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John Hebenton's Podcast

Author: John Hebenton

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Sunday sermons preached at St. George's Anglican Church, Gate Pa, Tauranga. These are mostly based on the RCL Lectionary readings for that Sunday, with a few variations for our own lectionary in this Province, and special events here at Gate Pa.
316 Episodes
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Mary Our Icon

Mary Our Icon

2020-12-2224:47

John uses Luke 1:26-38  and the Magnificat to explore  who is Mary. How does this help us appreciate her role helping us be a disciple and live the way of love this Covid Christmas.What does Mary teach us about the way of loveWhat difference does that make as we look to celebrating this ChristmasNotes for this sermon can be found at https://colourfuldreamer.blogspot.com/2020/12/mary-our-icon.html  #LEARNThis SundayAs we listen to the story Of Mary The peasant girlSummoned to beMother of the saviour Mother of God .She had no choiceIt was not an invitation But she did more than complyWhat did she learn In those next months daily reminded if the perilous task Given herWhat did she learnOver those next years aboutGod's faithfulnessAnd the way of love. What do we learn From this wahine toa About our responseLiving and loving As disciples today -          #AdventWord2020
Witnessing to Joy?

Witnessing to Joy?

2020-12-1520:13

This has been a hard year for some. How have we done? In light of that - What is joy? How do we nurture the seed of joy God plants within each one of us this year? How do we witness to joy?What brings God joy?The notes for this sermon can be found here
Wilderness Peace

Wilderness Peace

2020-12-0821:39

John uses Isaiah and Mark to find hope and peace in this hard year. A wilderness year. Isaiah and Mark are all about the wilderness.If there was ever a year we need Isaiah it is this year. We hear worlds of hope for a people lost in the chaos and trauma of the exile, with words of God coming ready or not. So what does that mean for us preparing and waiting through this time of Advent? We hear John the forerunner speaking words from the wilderness inviting us to repent, to see our world differently and to live in this world differently.In what ways do we act as a forerunner?What does that mean for us as people living in our COVID-19 wilderness?The notes for this can be found here
John asks "What’s the Deal with the Reign of Christ Sunday?"He then explores that For Matthew the reign of Christ is described in Sermon on Mount and how that helps us read this last story of the final teaching block - the parable of the sheep and goats. How does this help us glimpse what the kingdom of heaven and the reign of Christ looks like.In light of that do we act to earn something, because it is the right thing to do, or because that is just who we are?
Talented Talents

Talented Talents

2020-11-1624:55

For nearly the last year we have been listening each week to Matthew' s Jesus story, where he states his understanding of who Jesus is-         How Jesus reveals nature of God-         What reign God- kingdom of heaven looks like-         taught by Jesus in sermon of Mount and particularly Beatitudes-         lived and teased out – rest of gospelJohn asks in light of that how do we read the parable of the talents we heard this morning?Then we explore three ways of reading the parable of the Talents. Rather than picking the right interpretation, how do these three ways of reading this parable deepen your understanding of it, and how does that help you hear what it might mean for your life today?The notes for this sermon can be found here
Hurrying up to Wait

Hurrying up to Wait

2020-11-1016:10

A discussion and sermon about Matthew 25:1-13, the parable of the bridesmaids, some foolish and some street-wise. We explore people’s reactions and questions and what this reading offer us in these times?John suggests we are invited to get ready to live lives of active waiting for reign of God, living for the long haul but looking for the surprising breakouts of the God’s justice, mercy, compassion and generosity.The key questions then are:What are we waiting for?How do we wait?The notes for this sermon can be found here
John uses the Deuteronomy reading and Martin Luther King Jr.’s use of it in his last sermon as a springboard to explore our vision of the “Promised Land”. We as a church have left Egypt and are in the wilderness, a place to be reminded of God's faithfulness and steadfastness.; that God sustains and nurtures us, and leads us to the promised land. In light of that, where are we heading to and hoping for? What shapes that vision and hope?As we watched this video of the "I Have a Dream" speech, people are invited to prayerfully reflect on their vision of the promised land, and how we are invited to do to live that out
God's Image

God's Image

2020-10-2219:12

Bonnie Hebenton uses stories from the last week to explore what it means for us to be made in the image of God. She finishes by inviting us to look for God's image in others this week.You can read John's thoughts on this here
John explores how Matthew 22:1-14, the story of the King and the wedding feast,  is NOT a story about the nature of God and kingdom of Heaven. He suggests it is instead a critique of how Chief Priests and Jerusalem elite view the reign of God and their place in itJohn invites people to:reflect on the ways are we like the ungrateful one who did not wear the wedding robeIn what ways are we like chief priests and Jerusalem eliteAnd what might we need to let go of to really join the partyYou can read the notes for this sermon here
We finish the Season of Creation by celebrating St. Francis of Assisi’s love of creation and all creatures who share this home with us. He lived a life of penance, making room for God and letting go of all that prevented him experiencing divine love within creation. He lived a life of penance so that he might make room to live God’s love for allJohn wonders, as we finish this season and give thanks for our pets and all creation, what might we need to let go of, and what might we need to pay attention to as we continue to make room for God?The notes for this sermon can be found here
Celebrating St. George

Celebrating St. George

2020-09-2818:14

Faye Mayo and David Elliot talk about St. George - the immigrant and the healer. We then have a conversation about what new thought stood out for us in what has been presented, and what having St. George as our patron saint offers us as a parish
During this Season of Creation, we are being invited to re-examine how we answer – whose are we, who are we, and what is ours to do? If God is the creator and Sustainer of all, who through the love for all creation lived in Jesus is renewing and restoring humanity and all creation – then who are we and what is ours to do?There are many competing claims to how we answer this which constantly call us away from seeing this world as gift and our calling to live in such a way that we join God’s work of sustaining all life – Loving God by loving our neighbours – all creation – as ourselves. In light of all that John invites people to see that living in reverence for God’s creation and all who share our common home is a core part of being a follower of Christ. In what ways do we not live this out, and what new ways of living are we being invited into.You can find the notes to this sermon here
We continue with another Season of Creation living in the shadow of Covid-19.This sermon is part of the online service on September 13th, 2020, for the Anglican Parish of Gate Pa, Tauranga, New Zealand.Using both the readings set down for the 24th Sunday of Ordinary Time and those for the Season of Creation John suggests this season reminds us of the centrality of safeguarding the integrity of creation in the mission of God. In light of that we are invited to offer hope and an attitude of reverence to action around Climate Change, rather than fear and hopelessness.You can read the notes to this sermon here
We enter into another Season of Creation living in the shadow of Covid-19.This sermon uses both the readings set down for the 23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time and those for the Season of Creation John offers a biblical base for giving priority to the common good and living for and in communion with all creationHe explores what it might mean to be liberated by/take up our cross and follow Jesus and What kind of world are we being liberated into?He suggests that maybe it is to be liberated from placing ourselves at the centre. Maybe it is to be liberated from seeing the point of creation is to serve humanities needs, rather then seeing that we join God in meeting the needs of creation.In this election year in New Zealand-          How will these issues affect how we vote-          What we vote for"this is the season for letting our prayer be inspired anew, ” a season “to reflect on our lifestyles ,” and a season “ for undertaking prophetic actions . . . calling for courageous decisions . . .directing the planet towards life, not death."The notes for this sermon can be found here
Jesus the Liberator

Jesus the Liberator

2020-08-3116:46

For most of this year we have ended the prayer for the day with “Through Jesus Christ our Liberator”. What we mean by naming Jesus our liberator?All of this weeks passages (Exodus 3:1-15, Romans 12:9-21, Matthew 16:21-28) speak in some way of Liberation. John uses these passages to explore what we are liberated from and what we might be liberated into, and how they might speak about our place on this hill in Gate Pa, and the events happening around us including BLM and the creation of a Maori Ward in Tauranga Moana.He finishes by inviting people to reflect onWhat we mean by naming Jesus our liberator?What are we being liberated from?What are we being liberated into?The notes for this sermon can be found here
Whose Are We?

Whose Are We?

2020-08-2513:26

Use my three questions to explore Matthew 16: 13-20, and nods to the bold women in Genesis and Paul’s renewal of mind.The three questions are -·        Whose are we?·        Who are we?·        What is ours to do?In light of all that - where have we experienced/received God’s abundant generosity and compassion? What difference does that make?You can find the notes to this sermon here.
More than One Way

More than One Way

2020-08-1816:50

John explores how there is more than one way to understand most things-         Lock down-         Quarantining-         Jesus treatment of the Canaanite womanIn all this lockdown level 2 means for us, let us take hold of sheer gift and abundance God’s blessing in this time.What gift do this weeks readings offer us as we settle into level 2.The notes for this sermon can be found here
Bits and Peaces

Bits and Peaces

2020-08-1124:18

Having a conversation exploring Peace Sunday from the perspective of the story of Jesus walking on the raging sea. Where do we here Jesus say “Be encouraged. It is I. Do not be afraid.” today?You can read the notes for this sermon here
Join the Right Party

Join the Right Party

2020-08-0420:11

John asks who are our role models of faith in the bible? For some it is Jacob, who wrestles with God for his whole story. We are invited to wrestle with the story of Jesus being compelled to act, out of compassion, getting the disciples to feed 5000 men plus women and children. ·         How does that help us into our celebration of eucharist?·         What does that mean for us today?We are invited to wrestle with what to do with this invitation – you feed them!The notes for this sermon can be found here
What is the kingdom of heaven like?A careless farmer wasting his seedA gorse bush? Yeast hidden is vast quantities of flour? What images would we use and how do we make sense of these images?How do these images help us see see the reign of God/Kingdom of Heaven breaking into our world today?You can read the notes here
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