Luke 2: 41-52

Has anyone seen the television program Fake or Fortune?

Those of you who have seen it will know that it centres around a single, crucial question: is this or that artwork a fake or a masterpiece?  Is this picture a Turner landscape, or is it a 19th century fake? Is this portrait a Van Dyke original, or is it a later copy? Was this depiction of a classical scene painted by an Old Master, or by one of his students? Continue reading “Luke 2: 41-52”

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Advent 4C – Micah 5: 2-5a

I’d like to ask you to stop and think about something for a moment.  When you hear the word “joy”, what associations or concepts spring to mind? What does “joy” mean to you?

Once you’ve done that little mind exercise, I’d like you to try another: having thought about the things you associate with “joy”, can you tell me what the opposite of “joy” is? If there are things and conditions you associate with “joy”, what do you associate with its opposite? Continue reading “Advent 4C – Micah 5: 2-5a”

Advent 1C – Luke 1: 39-45

PRESCRIPT: During the current Advent season, we at Mountview Uniting Church have been on something of a journey, exploring a more informal, conversational, and yet meditative style of worship.  This journey has been marked physically as well as liturgically; gradually, over the course of the season, we have changed the space within our church, re-arranging the pews so that they have morphed from the “classic” forward-facing set-up to an “in the round” configuration.  This has been done to symbolise the “breaking in” of God’s grace into the world proclaimed by the Annunciation; the gradual growth of love which is mirrored in Mary’s developing pregnancy; and, finally, the creation of new life and new possibilities for life consequent on God’s love enveloping human reality in the Incarnation.  What all this means is that the sermons for the Advent season which I have been preaching are less formal, more conversational; and while I can’t replication the conversation here, this is indicated by the questions that are posed in the text of each sermon.

I would like to ask those members of the congregation who have been parents to go back to the time when either they or their partner was pregnant.  What were your dominant thoughts and feelings at this time? Continue reading “Advent 1C – Luke 1: 39-45”