Sermons 2018 8-17 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 sermons 2018 8-17  (25 March, Palm Sunday to 13 May, 7th Sunday in Easter)

See other sermons here:

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Sermons 2018 26 - 33

Sermons 2018 18 - 25

Sermons 2018 8-17

Sermons 2018 1-7

 

13 May 2018

Seventh Sunday of Easter (Year B) – Acts 1:15-17, 21-26
Judas Iscariot, Matthias (and Joseph called Barsabbas) and us

For the benefit of those who have missed recent episodes in the drama of God’s never-ending story, I shall recap.

After a public ministry, which lasted about three years, the Roman authorities executed Jesus of Nazareth. It was a Friday, and mercifully his death by crucifixion took only a few hours. He was then interred in a borrowed tomb. Family and close friends were, quite naturally, devastated. But then, on the Sunday morning, reports were received that the tomb was empty and a women claimed to have met him. This, understandably, compounded everyone’s sense of emotional and spiritual chaos. Then, that Sunday evening, eleven of Jesus’ disciples encountered him. And, yes, it was Jesus all right. Not a ghost, but Jesus in the flesh. In the weeks following he kept appearing to his closest friends. This went on for forty days. Last Thursday, it came to an end...

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6 May 2018

Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year B) – 1 John 5:1-6 & John 15:9-17
Could it be me?

The Church of God came into being for a very specific and all consuming purpose: to spread the good news of God’s loving intentions for all of humankind. As the followers of Christ, as members of the Church, we’ve been called to do one thing above all else: to share with others the reality of God’s love for all people. However, there’s a trap that we may fall into. Sometimes we delude ourselves into thinking that the most important part of the announcement is the words we use, but as it’s been said, preach the gospel and when necessary use words...

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27 Apr 2018

Easter 5 (Year B) – 1 John 4:7-21; John 15:1-8
It’s all about Love

Some years ago, a man who was close to death, said to me, “As I look back on my life I realise that it’s all about love. That’s all … love.” He wasn’t being sentimental. He had spent his life faithfully serving God, and over the years he had known some tough times, and in the last few he had cared for his wife, whom he loved dearly, as she slipped further and further into dementia. The man had thought deeply about his faith, and what he was offering me in that simple statement was his summary of what he understood Christian life to be all about. When it came to his funeral he asked that we sing the old hymn that begins: ‘O Love that wilt not let me go…’ For him, this love wasn’t a ‘nice’ feeling, but a gift from God that had sustained and motivated him over many decades and which he had responded to with a life-long commitment to Christian service...

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22 Apr 2018

Easter 4 (Year B) – 1 John 3:16-24; John 10:11-18
The Shepherd & Shrek

The biblical image of sheep and shepherd, as in the 23rd Psalm, is so very familiar. We draw on it in times of crisis, in the face of death, as well as on occasions of celebration. In New Zealand we know about sheep. Even with the rise of the dairy industry, they still occupy a fair share of the paddocks. The problem is that the biblical image draws on a pastoral scene that is radically different from what we know here...

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15 Apr 2018

Easter 3 (B) – Luke 24:36b-48
The resurrected body

Christ is risen! … We make that acclamation as an expression of hope and faith, but imagine what it was like for those first disciples. You’ve seen Jesus killed – his lifeless body laid out in a tomb. Now you begin to grieve. You begin to come to terms with the fact that it’s all over. Jesus is dead. But then, two of your number come with a bizarre story, about meeting Jesus on the road, and how he had made himself known in the breaking of the bread: “Come on – get real. People don’t come back to life.” “But hang on, don’t you remember him telling us that after three days he would be raised from the dead?” “What do we make of it?” They struggle with this news. Are these two deluded? Or may be, just maybe, there’s something in it. As they talk, tussling with this possibility, Jesus suddenly appears among them and says, “Peace be with you.” Not surprisingly they’re startled and frightened. Their first reaction is to think they’re seeing a ghost, but Jesus senses their fear and doubt: “Look at my hands; look at my feet — it’s really me. Touch me. Look me over from head to toe. A ghost doesn’t have flesh and bone like this.” They still can’t believe what they’re seeing. So Jesus asks for some food. They give him a piece of cooked fish. He takes it and eats it before their eyes...

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8 Apr 2018

2nd Sunday of Easter (Year B)  – Acts 4:32-35 & John 20:19-31
Our distinctive mark

Throughout the Easter season, the first reading comes from the Acts of the Apostles, which is Luke’s account of the young church that developed in the wake of Jesus’ resurrection. These passages are like snapshots of how the Christian family was learning to live out its faith in the risen Lord. What strikes me about today’s scene is that it doesn’t focus on the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection, but on some seemingly mundane aspects of community life: possessions, money, and property – the sort of stuff that Vestries get excited by. But then we note their attitude to these things. These first Christians believed that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to the poor...

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1 Apr 2018 - Easter Day

Easter Day – John 20:1-18
Easter in the darkness

‘Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark….’ It’s so often in darkness that we discover the risen Christ.

While it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb, because a few days before, her friend Jesus had been killed. With his death her hope had died. Now we see her in the garden weeping. She has lost the most important person to her: “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” It was a double grief. Not only had her beloved friend and teacher died, but also his body was gone. She couldn’t even spend a few minutes with it, mourning.

There’s a reality about this story that many of us can recognise, because we know about grief and the aching sense of loss. We can feel with Mary, because we’ve felt it. We’ve woken to the darkness of grief, because someone we love has died or gone. We’ve woken up and known the darkness caused by despair and the loss of hope...

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30 Mar 2018 - Good Friday

Good Friday

The cross is one of the best-known symbols in the world. Worn as a fashion accessory; as a mark of belief; a decoration; a focus of devotion; signed on the body as an expression of faith; crowning buildings and marking places of death. Yet, it’s an instrument of execution – of a very cruel kind. In his Gospel John tells us that the cross, from which all these others come, was erected on a place called Golgotha – the Place of the Skull. It was an ugly site, the ground formation bare like a skull, fitting well the gruesome work undertaken there. Its elevation raised its victims so that the staring crowds could easily see. The setting functioned as a macabre theatre for this tortuous form of execution...

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29 Mar 2018 - Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday – 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13:1-17, 31b-35
God Who Serves

Feet are rather basic things. They get us from here to there, and in the process become calloused, sore and sweaty. The disciples were waiting for the household servant to offer them the usual courtesy of a cool bath for their feet before the meal began. When no servant appeared, Jesus the Word made flesh, the beloved one of God, took on that role. The hands of the one who came from God, who was God, tended to their tired, dirty, smelly feet...

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25 Mar 2018 - Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday (Year B) – Mark 11:1-11
A Parade of Questions

It was a parade. Those in the crowd were shouting their heads off as down the street came a man riding a colt. The people waved at him as he went by. Mark tells us they ‘gave him a wonderful welcome, some throwing their coats on the street, others spreading out rushes they had cut in the fields. Running ahead and following after, they were calling out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in God’s name! Blessed the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in highest heaven!”

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