confession Tag

A few weeks ago the minister of the church where I attend gave me a call. He'd heard that I had written a song based on 'Kupu Whakapono', the new confession of faith that the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand adopted in 2010. I confessed I had, but that I did not recommend it. The reason I said, was that at that stage I didn't really have a clue how to write songs for...

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Palm Sunday is the last stop for most of us on the way to Good Friday. If this were your first time around the story, you would have no idea what lies just a few short days in the future. The tone is exultant, the mood is jubilant. Israel's Messiah has arrived to take charge, the new king to rule and make things right is here! Of course, most of us are not on this journey...

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Did you know 2016 was pre-named 'The Year of Mercy'?  I'm not sure who bestowed this title or what it inspired or even how we indeed review it.   But a cursory glance at the news - local, nation or international you could easily conclude that nothing much has changed.   The world is still tired and frayed at the edges.  Good news still travels much slower than a sensational news headline.  And peace for so much of the earth is still...

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  The story of the Good Samaritan is one of Jesus' best known parables. It has become part of the fabric of western culture. It is held up to celebrate high ideals of humanity, brotherhood, sisterhood and community.  Somehow though, we've stopped listening.  We've heard that one before.  We get it.  Thanks. I wonder then, might Jesus want to use such a story to show us something new of himself today.  With this in mind I revisit Luke 10....

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  Over the past five weeks I have been writing somewhat of an extended book review of Henri Nouwen's 'The Return of the Prodigal Son - A Story of Homecoming'.  Through it I have explored the story Jesus told in Luke 15 and Rembrandt van Rijn's depiction of the story's human landscape. At the risk of spoiling Nouwen's conclusion, or worse, not being able to do it justice, I offer my own reflection on what I've...

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  I have started reading Henri Nouwen's 'The Return of the Prodigal Son- A Story of Homecoming' (1992). I have not moved past the prologue.  It documents the beginning of Nouwen's fascination with Rembrandt van Rijn's painting 'The Return of the Prodigal Son' and how the painting became so spiritually significant to him. I was intrigued that although Nouwen describes the embrace of the Father as central to the painting, he is quick to point out the...

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  Sometimes the right word will carry a whole lot of weight. It will cut right to the heart of the matter. For me, one such word is surely.  It is a word for light in dark times; a word that forms a hinge in prayer, turning the pray-er toward God. Two of the Lectionary texts this week involve dark and uncertain places for real people. Jesus prays for his disciples around the table before he is...

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Here's a message I shared at Omokoroa Community Church last Sunday. You can warm up by reading Psalm 32:1-7. Many of you will have heard that something noteworthy happened in New Zealand Cricket last week. For the first time in our 84 years of being a Test playing nation, someone scored 300 runs, by themselves. Brendon McCullum, Black Caps captain, batted across 3 days for 750 minutes to bring this up. You could watch the LOTR...

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If you've heard me speak anytime in the last couple of months, no doubt you heard me banging on about Lazarus and his sister Mary, and her recklessly inappropriate gift to Jesus. You can read about it in John 12 if you want. I have stayed with this passage because every time I have made to move on, it has said something new to captivate and capture my attention. For a long time I have been...

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