Sermon: Shepherds and loving

Sermon 26 April 2015

Felicity O’Brien

Acts 4:5-12, 1 John 3:16-24, John 10:11-18

Can you imagine what was going through the minds of Annas and Caiaphas? Those names are familiar from the trial of Jesus – they are the high priests who questioned Jesus before handing him over to Pilate. Maybe they had many people brought before them on questionable religious grounds, like claiming to heal someone, or claiming to be the Son of God. Now they thought they had dealt with the problem from Galilee, that Jesus fellow. But here were two more guys healing someone! I think that they must have known what the answer might be when they asked,By what power and in whose name have you done this?”Maybe they were bracing themselves for the answer. Continue reading

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Sermon: Moses, the truth and following God

Moses, the truth, and following God.

St Anne’s Porirua 24 August 2014
Exodus 1:8-2:10
Rom 12:1-8
Matt 16:13-20
The story of Moses in the bulrushes is a favourite from Sunday school isn’t it? The little baby, vulnerable in his cradle of reeds, set afloat on the river. It’s got all the features of a good story – there is tension and resolution. We worry about the child, but we know he will be ok.
But let’s back up the story a bit, to look at why this wee fellow was set afloat.
The Hebrew people were growing strong in the land. This is the same group of people that we heard about in readings from the last two weeks – Joseph’s family. Remember how they came out of famine into Egypt, to survive because of Joseph’s prudence. But we come forward a few generations, till the ruler in charge of Egypt no longer remembers Joseph and what he did for Egypt. Now there is just an annoying racial minority group in the land, who seem to pose a threat to the Egyptians. Continue reading

Sermon: Feed my lambs

Peter must have been devastated when Jesus kept asking him, Do you love me? In his usual way he got a bit hot under the collar! But the three times Jesus asked him, “do you love me?” reflected the three times that Peter had denied Jesus, after insisting that he would never do so. Did you notice that Jesus calls him Simon son of John, rather than his new name Peter?  Continue reading