24 September 2017



2012
> Have You Not heard? Commissioning and Baptism
> Papatoetoe district 150 years opening service

2010
> Pentecost - The Genesis Experiment
> Freedom and human trafficking
> The Corinthian Puzzle - Resurrection Body
> [Waitangi Weekend]. Hope for a Future
> Being a Healing Community
> Turbans and Prophets in Manurewa
> Light to the Nations -O Surely Not the Samaritans!
> Jesus the real human - not Avatar

2009
> Prophet at Copenhagen Needed
> CLIMATE CHANGE - Revisiting the Creation stories
> Love Lived
> Questions of God
> Tsunami.and Job, God in disaster
> Reconciling Cultures
> John the Baptist - A reminder of reality
> Do not follow the advice of the wicked

2008
> If only You would sort it God!
> Invited and rejected - Texts of terror
> Saying Yes! but its really No!
> Thanksgiving
> Claiming God is on our side - Dangerous and Unwise
> Let your Love be genuine
> Bible and Qu'ran Ishmael and Isaac
> Fruitpickers wanted
> Faith Changing Culture
> Easter greeting - Peace be with you
> Freed For Seeing
> Temptations of Leadership - Dedication of leaders
> Let There be no Divisions Among You

2007
> How many husbands in Heaven?
> The Dishonest Manager
> The Prayer which Changes the World
> What are we getting them into? Succession planning
> Faith there is a future
> Forgiven - the one who loves much
> THE SHEEP HEAR MY VOICE, SIGNS AND WONDERS
> Temptation
> Free flowing wine, Free flowing grace

2006
> The Birth Stories of Jesus - whom do we serve
> Sexuality Working out our Faith
> What is Wisdom?
> Stilling the Voices of the Storm
> THE GROWING SEED
> Pentcost - Facing the Darkness
> Moving on from Betrayal
> Friends my Mother Warned me About
> Ethiopian Eunchs Are In - Good News For theChurch
> St Patrick and Mission today, Potatoes and Rice
> Family is a Cultural word

2005
> Christmas Day Reflection - Power of Hope
> Subverting the System - The Talents Revisited
> Living God! Joshua Leadership with Wet Feet
> Futurechurch conference and the Presence of God
> The Golden Calf is not the Name of a Pub
> Who?
> Induction Sermon - Pukekohe Who Is Your Neighbour
> What is Fair and What is Just?
> Confrontation at Hunters Corner
> Food in the Wilderness
> Bombers in London, Weeds among the Wheat
> The Gospel is already Sowen for us to Find
> Human sacrifice. God's Demand or Our Desire
> Marriage - From Contract to Promise
> Who is he?
> Seeing the Light
> The Man at the Well
> East of Eden- Our Story
> Dingwall 75th - Charity or Justice
> Doing Justice - An Induction Sermon
> Light in the world
> Tsunami - World in Turmoil

2004
> Promises Kept
> Christ The King - We don't have Kings anymore!
> What is Our Mission : Connecting with Other Faiths
> The Word of God is not Chained
> Descent into Hell
> What does the Lord Require - Assembly report
> 150th service Rev Sharon Ensor's sermon
> The neighbour who comes from God..
> Driving out Demons - Fears Of Mental Illness
> Flowing Waters 2 Spirit of Peace
> Flowing Waters 1 - Reflections in Japan
> Putting it On The Line
> Go Fishing- Youth Leaders Dedication
> Waitangi Day Celebration
> God's Love is Wider than We Want
> The Best Wine
> Dancing Stars - Science and Theology

2003
> First Sunday of Christmas
> Church culture to Mission Culture
> Be Wise
> Trinity - Beyond Miracles
> Sir Ed Hilary- Ascension Sunday
> Culture challenged by Love
> On the Road to Gaza
> Whose Voice? - Mother's Day
> Rows of White Crosses. [Anzac]
> Easter Day - Go , Jesus is Waiting for You.


Sermons
Sermon - 18 September 2005
Bible Verse: Luke 10
(click the verse above to read the passage online)

Induction Sermon - Pukekohe Who Is Your Neighbour

Luke 10 Good Samaritan
Keleva your task, your primary task among this people is to break open the scriptures so both you and they can know the amazing love of God here in Pukekohe and be led by that love to share it with those around you. In grief and in joy, it is your task to ensure Godís word goes out to bring life, and we are told by a wondering Prophet that Godís word will always achieve Godís purpose. That is encouraging Ė your task is to be faithful, gods task to ensure that the word achieves its purpose.
People of Pukekohe Ė your task is to be faithful to Godís Spirit within you - to be Godís loving people in this place.
But beware, for when we start to listen to even the most innocent well known stories, we find that God is bigger than we can ever imagine. We are deeply challenged in our daily lives when we realise that this loving God, who loved so deeply that there is a cross, and extreme vulnerablility at the centre of our faith - you canít really be more exposed and weak than a man stripped and beaten and left to die can you? And we are asked to follow this way.
It is so tempting to make it fit what we want to hear. It is so tempting to make the good news not be offensive, to fit Joh or Mary or Sueís expectations, so they donít get upset by the amazing overwhelming love of God. For we do not limit where and when God will work and with whom, the spirit of God goes where it will..

And that is worrying to a lawyer in the story you know so well. IF you are a person who likes everything sorted , then donít mess with god because God is very nessy.

Itís a simple question? Who is my neighbour? Who are the neighbours of this church? Is he or she as the resource management act says all those downstream where I want to discharge waste water from my plant? Those deemed to be affected? by my actions?
And they decide whether or not they are affected? on basis of material loss , or intangible values, because they have always lived there and gathered the eels and the discharge will make that unpleasant.? Who is my neighbour has earned many a legal fee? Our a domesticated view which narrows the people next door to being our neighbour is challengedĖ it stretches us as much as the Jewish lawyer?

The question is a basic question of beliefs and values. It is in fact the question for us and our world today.
How do I live a life which is lasting, inherit eternal life? The Jewish l;awyer knew the answer, love God, love neighbour as your self.

although it is impeccable theology about eternal life , its only a half truth and therefore an untruth, until he can answer the question. God Ė thatís expected but who is my neighbour?

Jesus tells a story . An unidentifiable man was beaten and left stripped on the roadside in a dangerous part of the country. I guess the road between Jerusalem and Jericho is still dangerous to travel. Things donít change much.
Two people who are righteous keepers of the law pass by , donít get caught up in the details, we are only told they didnít stop. Then Jesus gets to the point, A Samaritan, a non Jew, whatís more a despised person, stops to help and follows up to see that the injured man is cared for at cost to himself. Surprisingly we find that there is at least one good Samaritan.
The lawyer is trapped and knows it.
Who was a neighbour to this man?
.Jewish law said the neighbour was another Jew. A Samaritan downstream would not have got a look in under this guyís resource management Act,
He plays with words The one who showed him mercy.he says reluctantly,
Go says Jesus and be a neighbour like this.

The lawyer is up against his understanding of his own religious tradition and of his value basis.
He wanted to know who his neighbour was and has a reply that he is to be a neighbour. He cannot restrict or determine who is likely to be his neighbour, anymore than the helpless injured man, and it is clear he wasnít exactly happy with the thought that a non person might rescue him.,.

Do you realise how world shattering that is? Jesus points out that there are no barriers between humans, we are basically made to be neighbours to any other human being, especially if we are travelling down the same road.

The challenges all world views that say there is an in group and an out group who are not human, who are not loved by god.. That our basic humanity is clumps of people with a common interest andl those who can contribute or function in that group of clan or tribe can belong...A user pays society. The idea that we can decide whom our neighbour is, who is human..
OF course we have different cultures which are part of us when we come together but Jesus was confronting cultural assumptions which prevented people from being neighbours and showing us our common humanity is based in being in the image of God...

A community is enriched when we understand that we are neighbours. And one of the signals that a society is hurting is when we are too afraid to let others be our neighbours because they may harm us. Or too afraid to get to know others to whom we can be a neighbour.

When we start feeling safe because we build high fences, lock our doors or on a global scale have better weapons than anyone else we are not at peace. .: I suppose the real tragedy of p is that it wipes out that ability to give and receive love

St James has acted as part of the community for all these years, it is because you are neighbours. If we love God in response to Gods love for us , it is the natural outcome to love our neighbour and to allow our neighbour to love us.

ĎWho is my neighbour?í Are there limits? Is it to include only the people of my community, of Israel? Might it also include undesirables, Samaritans, Gentiles? Does it include women, people with disabilities, lepers and others frequently excluded? Ultimately it is a theological question: whom does God love?: it makes us realise that in human community every human person is a neighbour and potentially a caring human being; and it breaks down the hierarchy of helper and helped.

Jesus says that Godís reign is one where people love one another, where society is transformed and things that are given up as dead ended can bring new life which nourishes everyone. Where love which outlasts death gives us the vision to look beyond what seems impossible and have hope for the tasks we do now.
.
Its really very simple Ė we are neighbours Ė because God loves.
and in all of life, in individuals, in community, in structure and organisation, and in creation God invites us to become Godís action in the world and love our neighbour.
Then they will know God.

Rev. Margaret Anne Low

 

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