What do we do with those awkward passages about God judging, slaughtering and condemning us? Should we skip over them? Could they actually be worth our time because of the gritted teeth comfort they bring us? Find out as we open up James 5:1-6. Full disclosure, I'm aware I have actually skipped over James 4:13-17! I'm saving that for next week!
You gotta serve somebody. You may think you're just serving yourself, but James reminds us today that it goes much deeper than just self-serving or self-sacrifice. When we are confronted with that reality it can makes us grieve, but God's grace turns our grief to joy!
As we begin a new and short series on James 4-5 we are considering some of the vital signs of the Christian faith. There should be stark and striking indicators in the life of the Christian, but they often appear in the most ordinary of places like our wallets, our calendars and our to do lists! Today we consider wealth and our wants.
Are healthiness and happiness the same thing? Why do we naturally conflate happiness with how we feel, especially when the latest neuroscience suggests that the way our brains process our feelings are not always geared towards our best interests? What does God think about about our happiness in relation to our health? Can we find joy when we feel lousy? These questions we consider today as we consider Living with Sickness.
Who's to blame for my tooth decay? I may not be the best flosser, but tooth decay is ubiquitous amongst humanity, so is it really my fault? Who's to blame for the sickness of our world and what if we can't find the answer within our world? Today we consider the cause of our sickness as God sees it.
As we kick off a new term we are still in the grip of Corona chaos. We are very much surrounded by sickness and wishing that this illness would end. The good news is that it will end one day, along with all sickness and suffering. This term we will dive into the issues surrounding sickness and health to consider what God has to say about all of this, but we are going to start at the very end….
It’s fair to say that this term we’ve been a little critical of the disciples and their bumbling efforts to understand Jesus’ mission—even after his resurrection. Today as our series wraps up for Term 2, Peter the Apostle steps in to defend himself by hijacking Chapel.
Would you believe a story involving a kangaroo, a home invasion, a stray dog, an undercover cop and a baby? Maybe you’d believe some of the story, but not all of it, but what if believing required accepting the embarrassing details too? This is the vibe we can bring to the Ascension in Acts 1.
This week, TRAC’s Fellowship Captains, Meg Graham and Rebecca Scott combine forces to reconsider some of the misconceptions of Jesus’ Great Commission, and extract the key comforts of being accompanied to the very end of the age by the One who has all authority in heaven and on earth.
Why does Jesus ask Peter the same question three times? Is he hard of hearing? Peter gives the same answer three times. Is that answer wrong? Let's consider these question together in a poem of erratic measure!
When a big moment comes and goes how do you respond? Often we just go back to some sort of normality or mundane activity. We defrag while we do something on autopilot. Today we catch the disciples doing just that after their resurrection encounter with Jesus. Amidst this scene of normality they are reminded that even in the minutiae of life they need to be supplied by Christ.
Is seeing the only way to believing? Why does Jesus have scars and wounds on his resurrected body if he was into healing everyone else? And what's all this got to do with Mr Tyndall's yellow jacket? We'll see today that Jesus' scars continue to tell a story after Easter; a story which can be ours by believing.
What happened to Jesus after Easter? What's next? I get mixed responses to this question. Some students speak of him living on Earth till he grew old and then assuming he died like the rest of us. This seems to defeat the whole purpose of the resurrection doesn't it? As we start a new series in Chapel we'll consider that what comes next for Jesus is also what comes next for us.
As COVID-19 grinds everything to a halt, we are forced to take a break at Easter. But are we really at rest during this time of isolation or are we still all worked up? Today we consider the rest from work that God experienced after creating the universe and how the quest for real rest brings us to the foot of the cross.
Ruling and subduing our planet seems to come as second nature to humans, but how does that rule sit with our sinful nature? Even more vexing is that COVID-19 has made us feel ever more at the mercy of nature. How can Christ both restore our rule and our planet? We consider these questions in the penultimate talk in our Chapel series in Genesis 1.
The origin of humanity is a topic we treat with little to no scepticism these days. We assume we're just smoother, smarter monkeys. But should we be so nonchalant about our origins? Do our origins affect our future? What does the resurrection have to say on this matter too? This was the first of our Chapels to be streamed live on YouTube. You can check out the video here.
It's a basic feature of Christian belief that sin leads to death, but what was life like before there was sin? Particularly, as we consider Days 5 and 6 of Genesis 1 were animals dying? Did they eat one another and does that matter?
The Chicken and the Egg paradigm is nothing new, in fact some people see a similar problem that goes all the way back to the Genesis account. This is especially the case with Difficult Day 4. How can God create the sun after he has already created light? This seems baffling and backwards...
If the plant in the the Tyndall's living room dies is that bad? Is our natural world really as indifferent as we've been led to naturally believe? God doesn't think so, as we'll see on Day 3 of Creation. From bushfires and drought to dinosaurs and wombats, we'll see that there might just be more to the simplistic argument about the blind, pitiless indifference of nature.
As we arrive at Day 2 of God’s creative work we can begin to ask questions about whether the description God gives fits with what we now know about our world. Things might not always be as they seem, but can they still seem that way? We’ll hear what a toddler, Forrest Gump and Jesus Christ all think about this question of interpretation.
When I studied journalism at uni my media theory lecturer asked us what the most ubiquitous form of information in our country was. We argued over the prevalence of radio, print and TV (the Internet was only just becoming a thing then….sigh), but our lecturer replied that light was the most pervasive source of information. Funnily enough, my lecturer had tapped into a biblical truth that God revealed on Day 1.
It’s funny how easily we write off what we haven’t read. As God’s creative masterpiece in Genesis 1 gets underway we read afresh what we might have written off, without reading more than God gives us to read.