25 November 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 - 25 December 2005
Bible Verses: Isaiah 52:7-10 & Luke 2:1-7 , 8-20
(click the verses above to read the passages online)

Christmas Day Reflection - Power of Hope

REFLECTION Rev Margaret Anne Low
How beautiful are the feet of the one who announces peace.
Words that are true – news that gives hope is powerful.
The person fighting saying the Lord’s prayer at Victoria Avenue school seems to understands the power of words, for surely in this day we understand that thing which are merely cultural must be tolerated. – especially when they are the dominant culture in that school.

Some Christians support her stand against the Lord’s prayer in schools or public places but they do not realise that they are coming from a different angle. Holiness for them is for the holy, for the prayer to have real meaning it must be said in a certain setting and attitude, God’s working becomes dependant on our attitude, ourselves.
I’ve got news and it is the good news of the Christmas message. God does not depend on us, the words of hope which the Lord’s prayer has within it, may be the only glimpse into another way of thinking that those children might be unknowingly receiving by memorising the old ritual.
Listen to the first sentence. Our Father… – there is someone else outside our limited thinking who relates to us. - who is holy.
And the second sentence - Your kingdom come - what is this king and what is this kingdom like?
This king is the child of the Christmas story and the kingdom is seen when love prevails and peace and justice meet.
Words are powerful and word which can be taken and breathed into lives by the Holy Spirit is dynamic.
The exiled people of Israel in Babylon years before the birth of Christ, heard words of hope
Babylon was about to depart from being a world power and Persia, led by Cyrus, was about to take over. The new Persian regime would return the exiles to their lands. This God who looked so inadequate against the Babylonian gods has claimed his place. He is about to be enthroned. The King has returned -”your God reigns”. Israel is freshly energised, the time is coming to depart.
The prophet may be seen by some to just be saying words –nothing has changed. For the Babylonians its business as usual.
For the Israelites, they didn’t have any outward signs of anything different but they were getting a hope which was to propel them into a new place. –
When a people are depressed they accept things are the way that is stated for them by those who have power over them. Large numbers of people can be oppressed by a small group of rulers when they do not have the energy or imagination to see anything different.
But now comes a messenger announcing peace and good news to the ruined city. Everyone can see, the whole earth knows that streaming behind their Lord the people are going home

The numbness goes, the energy comes, like the elderly grandmother alone and almost giving up after a long illness when she hears the grandchildren are coming from England for Christmas. The waiting time she dreaded suddenly turns to hopeful anticipation and planning, she brightens up, her health improves she sees a new possibility opening up where before she stared at loneliness. They haven’t arrived yet but it makes a difference, a word has come.

A refugee after years in a camp where life has shrunk to a small area and daily needs, listens with disbelief to the news that at last a country will take him and the remnant of his family. Slowly the news sinks in, nothing has changed in his daily life – it will be three months before they go but now there is a new perspective. Life has changed dramatically in its dimension of hope, they sing and are joyful for they are being given a home. A word has come.

Hear the good news, light is shining and the darkness cannot overcome it, The shepherds and wise ones came to the baby and knelt, worshipped, for the only way to see a child was not to look up but to get down, get close, to look at him lying there. Immanuel they called him, God-with-us.

May be that’s why so few seemed to notice.
It was so ordinary, it was part of daily life, after all God is meant to be far away, suitably distant and holiness is not gurgling in a manger or is it?.

The light from this manger shines in the very dark places, in people and places we don’t expect.
Hear the good news and have hope, love is with us..
In a manager a new born baby sleeps contentedly, the Southern skies are full of stars and we dare hope peace is possible and the world can be made whole.

Rev. Margaret Anne Low

 

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