Jesus resisted the temptation to force his will on the world, and he pioneered a pathway for us to similarly refuse the exploitation of power.
When Jesus heals, he is not seeking to minister solely to the individual, but to heal a sick culture, and the culture we live in needs his healing.
Jesus demonstrates the need to reflect on our results and reject the easy success and popularity that are built on meeting basic needs.
The culture of God is emerging in our present world, confronting us with a choice – do we cling to our allegiance to the cultures that have raised us or let go of them and embrace the culture of God.
Our freedom in Christ renders the law irrelevant as a factor in our relationship with God, but we are set free to grow into union with Christ, not to fall into new slaveries.
Our longing for God is met in the Holy Spirit who opens heaven to us and makes all things new.
The light of Christ reaches the world through those who will bear the wounds of love.
Jesus was born to reveal and fulfil what God had long sought to do; set people free to live joyously as God’s children.
The nativity story proclaims the basic themes of the gospel message; God enters into our suffering world as a victim of our violence, and is rejected by most but recognised by the nobodies.
As God’s people, we celebrate life in the face of death, because we know that the victory of life has been secured.
For both God and us, time can drag when waiting for change, but patience is salvation when forgiveness is offered as a means of change rather than as a reward for change.
Stories of life, worship and ministry from the new church we have helped to plant in Warrnambool, where more than half of the congregation are children.
God has created a world that becomes healthy, free and full of life when its nations honour and care for the most vulnerable. Nations that fail to build cultures of compassion and care are doomed to destroy themselves.
While many have a passive-aggressive relationship with God, the gospel gives us a vision of God that liberates us to live freely, expansively and joyously.
While we are called to be a sharing community and thus to have no need of worry for tomorrow, you can’t look to others to provide you with the fruits of a life lived in generosity and prayerfulness.
Jesus’s quest for reconciliation is far wider and more discomfortingly radical than our tendency to jump on the bandwagon of popular justice causes.
Today, as in Jesus’s day, two fundamentally different visions of God and God’s expectations compete. Jesus calls us to side with the one that centres on love rather than the one that centres on concerns for holiness.
Modelling ourselves on those who model themselves on Jesus is a healthy pathway to fulfilling the image of God within us.
God invites us to live joyously, boldly and freely in the midst of mystery, but we are frequently tempted to grasp for something more tangible and certain.
When we use the biblical law to reinforce a worldview of sin and punishment, we doom ourselves to live in a judgemental world, a world from which Jesus offers to break us free.