Watching and Waiting Sometimes Even Saints Doubt

Matthew 11:2-11 and John the Baptist

People are interesting.  The biggest sales for newspapers and magazines are always related to people stories.  The magazines that sell best are gossip magazines.  We love our stories about celebrities.  We especially seem to like to find out that they are different. This third Sunday in Advent we have a real pre-Christmas celebrity.  He does not figure much in the Christmas nativity, but he played a large role in the Gospels and in the life of Jesus particularly at the beginning.  Who is John the Baptist?      

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What kind of King?

Luke 23:33-43

The feast of Christ the King was instituted in the middle ages when kings and queens were the common form of rule in Europe.  It is the feast which ends the Christian calendar.  It seemed fitting to end the year with recognition of Christ’s rule and reign over all creation and over all our lives.  But what kind of king is Christ?First, we need to recognize that kingship was central to Christ’s mission. Matthew, Mark, and Luke speak with one voice in telling us that at the very beginning of his ministry, Jesus announced that the “kingdom of God” was drawing near. 

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Sermon: 1st Sunday after Trinity, Text: Mark 3.20-25

This story from Mark’s gospel is one of the most unusual and most dramatic stories.  It has all the features of TV or movie drama.  Jesus’ public ministry has been launched to great success among the people.  They are thronging to him in Galilee.  The word has gotten out about how Jesus is healing and casting out demons.  At the beginning of Mark chapter three, Jesus gets away from the crowds to pray and to appoint the twelve.  He is equipping himself for all the hullabaloo that is to follow.  He is also organising himself to cope with the crowds by appointing disciples to help.  But more significantly, Jesus’ public ministry is the launch, the inauguration of the Kingdom of God, which is signalled by the appointment of the 12 disciples representing the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve who will rule in the new age with the Messiah.

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What is your image of God?

St. Nicholas church. First Sunday after Trinity, text Mark 3:20-25

What is your image of God?  Most people have some image of God in their mind.  For many God is pictured like a kindly old man.  Does the word Trinity help you to think about God?  Probably not.  The passage from John’s Gospel includes a reference to God the father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.  The doctrine, the traditional belief about the Trinity is one God, three persons.  Each person of the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit is fully God.  In mathematical terms, 1+1+1=1.  Not easy to grasp is it? 

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Parable of the Sower…What kind of soil are you?

Sometimes we say people speak in riddles.  By that we usually mean they are hard to understand in some way.  Jesus spoke in riddles called parables.  The reason he spoke in parables was to divide his listeners.  Those who wanted to understand would seek the answers to understand what he was saying.  Those who were not interested would not bother and just go their own way not caring about what Jesus was saying.  We see that in the parable of the Sower.  The disciples don’t understand but they ask Jesus what it means.  

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