22 September 2024
Bible readings for today
E te Atua māhaki,
hōmai he whakaaro kia warewaretia
ngā pānga hē me ngā kino,
he hiahia ki te rapu i ngā painga o ētahi atu,
he ngākau e kī ana i te aroha;
mō te korōria o tōu ingoa tapu.
Give us, we pray you gentle God,
a mind forgetful of past injury,
a will to seek the good in others and a heart of love;
for the glory of your holy name.
Who will be the greatest? (Mark 9: 30-38)
Today Jesus reminds us about what greatness looks like in God's eyes.
"Then Jesus put a little child among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not only me but also my Father who sent me.”
These words from Mark 9 are at the heart of our children and families ministries, across the church. Its the 'go-to' passage for us, reminding us of the welcome and embrace of God for those most vulnerable in society.
Bishop Eleanor sermon
In this sermon, Bishop Eleanor speaks about the Mark 9 passage, and about a theology of childhood.
"I tend not to think that Jesus had some sort of crystal ball awareness of the rough journey that dwelled ahead of him. Like many who have given up their lives in the service of truth and justice (I think of Martin Luther King and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, martyrs; perhaps Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki, too: Google is your friend!) he knew that his trajectory of justice-proclamation, pricking the skins of religious and societal hypocrisy, was soon going to turn to tears. Yet in the midst of that apprehension he turns to one of the most powerless and defenceless in the community and defines the child as a symbol of his own vulnerability and the vulnerability of his gospel. Jesus risked vulnerability, the vulnerability epitomized by a child. The Church, sadly, has in many cases failed horrendously in its duty of care to these icons of Jesus, the vulnerable children. It has failed, too, in its vocation to vulnerability, pontificating instead from assumed positions of power. The two failures are entwined. But let’s reflect on that when we strike passages about millstones and necks and deep oceans. For now let’s just remember that we are called to be vulnerable, not powerful, and to proclaim justice and compassion, not self-preservation." - Michael Godfrey, Dunedin Diocese
David Tombs, Fiona Hammond and Diana Abercrombie join Rev Michael Godfrey for a spirited discussion about confused disciples, entering the Kingdom as a child, and the way Jesus flipped expectations upside down. With such eloquent and involved participants, this is a conversation that was difficult to edit down to 15 minutes!
Create your own psalm
During various Covid levels, our congregation was not allowed to sing, and we came up with creative ways to worship using the psalms.