As has been my tradition, every sermon that I preach will be posted here. This sermon, Unity in Diversity, was given at The Salvation Army Rochester on Sunday August 5, 2018. The Reading wasEphesians 4:1-16.
One Body, One Spirit, One mind?
This past week, Liesl and I have been at Officer’s Fellowship – the first Officer’s Fellowship of the unified Victorian division. Now you may be wondering what we do at Officer’s Fellowship. Do we get away for a week of frivolity, where the rules are somewhat relaxed? No. Do we spend the week in deep and rigorous bible study that enriches the mind and spirit, but leaves you physically tired? No. The reality is somewhere in the middle.
Of course, this year was somewhat different. This was the first year we have had one Victorian Division. In past years, there would be a fellowship for each division – so last year, there was a retreat for officers in Western Victoria Division, Eastern Victoria Division, Central Victorian Division and the State Social Command. This year, all of those came into one – with the result being 178 officers in attendance. So it was massive. Continue reading Unity in Diversity
As has been my tradition, every sermon that I preach will be posted here. This sermon, Room for All, was given at The Salvation Army Rochester on Sunday October 15, 2017. The Reading wasMatthew 22:34–40
Snooker at Bethesda
For a year or so, my dad held a position at a Nursing Home near our house in Greenwood. I was in year 7 at the time, and had to take public transport home, which involved catching two busses. But some days, generally once a week, I would get to catch the bus, and stop in at my dad’s work. I really looked forward to these days. It may seem odd for a year 7 student to look forward to getting to spend an afternoon at a nursing home, but I really enjoyed it. While I was there, one of the jobs they would get me to do was to help serve the residents dinner. For those that weren’t able to head to the dining room, I would take around their dinner and jugs of water to their rooms. And I loved being able to help out in that way. But I think the bigger attraction for me was that once all of the dinners were served, and the rest of the residents were in the dining room having their dinner, I would get to play on the snooker table. I would play by myself, trying to see the highest score I could get, seeing how many I could sink in a row before missing. I would play until my dad was ready to head home, and I had the greatest fun. One of the things I especially liked doing was practicing the break. I tried to perfect where I needed to place the cue ball, where I needed to hit on the triangle, with how much force, so that whenever I broke, I could immediately sink one of the red balls. But I could place the ball in the right spot every time, I could aim at the right spot, I could use exactly the right amount of force, but if I didn’t hit the cue ball in exactly the right spot, then I would have no chance of sinking a red ball. I needed to ensure that my connection to the cue ball was right. Continue reading Love… but how?
As has been my tradition, every sermon that I preach will be posted here. This sermon, God’s busy love, was given at The Salvation Army Rochester on Sunday 31 January, 2016. The Reading was 1 Corinthians 13.
Words for Snow, Words for Love
Did you know that it is said that the Inuit people, or Eskimo as they’re sometimes commonly known, supposedly have 50 words for snow. 50! You know, I come from Perth, and we don’t really get snow there. Occasionally there would be a small patch about the size of a dinner plate on Bluff Knoll, and it would make the news. For us, if it’s white and came from the sky, it’s snow. But for the Inuit’s, because they live their whole lives in the snow, their language developed a lot of different designations for what type of snow it is. Apparently, they have words that mean “powder snow”, “drifting snow”, “snow that falls quickly” and “snow that falls slowly”. They have words for “snow that doesn’t reach the ground” and the “First snow of the year”. But I don’t trust my source, because it also claims that the word for “snow which has melted” is “wa-ter”. So I may be a little bit misled in my claim. Continue reading God’s Busy Love
I wanted to try my hand at writing a devotional based on episodes of Star Trek. I am a Trekkie, and I feel there is a lot that we can learn from the various episodes. That I’ll have to watch more Star Trek in preparation for these devotionals is just a happy coincidence. My first devotional is based on the first episode (double episode) of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Encounter at Farpoint.
If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always "me first," Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be cancelled.
When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
I acknowledge that I live and work on land for which the Whadjuk Noongar people are the traditional owners and custodians. I pay my respects to elders past, present and emerging. I also respect any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples from other lands.