Worship Reflections on Matthew

Worship Reflections on Matthew

3 September 2023

Introduction This morning I want to begin my reflection with a preamble.We have a difficult passage this morning – Matthew 16:21-27.There is a great chance that some of you might not like my reflection.This passage is not for the faint hearted. The passage from the Gospel according to Matthew contains one of Jesus’ hardest sayings. “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to…

20 August 2023

Text:  Matthew 15:21-28 Title:  Crossing the Line Introduction That annoying Canaanite woman is at it again and not even Jesus can catch a break. Every three years that annoying woman comes along to disturb us. The way the anonymous gospel storyteller that we call Matthew tells his story, this annoying woman exposes Jesus for the human being that he was and shatters our illusions of Jesus the god-like super-hero. I know we could just look the other way. We could…

13 August 2023

…these are the days of miracle and wonder…   For the last couple of weeks, a song from my youth has been playing in my head.  You might know it too. These are the days of miracle and wonderThis is the long distance callThe way the camera follows us in slo-moThe way we look to us all, oh yeahThe way we look to a distant constellationThat’s dying in a corner of the skythese are the days of miracle and wonderAnd don’t…

14 July 2023

I acknowledge that it may be dangerous to preach on a parable which is so well-known.  But let’s try to hear something in this well-known, well-worn story that we haven’t heard before. CONTEXT The parable of the sower and the seed is the first of seven parables in Matthew 13 concerning the kingdom of God.  Matthew uses and expands on Mark’s parable chapter (to compare the two versions of this parable read Mark 4:3-8).  The parables in the two gospels…

2 July 2023

Whoever Welcomes You Welcomes Me           Matthew 20:40-42 Introduction In the 10th chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus sends twelve disciples to share good news throughout the region of Galilee. In today’s passage, he speaks a word of welcome:“Whoever welcomes you welcomes me.” When it comes to welcome, I think the church needs to be careful. I think every church sees itself as a welcoming church. Is Manningham Uniting Church a welcoming Church? Barbara Brown Taylor once wrote that she cringes…

2 April 2023

Introduction We have a long gospel reading for today – Matthew Chapter 26 verse 66 to the end of Matthew Chapter 27: a total of 127 verses. It begins when Judas agrees to betray Jesus (26:14-16) The Last Supper (26:17 – 30) Jesus Predicts Peter’s denial (Matthew 26:31 – 35) Gethsemane (26:36 – 46) Jesus arrested (26:47 – 56) Jesus before the Sanhedrin (26:57 – 68) Peter disowns Jesus (Matthew 26:69 – 75) Judas Hans himself (Matthew 27:1 – 10)…

5 March 2023

Text:   John 3:1-17 Title:    Are You Born Again? Introduction There are a few catchphrases that I dislike: “God is good.” Or “God has a plan for you.” Or “Are you born again?” Do you have any Christian catchphrase that you dislike? Truth be told, ‘Are you born again?” is probably is the one that irritates me the most. Let us pray… John 3:1-17 is one of the favourite passages of the Bible, but also one regularly misunderstood. “For God so…

19 February 2023

Today is Transfiguration Sunday, the last Sunday before Lent begins. And Transfiguration is one of those… weird festivals in the church calendar. It’s not as well-known as Christmas and Easter. It’s not as easy to define as Pentecost or Good Friday. LET US PRAY… When you look at this image, what do you see? There are two faces as well.  I just didn’t see it at first.  Then he showed me – here is the nose, the chin, the eyes,…

5 February 2023

Text:   Matthew 5:13-20 Title:   Salt, Light & Law Introduction The Gospel reading for the 5th Sunday after the Epiphany utilises two beautifully simple yet effectual symbols to encourage Jesus’ followers to engage in the world they live in with purpose. Matthew Chapter 5 verses 13 – 20 consists of three images or metaphors: Salt, Light and Law Starting with salt – 13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be…