Your Will Be Done

Published: Sunday, 13 July 2014

your-will-be-doneThis is the fourth address in a series at ABC on 'The Lord's Prayer'. It was presented by Lucy Johnson on Sunday 13th July 2014.


I want you to picture something in your mind that you have always wanted. Not something trivial like a pony, but something that was out of your hands. As humans we don't do well when things are out of our hands. We get uncomfortable. We feel at a loss. Many of us become control freaks. When we can't control the big we try and control the little and when that doesn't work and we are at the end of ourselves, where do we go? Our free will is such a strange concept because often it can create tension rather than freedom.

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Your Kingdom Come

Published: Sunday, 06 July 2014

your-kingdom-comeThis is the third address in a series at ABC on 'The Lord's Prayer'. It was presented by Geoff Pound on Sunday 6th July 2014.

Some time back there was a fascinating article in the National Geographic that studied the differences between Canadians and Americans.

It highlighted the fact that Canadians are so often misunderstood and treated as if they are Americans.

But Canadians want to say to their neighbours: "We are different. There's more up here than the mountains, the Mounties, and the moose."

Canadians try and maintain their distinctiveness but living next to America is like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly the beast they're affected by every twitch and grunt."

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Hallowed Be Your Name

Published: Sunday, 29 June 2014

HallowedThis is the second address in a series at ABC on 'The Lord's Prayer'. It was presented by Lucy Johnson on Sunday 29th June 2014.

I grew up a Catholic. I attended Catholic school from grade 3 and as a part of the curriculum; we had chapel once a month. And once a term, we had reconciliation, where you go in and tell the priest your sins and he gives you penance to say to absolve you of your sins. The most common penance was to say the Our Father. And to me that's all this prayer found in the gospels meant. It was something I learnt by rot, but it had no meaning. This morning we are going to look at the meaning of just one part, but before we open the word together, let us pray...

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Our Father in Heaven

Published: Monday, 23 June 2014

lords-prayerThis is the first address in a series at ABC on ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. It was presented by Geoff Pound on Sunday 22 June 2014.

Ian Chappell once conducted an interview with the great West Indian cricketer,  Wes Hall.

Chappell asked:

“You’re just one of many champion cricketers that hail from Barbados....

How is it that such a small island has produced such a large number of top-class cricketers?

What's the secret?”

Without any hesitation Wes Hall said: “The answer is emulation.”

He elaborated: “With so many fine cricketers down through the years, every young boy has grown up wanting to be like them...

To bat like Gordon Greenidge, to bowl like Wes Hall, to field like Frank Worrell, to be an all-rounder like Sir Garfield Sobers.”

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Giving, Praying, Fasting

Published: Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Turtle CopyThis sermon was preached by Rev Keren McClelland at the Ashburton Baptist Church on 15 June 2014. 

Bible Reading: Matthew 6:1-18

It was the turtle painting which stopped me in my tracks this week. Swimming in an ocean of stars. Perhaps this is due to my family’s enjoyment of Terry Pratchett’s discworld series where it is imagined that universe as a flat disc… perched on top of four elephants… balancing on the back of a turtle. A crazy playful image reminding me not to take my view of the world so seriously.

At the same time as this image of infinite space I’m reminded of the quote by the poet Rumi “Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion”. Don’t be petty. There are infinite depths to be discovered within.

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God Made Known

Published: Sunday, 25 May 2014

This sermon was preached by Rev Chris Barnden at the Ashburton Baptist Church on 25 May 2014. The bible reading was from Acts 17:22-34.

In Luke's book of the Acts of the Apostles, Jesus told his disciples, " ... you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

As we read through the book, we can see Jesus' prediction being fulfilled progressively throughout Asia. The power of this new message about Jesus has transformed the lives of Jews in Jerusalem, then half Jews in Samaria, then spreading even to Gentiles like Cornelius in Caesarea and further into Asia Minor.

It's reached out and changed the lives of rich and poor, slaves and free, and women as well as men.

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The Cheek, the Shirt and the Load

Published: Sunday, 18 May 2014

This sermon was preached by Keren McClelland at the Ashburton Baptist Church on 18 May 2014. Listen to the PodcastThere are also small group study notes in the ABC Blog pages

Psalm 119:33-40;  Matthew 5:38-42

"Oh Man... was that passage written for me?" Abbie responded when I sent off the bible readings for today.

Wrangling three little girls with strong minds and independent spirits is not for the faint hearted. 

Nor is it the responsibility of just the immediate family.

Teaching the children in our communities the way to live a "good life", to be good people, will take creativity and graciousness in our speaking.

Two Athenian Philosophers were talking:

Dimitri: I've been thinking about your question, what does "good" mean, and I've got the answer - "good is acting on a just principle"

Tasso: By Zeus, student, you're full of surprises - you're starting to sound like a real philosopher. Just one last question: How do you determine just principles?

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You are the Salt of the Earth

Published: Sunday, 11 May 2014

salt of the earthThis address was given by Geoff Pound at ABC on 11 May 2014 and is part of the series in the Gospel of Matthew. It can be listened to on a podcast.

Reading: Matthew 5: 13-16 but especially v 13

You are the salt of the earth!

Already this morning we’ve started to give this metaphor a really good shake, wondering what Jesus meant in aligning us with this everyday picture.

So we ponder the way salt develops taste,

Salt’s role as a preservative.

When someone speaks of ‘salting the earth’ we’re talking purification.

There’s salt’s use as a fertilizer.

Ancient communities recognized salt as so basic for life that, salt was used as a currency.

The word ‘salary’ stems from the word ‘salt’ and we still speak of someone as being ‘worth their salt’.

So let’s keep this colourful image in mind and in our mouths as we consider Christ’s affirmation: “You are the salt of the earth.”

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