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
On Wednesday evening just after Easter I joined the Auckland Jewish community for a memorial service for the Shoah, the Holocaust. During the service, the words “Never forget” were spoken many times. It is an exhortation to an active remembering with the purpose of ensuring that such an event can never occur again; and not just that there could be no such horror again, but that that the seed bed of hatred and discrimination that leads to such things cannot be allowed to be fostered in our society.
Sometime in the predawn hours of a Sunday morning, two thousand years ago, a great mystery transpired in secret. No sunlight illuminated the event. No human being witnessed it. And even now, centuries later, no human narrative can contain it. The resurrection exceeds all of our attempts to pin it down, because it’s a mystery known only to God.
Jesus goes on to say, “Now my soul is troubled.” He is confirming he’s human. He is fully aware that he is about to suffer a horrible death, and fearful about his ability to cope; and to continue to love the human race throughout His coming pain and suffering. His knowledge that He will experience despair and feeling that He has been forsaken, even temporarily, from God, confirm to us that He is able to empathize with us when we go through our minor sufferings, because we know that He has experienced pain to a far greater extent Himself.
Worship: that is what all today’s four readings, and my reflections, lead to. Worth – the worth of God provokes our joyful, awe-filled, self-giving, profound thanks and praise – worship! Worship of God is not about us … although true worship does transform, bestow grace, and equips the worshipper.
Because, ‘True worship disinfects our egos’. So our humble service of God in the wider community becomes the only true service.
Jesus has been healing people, calming storms, feeding thousands of people with few provisions, and teaching them in parables. But, suddenly, he tells them the most shocking thing they have ever heard from him so far …
Peter … and the other disciples, were expecting that Jesus was the promised deliverer of God’s people from the Romans. He was to be their King and rule over them, and “everything in the garden would be rosy”. Now Jesus had shattered that dream …
Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.