A king! But in a stable?

Sermon St Ambrose Christmas 2017

When we heard our first reading today, we could have got all excited! ‘The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light!’ That sounds good doesn’t it?

They rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest’ – yes, still good!

The yoke of their burden, the bar across their shoulders has been broken.’ Still great news!

But what is the reason for all this good news? Isaiah tells us, prophesying about the future, that a baby has been born, and authority rests on his shoulders, and he’s got lots of high-sounding names like wonderful counsellor, prince of peace. Isaiah also tells us that the authority of this child will grow and there shall be endless peace. Now that’s something we want isn’t it? So after that reading, we’re all set for a King to sweep into town, full of power! Continue reading

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Donkeys and Destiny

Sermon Palm Sunday March 29 2015

Reverend Felicity O’Brien

Can you feel the pace picking up? Can you hear the prophecies tumbling over each other as they are fulfilled? Something big is happening, something of cosmic importance. It’s time.

Listen again to this passage from Isaiah:

I let them beat my back and pull out my beard. I didn’t turn aside when they insulted me and spit in my face.

Doesn’t it make shivers run up your spine as you realise that it’s talking about Jesus, many hundreds of years before he was on the earth? Continue reading

Sermon: Upside-down blessings

Matthew 5:1-12

These Beatitudes seem really upside down , don’t they?

How can someone be considered blessed, when they are poor in spirit, or mourning, or meek? These are the people the world ignores, those who are too quiet to make a wave, known only to God.

Some of the other ones are more obvious – Blessed are the peacemakers. Yes, that makes sense. And we certainly could do with many more of these peacemakers, in the middle east and in governments all  around the world. Continue reading

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The First Must be Last

Rev. Felicity O’Brien Sermon for St Andrew’s Plimmerton, Thursday September 27 2012, (all rights reserved.)

Mark 9:30-37

Can you imagine walking along with Jesus, and he starts telling you about being betrayed, and dying, and coming back to life. Wouldn’t you be intrigued? Horrified maybe? Captivated? He had already been transfigured while some of them watched, and they had heard God speak out from the cloud. There are several episodes like this in Mark’s Gospel, of Jesus announcing who he is, and the disciples failing to understand.

Here he was teaching them some really serious things about what was going to happen to him. But they weren’t even listening. From our perspective they seem so slow, sometimes I want to shake them and say, wake up! Don’t you see? Continue reading