Sermon: Ministry through trials

Ministry through Trials

Rev. Felicity O’Brien

St Christopher’s Tawa 3 March 2013

2 Cor 1:3-11, 2 Cor 6:1-10

You may be a little surprised that for today’s reading we used the Message version. I often find Paul’s thought patterns a bit difficult to untangle, rather like kite string, and this version has a simplicity about it that makes it so much clearer.

I’m going to open up how trials are part of our lives, then look at Paul’s advice to Corinth and to us about dealing with them. We’ll look at the relationship with God we need to sustain us, and at some of the opposition we may encounter. Continue reading

Recycled sago muffins?!

I am a very frugal home manager. So much so that I cannot bear to have food wasted. While this has led me to eat up the leftovers myself at times, my waistline doens’t thank me, so I have been learning ways to recycle food.

The other day I made sago for pudding. Actually this was recycled too because I used the syrup left over from candying orange peel, and added sago and frozen cranberries. It sounds yummy doesn’t it? Well I thought so, but my kids all turned up their noses and refused to touch it.

I saw this pot of sago sitting forlornly on the bench, and thought, how can I recycle it?

So I added cocoa, baking powder, flour, an egg and some yoghurt and milk, and mixed up a batch of muffins. It only used half the mixture, but I wanted to see how they went down before making more.

Would you believe it? “I love this stuff” said my son, thickly, through a large mouthful, as he reached for another handful of muffins.

Success! They scoffed 25 of them in one day, so I made another tray, which also disappeared down teenage throats.

I got to thinking about this. Maybe God can use us like this. The things in our lives which the world rejects can have a new life in God. God can add the ingredients to recycle us, to make us useful for the kingdom, to be a blessing for others.

I think about my own life story, with an unhappy first marriage, subsequent divorce, and lots of legal struggles to gain custody of my two older boys. This wasn’t easy, but God added patience to me, and faith, and a whole lot of other things that meant I can now reach out to those people going through similar situaitons, and minister to them with compassion.

God has taken what the world rejects – no one likes divorce. And God has mixed it up to be a blessing.

And just as my recycled sago muffins made so many, God will bless us and give us increase, as we work for the kingdom, allowing God to use us.

“The stone that the builders rejected has becme the very head of the corner.” 1Peter 2:7


Job and the Judge

Sermon for St Peter’s and St Christopher’s Tawa 14 October 2012

Rev. Felicity O’Brien all rights reserved.

Job 23:1-9.16-17, Mark 10:17-31

The text from Mark and that from Job have a common thread – they are both about rich men.

The rich young ruler in the Gospel was sad that he would have to give away his wealth to follow God. Maybe Jesus could look deep in his heart, and knew that his wealth held a place that God should hold, that wealth had become an idol for him.

But I’m not going to say much about him – I’m going to talk about the reading from the book of Job today.

Job was also a rich man, with seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred donkeys, and very many servants – he would have needed them! Continue reading