How can it be that a wonderful miracle of receiving sight stirs up so much blindness?

This story is a reminder that it isn’t easy to defend your faith when Jesus has gone.

It isn’t easy to answer hard questions like all those who doubt and struggle to see when we feel a little orphaned, or lost without the one who comes to us as light.

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Notices – 26 March 2017

Nicodemus was wowed by Jesus, although perhaps that should not be a surprise. He is a Pharisee, and Pharisees were known for being attracted by ‘bling’. They had vision for fancy things that carried their own sense of importance. Like getting the most important seat at the table, perhaps at the right-hand side of the favoured guest, Rabbi or teacher. Or the wearing of long robes in public, the longer and fancier the better. Or wearing big boxes on their heads with bible tracts to show the world how seriously the Scriptures were being taken. Nothing like having the word of God on your mind constantly!

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Notices – 12 March 2017

Sometimes it is hard for us to hear about the problems of our world.

On Manus, the despair and hopelessness is growing. One man in detention there recently wrote in an email:

Sorry if i am late to write for you. Sometimes even breathing is difficult for me in detention and eating food these days is suffering for me…

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Notices 5 March 2017

Have you ever been touched by the glory of God?

There are many stories in the bible of shekinah.

It is a word that Jewish Rabbis use to convey the idea that God comes to meet us, to dwell near us. And often that presence is one of such brilliance that it is almost beyond humans to bear.

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Notices this week

Prosperity is a dangerous thing, for it so easily corrupts.
The people of Israel are on the edge of more prosperity than they could ever imagine. They are in danger of being corrupted by the very blessing they crave …

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Notices for this week

Thanks to Rev. Dr. Barry Brown for his background notes to the gospel of Matthew, and reflection on the word.

OTB Matt 2017 16 10 Short

Sermon 20170205 StMsUC

He clutched his chest, just below the sternum, somewhere between his gut and his heart, and what he said next came out through bursts of laughter:

“God! That was the most remarkable thing—falling in love, and how easy it was to fall in love with Jesus.”

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This week we again have cause to wonder.

We wonder about how power is used in this world – like the power of sabotage, propaganda and cyber attacks as Moscow has a particular interest in the new President of the United States.

And we wonder more about the world around us.

We wonder about how the goal of success leads to temptation and weaves a web of deceit and distress …

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It is difficult to hear the story of Herod after the bright joy of Christmas. Yet the contrast in the actions of Herod and Joseph speaks into the struggle of humanity which is our own struggle.

Fear and anger are powerful agents that act upon us all. Herod fears a rival to his fragile reign, one that is at the whim of the greater power of Rome. As we have witnessed ugly overthrows of many a prime minister in recent years, we perhaps get some insight into Herod’s own fear.

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The stories of the birth of Jesus are not really about a baby. At least we miss the point if we get all sentimental about a cute baby asleep on the hay – ‘no crying he makes’.

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