This page contains links (and excerpts) to the latest sermons
delivered from the St Francis Church pulpit
To read the whole sermon, click on the sermon title
Are you ready for the wild water? Well I hope I will be able to follow my dear grandson’s example in this. Remember the story I told you about Steffan, when he jumped off the Tairua bridge for the first time, aged about 7, and nearly drowned? When I asked why he had jumped when he couldn’t swim, his answer was, “I didn’t know I couldn’t.” Let us, beloved family, have that same trust to plunge forward in the wild water of discipleship, following the way of Christ, bearing his message of love. Let us trust that we too can participate fully in the continuing, Spirit-led, transforming movement of God-with-us in our own time … we are, after all, God’s beloved.
The three readings today emphasize that we are all welcome in Christ’s church, irrespective of our natal culture. Isaiah prophesied, “Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn”. The Matthew reading is the story of the visit of wise men from the East, possibly Zoroastrians, to honour the birth of Christ,
Any child, and any of us young at heart, will be able to tell about anticipation. Growing up, the excitement of Christmas began to build from the time we changed out of our winter school uniforms and we changed to our summer sports …
… For a very long time this man, Simeon, had been waiting to see the Messiah born. The Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would live until he had witnessed this event. So, day after day he watched and waited, looking upon each child presented at the temple with expectation and anticipation.
This has been a very different, very messy and very hard year, Covid 19 sweeping through and changing our world, for adults and children alike. So scary … we didn’t see it coming. So many people throughout the world have died, so many families now without work. All this frightens a lot of us doesn’t it? Part of us takes comfort that we live in New Zealand, far away from trouble spots, but deep down we realize just how fragile this bubble we find ourselves in is. There is nowhere to hide from this deadly disease. The news seems all bad. But is it really?
Gabriel tells Mary that she will get pregnant and give birth to the Son of God! She wonders, how?, as she is a virgin: and she is troubled: but her next emotional reaction is humility. She is humbled by the honour bestowed on her by God, and then full of joy. Not all unmarried mothers feel joy when they discover they are pregnant, so …
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