will for us is good. We have a place to belong. We each bring a gift. And the body-of-Christ-shaped life is a beautiful thing, a place of healing and transformation.

This sermon was preached at Pakenham Lakeside Church on Sunday August 27th.

It can be enhanced by viewing the Prezi zooming visuals found at this link.

Enjoy!

 

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If you want to walk on water...

You'd better not get eaten by crocodiles!

You'd better understand who Jesus really is!

The passage about Jesus walking on water is not about Peter 'getting out of the boat' - it's all about the identity of Jesus. And if we don't understand this we can get into deep water (scuse the pun). This passage reveals the truth that Jesus is the 'I am' who is WITH US in grief, chaos and fear, and who overcomes all those powers through his presence and his identity.

You don't have to walk on water. You don't have to do something spectacular for God. Jesus has already done all that is necessary to save, comfort, and give you peace. Our faith, in the end, doesn't rest on miracles but on the presence and identity of Jesus, with us, in the midst of the stuff of everyday life.

This sermon was preached on Sunday 13th August, 2017 at Pakenham Lakeside Church.

It can be enhanced by viewing the Prezi zooming visuals found at this link.

Enjoy!

 

 

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The sower in Jesus' parable in Matthew 13 doesn't strategically target 'the right soil' when he sows his seed. He scatters it everywhere. Just like God's grace - people don't have to live up to a certain standard to receive his love. 

How do we let the Word 'get in, get down, get out' and so have a fruitful life? Jesus says that it's all about how we respond (or not) to his word, which is the life-giving word of the good news of the Kingdom.

This sermon was preached at Pakenham Lakeside Church on Sunday 23rd July 2017. It can be enhanced by viewing the Prezi zooming visuals found at this link.

Enjoy!

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The Jesus exchange goes like this:

Give up what you cannot keep, in order to gain what you cannot lose.

Jesus says 'Everyone who tries to save their own life will lose it, but everyone who gives up their life for me will find it.'

This is a hard sell in an individualistic, me-focussed culture! Jesus asks nothing less than 100% commitment. But what he gives in exchange for our selfish, fearful, dying life is his own resurrected, joyful, forever life.

This sermon was preached at Pakenham Lakeside Church on Sunday 25th June 2017. 

It can be enhanced by viewing the Prezi zooming visuals found at this link.

Enjoy!

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