Fourth Sunday in Lent – John 9:1-41

We see what we want to see. We make assumptions and blindly go out on a limb thinking we can see the full picture. But we can't. All too often we operate in the darkness without seeing through the eyes of faith.

Jesus opened the eyes of the blind man - and not just his physical eyes. Jesus gave the man spiritual sight to see the fullness of who Jesus is in every aspect of life.

Jesus opens our eyes as we are washed in the waters of baptism and calls us to look to him as we navigate life with our spiritual eyes wide open and attentive to His voice.

  • Download and read the whole sermon as a pdf here

Third Sunday in Lent – John 4:5-42

The Cairns Post got pretty excited. Maybe you saw the headline on Monday that read: "As the Far North rebuilds, Prince William's visit proves a RIGHT ROYAL TONIC." Then it said "Not only did he lift our spirits, but Price William gave exhausted Far Northerners some memories that will last a lifetime."

Good on him for coming and lifting the spirits of people. Tired people who are worn out and wondering what the future holds for them and their families. I hope, as I'm sure you all do, that our neighbours here and south of us feel better for the experience.

Maybe the real question is: How long until they need more tonic? What are YOU thirsting for?

  • Economic stability?
  • A fulfilling relationship with God? Spouse? Child? Coworker?
  • Are you thirsting for medical care and healing? Renewal? Spiritual, physical, or emotional?
  • Do you thirst for a new body image?
  • Maybe your thirst eludes you, but all humanity thirsts. But where do we go to quench our thirst?

Things like self-help books, church programs, investments, insurance policies, gym memberships, medications, help to keep us dehydrated. And without doubt, many of these things are necessary for our lives BUT they can't replace what Jesus is offering to us, nor are they worthy of our complete trust. Only the living water Jesus offers effects a total renewal in you – from the inside out. It's a right royal tonic for the soul.

  • Download and read the whole sermon as a pdf here

Second Sunday in Lent – John 3:1-17

Read the following passages of Scripture:

These readings for today are like flashing neon signs that read, "You all need help (and that includes your pastor!) - and even though you're not the good people you claim to be sometimes - here I am to help you because I love you!"

We all have deep needs. If we strip away the petty problems and the superficial issues that bring you stress - the bad drivers and the recurring home repairs, the computer that's crashed again and even financial stuff that can be annoying. I'm asking you to think about the big issues in your life... like death, like your relationship with the God who will one day serve as your eternal Judge, like making it through this evil world with your faith still in tact, like giving your children or loved ones a lasting legacy that is more important and valuable than money.

Where does help like that come from?

For the Israelites' in the wilderness it came from a bronze snake on a pole - which if I'm honest I find quite a strange event! Even though they were whining endlessly and ungrateful - God, who sent the snakes, also sent the help! He sent help to deeply flawed people. And he did it on account of His burning and holy love.

Jesus answered, "Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit."

God looks at you today, not you by worldly definitions, but the person He created you to be. And He loves you with a love beyond human reason put into action in sending Jesus to die for you - to be lifted up high on the cross that you might look to Him in all things and live. Being born into the Kingdom of God is about real life, a full life. It's about living in your baptismal faith and daily looking up to where your help comes from - to Jesus - lifted up so you can live and walk in His love every day of your life. Amen!

  • Download and read the whole sermon as a pdf here

First Sunday in Lent – Matthew 4:1-11

The Inuit people of North America have a legend. This legend describes how they killed the wolves that threatened their communities and their property. In rather graphic terms, they describe how they are able to bring down a wolf simply by coating several layers of frozen blood on a sharp knife sticking out of the frozen arctic plain (between the ice cap and the tree line). It's believed that the wolf picks up the scent and, after circling the knife warily, begins licking the frozen blood. And as the wolf continues to lick faster and faster, the desire for blood drives the wolf wild. The craving for more and more becomes so great that the wolf never notices the sting of the sharp blade on his tongue as the blood he's consuming gradually becomes his own. Morning finds the wolf lying dead in the snow.

It's a graphic image of what happens when temptation leads to giving in and sin claims a victim. It's a gruesome reminder about the power of temptation and how temptation lures each one of us just as the bloody knife attracts the unsuspecting wolf.

  • Download and read the whole sermon as a pdf here