Our most recent family pic with only Andrew missing

Friday, November 28, 2014

Advent 1: When, O Lord...How much longer?

    In Isaiah, the prophet calls for God to appear decisively, to "tear open the heavens" so the nations would tremble and he also confesses the need for such decisive intervention -- the utter sinfulness of humanity, even of those who are part of God's covenant. Finally, he changes metaphors -- from earthly catastrophe to remaking , begging God to be merciful when God comes. We also call out to God...often...and ask Him to act decisively, don't we?

    The Psalmist records the people crying out for restoration from the midst of exile.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Advent Pastoral Letter: A Call to Discipleship

Dear Alberton Methodist and worldwide Family,

Happy New Year!

Happy Christian New Year, that is.

The first Sunday of Advent in 2014 is November 30, and we move into Year B of the lectionary. During this year of the three-year lectionary cycle, we will read through Mark's gospel, engage the stories of David's family, and spend considerable time in the epistles of Ephesians, Hebrews and James. In all this, my underlying focus is going to be DISCIPLESHIP. I have two reasons for this: firstly, discipleship is central to the Vision that

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Harvest Thanksgiving Service

Our Harvest and Thanksgiving Service for 2014 was celebrated on Sunday 26 October and is one of the highlights of my term here at Alberton Methodist Church.
My texts were:
 I preached on the different seasons of life, and the truth that in every season our LORD is extravagantly sowing His grace into our lives and into our situations, and that from every season (however dreadful or wonderful it may be), a good harvest is possible.
The children each sowed seed into seed trays which will grow into some of our Advent celebration, but more importantly, the progress of the growth will form the basis of my teaching and preaching on Discipleship, which I sense our LORD has called me to focus on as my season here at AMC begins to

Thanksgiving Day Prayer

Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

In preparation for our Harvest and Thanksgiving Service on 26 October here in Alberton, South

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Christ the King: The Jesus who says "Enter in" or "Go to Hell"

On Christ the King Sunday we remember that as well as having a Saviour, we have a King, and a king has a kingdom, a king has subjects, a king rules over those subjects and a king demands loyalty and obedience from those subjects. Jesus the King is no different. Sociologist and researcher Amy Sherman has said that Christians tend to have three models for interacting with society: fortification, accommodation, and domination. To put that in layman’s terms: We hunker down amongst ourselves,

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

John Wesley's Sermon on Judgement Day

This sermon sourced from here and 

slightly edited to make for easier reading

The Great Assize

By John Wesley

"We shall all stand before the judgement-seat of Christ." Romans 14:10

1. How many circumstances concur to raise the awfulness of the present solemnity! -- The general concourse of people of every age, sex, rank, and condition of life, willingly or unwillingly gathered together, not only from the neighboring, but from distant, parts; criminals, speedily to be brought forth and having no way to escape; officers, waiting in their various posts, to execute the orders which shall be given; and the representative of our gracious Sovereign, whom we so highly reverence and honor. The occasion likewise of this assembly adds not a little to the solemnity of it: to hear and determine causes of every kind, some of which are of the most important nature; on which depends no less than life or death, death that uncovers the face of eternity! It was, doubtless, in order to increase the serious sense of these things, and not in the minds of the vulgar only that the wisdom of our forefathers did not disdain to appoint even several minute circumstances of this solemnity. For these also, by means of the eye or ear, may more deeply affect the heart: and when viewed in this light, trumpets, staves, apparel, are no longer trifling or insignificant, but subservient, in their kind and degree, to the most valuable ends of society.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Last Sunday of Pentecost: Christ the King Sunday

Here are the Lectionary Readings for this Sunday, the last Sunday of the year, with a new year starting with Advent on 30 November.

Matthew and the Great Assize (read John Wesley's sermon on Judgement Day here), will be my focus as we look at the seldom preached truth that on Judgement Day, we will all be judged by our works,

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Pentecost 23: Oil in my Lamp

Now before you comment "Oil in my Lamp" was last week's lectionary Gospel focus, this week is the "Parable of the Talents" are quite right. However, I preached on The Parable of the Talents earlier this year in commemoration of the death of Nelson Mandela and last week I was still on sabbatical, so you can read "Parable of the Talents" here, and below is my sermon for this Sunday, but based on last week's Gospel reading.