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On Easter Sunday, the women who went to the tomb were not expecting very much. Just an act of love and devotion for their friend and Lord, whom they had watched die on the cross on Friday. But the light of life shone on them as they found out that 'he is not here, he is risen!' and this light spread to transform their lives and the whole world.

This sermon was preached at Pakenham Lakeside Church on Easter Sunday, 1st April 2018.

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We are not comfortable with darkness or silence. But on Good Friday we can't escape them.

On Good Friday Jesus entered into darkness so we may have light. He entered into the silence of God so we might know God's loving voice.

This sermon was preached at Pakenham Lakeside Church on Good Friday, 30th March 2018.

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What is your purpose?

The Greek philosopher, Aristotle, said that the purpose of a seed (specifically an acorn) is to grow into a plant (specifically an oak tree) - and so be able to produce more seeds.

In John 12, Jesus talks about his purpose by comparing his own life to the life of a seed. If a seed doesn't get planted and die - that is, stop being a seed and become a plant - it stays as a single seed. But Jesus knows that very soon his life will be planted into the sin and death of the world, on the cross. But in doing so he will give his life away to many people, so that when he is lifted up on the cross, he will draw the whole world to himself. 

This is his purpose.

This is why he has come. 

And it shows OUR purpose as human beings: to receive real life, and to give life away for the sake of others.

This sermon was preached at Sunday Chapel at Pakenham Lakeside Church on Sunday 18th March 2018.

It can be enhanced if you view the Prezi zooming visuals found at this link.

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As I grew up I longed for my dad's affirmation - a well done, I'm proud of you - and some of my most precious memories are of exactly those things. This longing for affirmation is built deep into each of us - we are created to know the Father's love and hear his voice saying 'You bring me great joy.'

Jesus receives this affirmation at his baptism. And yet he is then sent by the Holy Spirit out into the wilderness to be tested by Satan. What is that all about? In the wilderness we learn what it means to be-loved, to be the beloved, without being able to 'do' anything for God.

This sermon explores the identity we share as children of God and the affirmation and delight of our heavenly Father. It was preached at Pakenham Lakeside Church on Sunday 18th February 2018.

Enjoy!

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When Jesus starts his public ministry, he is bursting with Good News. He comes preaching in Galilee that ‘The time promised by God has come at last! The Kingdom of God is near! Repent and believe the good news!’

The good news of the Kingdom of God is that of all the possible alternatives, JESUS is the one who is ultimately in charge of the universe. Not death, or sickness, or political leaders, or even ourselves. Jesus is the boss. This is good news because not only is Jesus compassionate and merciful, he actually has the power to make a difference.

This sermon based on Mark 1:14-20 was preached at Pakenham Lakeside Church on Sunday 21st January 2018.

Enjoy!

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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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