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To the cross...and back

There is a wonderful children’s book called ‘Guess how much I love you’ by Sam McBratney, which has a baby rabbit explaining how much they love their parent. ‘I love you as high as I can hop’, says little rabbit. But his parent can hop much higher. Eventually he says, ‘I love you to the moon’, and then drifts off to sleep. At which point the parent says, ‘I love you to the moon…and back’.  I suspect we all want to be loved like that.Paul the Apostle wants the people of E...

July 10, 2024

What I was made for

Every now and then I hear someone say, ‘This is what they were made for.’ And it is usually a person who has discovered a line of work, sport or community involvement that they are totally committed to. This ‘thing’ has become so much a part of them that they cannot imagine doing anything else.Paul, the apostle, writing to the church at Ephesus said a similar thing except he framed it as ‘this is what God has set apart for me to do.’ And for him it was sharing the good news of God’...

July 2, 2024

What divides us

Two weeks ago my grandson and I were faced with a dilemma – which team did we want to win the Rugby Championship. He supports the Chiefs, and I was supporting the Hurricanes. Unfortunately for me, the Chiefs won, deservedly so. There was lots of banter and laughter and a “we won, you lost” ribbing. As I reflected on that event it occurred to me how sometimes our differences can drive us apart – whether they be sporting, political or geographical. And sometimes, as our tv’s show us, the...

June 25, 2024

More than we can imagine

It can be easy when we look at our world to think that this is all there is. What we touch, see, taste, smell or hear is all that counts. The tangible world, the physical world is the most important thing. And yet, according to surveys, many of us believe that there is something more, something spiritual that exists beyond our grasp. The Apostle Paul, writing to a small group of people in the ancient town of Ephesus, argued that in fact there is something more than we can ever imagine going on. ...

June 18, 2024

Pentecost

This Sunday we celebrate Pentecost when God pours his Spirit upon the disciples. Eugene Peterson notesGod gave us the miracle of congregation the same way he gave us the miracle of Jesus, by the Descent of the Dove. The Holy Spirit descended into the womb of Mary in the Galilean village of Nazareth. Thirty or so years later the same Holy Spirit descended into the collective spiritual womb of men and women, which included Mary, who had been followers of Jesus… The first conception gave us Jesus...

May 18, 2024

Still alive

Sometimes it can feel a bit like the role of the church is over, that it has nothing of value to offer. And to be fair the church has deserved some of the criticism it has received. Stories of abuse have tarnished all that the church stands for. Maybe religion is dead and so is God. What does the church have to offer us?This weekend Charles Hewlett, the national leader of the Baptist Churches of NZ will be sharing stories of the good news of Jesus at work in communities all around NZ in our serv...

May 7, 2024

Into the Unknown

Into the UnknownA popular movie theme is a group of people who set off on a journey into the unknown. Who knows what dangers, adventures and rewards might wait for them?  Following Jesus is a bit like that. Jesus calls us to a new way of living, of giving our lives for others so that they too might know of God’s love for them. And that can lead us to unknown places and to interact with people we would never normally associate with. Friends of ours discovered that following Jesus took them...

May 1, 2024

Looking for answers

We live in an age of uncertainty. The future is far from certain. Politics has become increasingly divisive, countries more willing to use force to achieve their goals and an environment that is experiencing enormous change. Even in our own country we face uncertainty with our economy with a government bringing huge change for so many. In a time of uncertainty what do we look to, to help us cope? What do you turn to, to help you cope? Maybe it is the hope of winning lotto, or some form of drug t...

April 24, 2024

Good, Good News

This week someone won $30 million. I wonder how hard it is for them to not let on to family, friends, and workmates. It’s the sort of news that makes you want to tell someone, maybe even a complete stranger. What do you do with good news? Do you want to share it with others?As Christians we believe that we have Good News, news so good we want to share it with others. News that offers hope and new life to others. We want people to hear that there is a God who loves them and wants the absolute b...

April 15, 2024

A single focus

There’s an old story about how the Zebra got his stripes. A horse discovered a magic cave which gave whoever entered whatever they asked for. “I wish I was jet black”, the horse whispered and hey presto he was as black as the night. But when he got outside, he wondered if maybe white was a better colour. So back into the cave he went, “I wish I was white”, and he was white and gleaming. But when he got outside, he thought that white wasn’t a very practical colour. Black would be bett...

March 12, 2024

Where is your treasure?

I wonder if you have in your house a special treasure. Maybe something given to you by a parent or grandparent and so it holds a special place in your life. Maybe you lock it up in a cabinet so that no-one can play with it and break it. This item has become a touchstone, a symbol of safety and security.Or maybe your treasure is treasure and you have spent a lifetime building up a nest egg for your retirement. I wonder if you have noticed that the more we attain the more time we spend protecting ...

March 5, 2024

Salt and light

Over recent months I have been undergoing chemotherapy and one of the side-effects is a change in how my taste bud’s work. Salt had become very salty, so much so, that I now have to ask for it to be removed from cooking, which is pain for other members of my family. It’s a great reminder of how salt both flavours and preserves the foods we are eating.  Jesus talked about his followers been salt helping to bring the flavour of God and to help preserve the values of the kingdom of God but...

February 20, 2024

Unplug plug-In

This week we begin a series looking at the sermon on the Mount, a famous message given by Jesus in which he challenged people to a new way of living based on the values of the kingdom of God. This series is appropriate as we head into the season of Lent, as we reflect on our relationship with God heading towards Easter. As part of that preparation, we are encouraging people to unplug and Plugin. Unplug from all the distractions we have in life and plug-in to some activities that will help feed o...

February 15, 2024

Encounters with God

Sometimes we struggle to see God’s love at work in the world around us. Especially in the face of war and suffering. But the biblical story reminds us that God is looking for ways to meet with those who are looking for him, and sometimes he does this in quite miraculous ways. In Acts 8 God sends a guy called Phillip all the way out into the desert just so he can meet an Ethiopian official in his chariot, who wants to learn more about Jesus. Rather than just been a chance encounter, God sets up...

February 7, 2024

We're starting up again.

mainly music kicks off again Wednesday 7 February 2024 from 10am. There is a small charge per family. This programme is a fun way for parents and their children to spend quality time together based around music and movement. It is an opportunity for us as a church to connect with and offer something back to the community of which we are a part. It’s also away for us to demonstrate care, concern and support for those with young children....

February 1, 2024

Changed

Have you ever had a surprise encounter that changed your view of things entirely. Perhaps you met a famous person and discovered that your impression of them was entirely wrong. Instead of been arrogant and stuck-up as you imagined, they were genuinely caring and humble.Saul, a character from the New Testament, had very definite views about Jesus. In fact, he held quite violent views about who Jesus was and what he represented. He was opposed to all Jesus stood for and had made it his mission in...

February 1, 2024

Advent - Love

This week is the fourth week of Advent, and the theme is Love.  This week is a reminder that God ‘moved into the neighbourhood’, became one of us, to show us just how much he loves us.Sometimes we may think of God as a big schoolmaster waiting for us to make a mistake so he can punish us. Such a view goes against what the Biblical story tells us about God.  John, one of the Apostles, wrote"This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why:...

December 19, 2023

Advent - Joy

This week is the third week of Advent, and the theme is Joy. I wonder what things give you joy. Maybe winning lotto, or maybe the birth of a child or grandchild. I wonder which would bring you the greatest joy.The birth of Jesus 2000 years ago was heralded by angels as an event of great joy, not just for the parents but for all people. This child, born in a stable, was going to cause people to rejoice, to celebrate, to sing. This child, once grown, would herald a new kingdom here on earth, the k...

December 12, 2023

Advent - Peace

This Sunday is the second week of Advent, as we prepare for the coming of Jesus.   Our theme for this week is Peace.  It seems a pretty far-fetched idea when we look at our world. Countries, nations, families, all at war with each other. How can we talk about peace? How can we dream for peace? Jesus was called the prince of peace and he called those who wanted to be his followers to be peacemakers – those who work for peace in their families and communities. I wonder what it mig...

December 5, 2023

Make a difference to a young life!

Help to make a difference this Kirihimete!We’re currently collecting new baby items to help support local families. These donations will go to The Nest Collective who work alongside social workers and other community partners to provide baby packs for free to families in need. You can drop new baby items (up to age one) to us till Sunday 17 December @ 77 Ruapehu St. NB Building is not always staffed sorry. Contact 04 2987766Thank you for helping us support babies and families this Christmas!...

December 5, 2023

Advent - Hope

This coming Sunday marks the beginning of Advent the time in the church calendar when we begin to prepare ourselves for the coming of Jesus at Christmas.Our theme for this week is Hope. Hope can be a bit of a nebulous thing – we hope in some abstract way that life will get better. I wonder what it is you are hoping for? Maybe with a new Government you hope that life will be better for you and your family. But hope in a Christian sense is based on the belief that God can and does step into our ...

November 28, 2023

Christ the King

This coming Sunday marks the official end of the church calendar year. The next Sunday will be the beginning of Advent, the start of the church year and the period of time when we prepare for the coming of the Christ, born as a baby in Bethlehem.  But back to this Sunday which is known as Christ the King Sunday.This Sunday as we finish the church year, we are reminded that Jesus is the King, We’re not really into kings much today especially here in Aotearoa/New Zealand. We like to be our ...

November 22, 2023

Learning to Lament

When we look around our world it is easy to see events that seem so terrible that we often are unsure how to express the way we feel.  And when we add in our own personal crisis’s sometimes, we struggle to find ways to put into words just how we feel. What language do we use? What words would help? Who do we express our frustrations and anger about it all to?The Psalms in the Bible have some particular ways of expressing such things. Called Psalms of Lament they became the community’s l...

November 15, 2023

We need each other

I have spent the last week in bed with Covid. Finally, after 4 years the dreaded bug caught up with me. Isolating at home and feeling terrible while you do it is not the best way to pass the time. Fortunately for our house we are part of a caring church community who have dropped off delicious meals and treats and made an effort to care for our wellbeing. It has reminded me how much we need each other and how easy it can be to take it for granted. Not everyone is so fortunate, there hundreds of ...

November 7, 2023

What defines your life?

I wonder what it is that defines your life. Maybe a desire for justice? Maybe concern for the vulnerable? Maybe a desire to be wealthy? Maybe wanting to have fame and fortune?  All of us have something that defines who we are, and which others see in us. A man of his word, someone light fingered, a dirty old man are all expressions used by others to define someone. So, when others look at you, what would they use to define you?Joseph is one of the few characters in the Old Testament whose c...

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