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Archive for February 2013

What do you really want?

This question (beyond basic human needs) is much more complex than it first appears.

Often, what we think we want may end up killing us.

In Luke 13:31-35, three very different people or groups of people want something - and their desires are very diverse. Herod wants to kill Jesus. Jesus wants to gather together the people of Jerusalem and embrace them with grace. But the people of Jerusalem want to go their own way and refuse God's loving action.

What do you really want? In the end, there are only two directions in which our desires can take us: into the welcoming arms of God, or away.

This sermon was preached on Sunday February 24th (Lent 2) at Sunday Night at St John's service.

It can be used with:

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The book of Hebrews says 'Jesus was tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin.'

The First Temptation of Christ parallels our own temptation, as our adversary attempts to get us to believe basic lies related to the problem of provision, the problem of power, and the problem of pain.

The problem of provision: How will I survive?

The problem of power: What do I have control over?

The problem of pain: Why do I have to suffer?

Jesus resists each of these temptations, not with power, but with truth; and his life, death and resurrection deal with these problems at their very foundation.

This sermon was preached at Sunday Night at St John's on the first Sunday in Lent, 17th February 2013.

It is designed to be used with

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Activity, security, identity - three important aspects of human life.

So often we humans invert the order, basing our security (what we are worth) on our activity (what we do), and trying to work out our identity (who we are) from there.

The call of Jeremiah shows that with God, identity always is the foundation for security, and activity comes out of who we are and how secure we are.

Likewise, Jesus' call to us as his followers begins in who he makes us to be, before we can do anything for him.

Unfortunately, due to a technical error, the sermon MP3 this week was not recorded.

However, you can still access the online bible study through this link

and the Prezi zooming visuals through this link

Enjoy!

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Sometimes, it seems, life sucks.

Actually it's not life that sucks, but the pervading power of evil and death that sucks the joy and hope out of life.

The Transfiguration was a mountaintop experience for Jesus and the three disciples. But most of the time, we live down in the valley, struggling with the pervading presence of evil.  Like the man who meets Jesus coming down the mountain - the man whose only son is enslaved by an unclean spirit - it seems that God has abandoned us.

But Jesus does not stay up the mountain, basking in heavenly glory. He comes down into the valley, to confront and defeat the power of evil, by climbing another mountain - the mountain of Golgotha, the place of the skull, willingly giving himself to be crushed by evil so that we would be free.

This sermon was preached at Sunday Night at St John's on Transfiguration Sunday, February 10th, 2013.

It can be used with the Prezi zooming visuals found at this link.

Enjoy!

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