Avril at Romsey

… and Lancefield and Riddells Creek and Mount Macedon

Sermon: How can we rejoice in a broken world?

The Third Sunday of Advent, 16th of December 2012

Zephaniah 3:14-20

Isaiah 12:2-6

Philippians 4:4-7

I had another sermon for today. Today, the third Sunday of Advent, is “Gaudete” Sunday – Joy Sunday, the only Sunday in the entire liturgical year whose colour is pink or, more accurately, rose. The name comes from part of today’s reading from Paul’s letter to the Philippians; in Latin, “rejoice in the Lord always” is Gaudete in Domino semper. In the midst of Advent, which can be rather a sombre time as we prepare for the Second Coming and are reminded to be ready for the return of the Son of Man, this third Sunday is a time of joy.

But my alarm is a radio set to Radio National, so the very first thing I heard when I woke up yesterday morning, before I was even fully awake, was news of the deaths in Newtown, Connecticut. My heart sank and I felt sick. Continue reading


December 20, 2012 Posted by | Life, etc., Ministry | , , , , | Leave a comment

Sermon: The women in Jesus’ genealogy

Sermon for Riddells Creek-Mount Macedon

19th of December 2010

Matthew 1:1-25

The Gospel of Matthew starts with Jesus’ genealogy. Continue reading

December 24, 2010 Posted by | Ministry | , , | 2 Comments

The ‘real’ meaning of Christmas?

There have been so many articles in newspapers and magazines over the past few weeks about “the real meaning of Christmas” that I wanted to have my say, too. This is the sermon I preached at Riddells Creek and Mount Macedon Uniting Churches on the 20th of December.

Luke 1:39-56

I think that this fourth Sunday of Advent is my favourite Sunday, not only in Advent, but in the whole Christmas season. Of course, Christmas Eve, with its sense of tiptoe anticipation, is wonderful. On Christmas Day we celebrate the coming of God as a baby, and there are few things in the world more exciting than the arrival of a baby. But despite all the anticipation and joy of these days we can lose sight of the absolute unlikely wonder of what happened at Christmas. The birth of Jesus can become cute, rather than a radical overturning of everything we thought we knew. The story and the song that we hear today are different. There are many places in the community where we can hear the story of the birth in the stable, see the baby in the manger. But it’s only in churches that we hear Mary singing her song of liberation. It’s the Magnificat, and all that it implies, that makes Christmas Christian. Continue reading

December 24, 2009 Posted by | Ministry | , , , | 1 Comment