Give to Caesar…

Rev Michael Barnes 7/4/19 Tax – What did it mean in 1st century Israel? In considering what tax meant in 1st century Israel, put aside all thoughts about the way tax works today. Today, tax is levied by a democratic government, elected by the people, and it is used for the well-being of the nation.

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Lament

Rev Michael Barnes, 17/3/19 Lament – a pathway to deconstruct the world At a personal level, change is difficult and demanding; at a social level, much more so. Most often, we adopt programs and strategies to help move toward desired goals. They are helpful but on their own usually prove ineffective. It’s a strange fact

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Journeying Points

Rev Michael Barnes, 3/3/19 Turning Points Jesus set his face to go to Jerusalem. (Lk 9:51). ‘Setting one’s face’ is an unusual expression; it means single-minded, resolute focused, determined… For Jesus, it was also fateful. Confronting the religious and political leaders in Jerusalem would cost his life. This moment marked a turning...

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Blessed are the Leaners; Woe to the Lifters

Rev Michael Barnes, 17/2/19   Blessed are the Leaners; Woe to the Lifters Today’s reading is surprising. Jesus’ blessings do not correlate with a person’s character. Rather, they refer to economic and social circumstances, ‘Blessed are the poor.’ This is odd. We assume that a person’s behaviour and values are an accurate measure of...

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Swamped By Grace

Rev Michael Barnes- 10/2/19 ‘Put out into Deep water’ ‘Simon, put out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch,’ said Jesus. ‘Master, we’ve worked all night long but caught nothing.’ (Luke 5:5) Alternatively, Simon might have said, ‘I’ve worked all night and need some sleep;’ ‘I do know what I’m doing

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Infuriated By Grace

Rev Michael Barnes, 3/2/19 You Can’t Return Home Home is utterly important. It’s where we are first loved and learn how to love; where we develop a sense of who we are and how to relate to others; where we imbibe important values and form an intelligible worldview. Home is crucial; it may also constrain

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Blessed Are The Meek (’cause they have a hell of a time)

Rev Michael Barnes, 27/1/19 Prayer Reflection Who made the swan and the black bear? Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, I mean — the one who has just flung herself out of the grass, who is eating sugar out of my hand, moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down gazing around

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