Tag Archive | Matthew

Sermon: Invitations and Excuses

Sermon given at St Luke’s Liverpool on Sunday 14/07/2013 from Matthew 22:1-14.

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Les Miserables (2012)

les-mis-posterLes Misérables
Rated M
Starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crow, Anne Hathaway

Les Misérables is one of those musicals I know a lot about but don’t know really well. About ten years ago my wife dragged me along to a local theater production of the show. But because of the joys of low budget sound systems and amateur performers, I didn’t really understand what was going on. There was a big wall made out of furniture and some guys with guns singing about a revolution. I was a bit lost. So going into the big screen version of Les Misérables, I was after one thing – to take all these songs that I’ve heard a million times on singing based reality TV shows and give me a story that can grab me by the heart and make me care.

Well, at least the singing was good.

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The Resurrection is not a Zombie Story

(This article originally was posted 16th of April 2010)

When there’s no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth

George A Romero’s 1978 movie Dawn of the Dead is considered a horror classic. The dead have dug their way out of their graves and are slowly lurching around as horrific zombies. They’re not quite dead. And not quite alive. When done right, zombies are very, very scary.

It seems these days that zombies are very popular. They seem to be every where in books and movies. So much so that they’ve even started invading classic literature. I’m not sure what Jane Austen would think if she was to read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Zombies have even found their way into the Christian realm. Professor Farnsworth on Futurama would use the phrase “Sweet Zombie Jesus” as an exclamation.

There’s even the Stinque Zombie Bible Project, a website where people are encouraged to go through the Bible and add zombies to people’s favourite verses. For example, John 3:16 now reads For God so loved the world, that he made His Son a zombie, and whoever is bitten by the Son shall also become zombie and be undead everlasting.

Quite frankly all this zombie stuff is nonsense. Jesus was not, is not, and never will be a zombie

The resurrection is not a zombie story. When people talk of Jesus as a zombie, what they’re doing is trying to discredit and ridicule the Christian faith. They’re not taking the resurrection seriously. They’re turning it into a joke

The resurrection is essential to the Christian faith. It’s the thing that holds everything together. If Jesus did not rise from the dead as a fully alive person, then Christianity is a waste of time. We can’t treat the resurrection like a zombie story. It’s a story where the dead become alive. It’s the story that can bring you life.

Check out Matthew 28 and read what really happened on Easter Sunday.

The Rum Diary (2011)

The Rum Diary

Rated M

Starring Johnny Depp and Aaron Eckhart

A red plane flying careless and free in the bright blue sky. Not a single cloud in he sky. Below, a shimmering clean ocean on a beautiful day. Cut to Johnny Depp’s darkened hotel room. The room is a mess and so is Depp. His blood-shot eyes and dishevelled appearance give us some indication of the horrendous hangover he’s experiencing. This is the opening scene of The Rum Diary and it establishes the identity of this film pretty quickly. This movie shows us two very different sides to Puerto Rico in 1960. One side is beautiful and carefree and rich. The other is dirty and struggling a poor. How these two sides coexist shows us a perspective on Western culture that should make us uncomfortable and question how we perceive ourselves and the world.

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Am I Going To Heaven? Part 3: What Are The Entry Requirements For Heaven?

When I was a younger man, I used to go nightclubbing with my mates. And because my house was the closest to the club we liked to go to, everyone would meet at my place. Once all the boys were gathered, we’d do “The Check”. “The Check” involved making sure everyone was dressed properly. Because the club had a dress code. And if you didn’t meet the dress code, they wouldn’t let you in. You had to be wearing proper shoes (sneakers didn’t count) and you needed to wear a button up shirt. If anybody didn’t have one of these, they would raid my wardrobe. Once everyone was sorted, we’d head to the club. We didn’t want to risk showing up to the club without “The Check” because if we didn’t meet the requirements for entry, then they wouldn’t let us in.

If proper shoes and a button up shirt were the entry requirements for the club, what are the entry requirements for heaven? I don’t want to rock up to the gates of heaven, only to find out I missed something and get knocked back.

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Just Is a Four Letter Word

There are certain words you just don’t use. Most of them are four letter words. You know what words I’m talking about. You don’t need me to tell you what they are. There’s this one four letter word that I have a particular problem with. It’s a word that is perfectly fine in some situations, but when used in other situations it gets me really worked up. I’d like to see this word banned from these situations. Crossed out of the dictionary and never used that way ever again.

That word is “just”.

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Justin Bieber Must Die!

Look, I’m just going to put it out there. What I’m about to say won’t win me any friends or make me Mr Popular on the internet. But you need to hear this.

Justin Bieber bashing is not cool.

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Sermon: The Great Commission

What do you do after Easter? Jesus has risen from the dead. Now what?

I gave this sermon at St Luke’s Liverpool the week after Easter. Matthew 28 is often used to tell people to go out and evangelise. Which is good and true. But there’s so much more going on in this passage.

Matthew 28_16_20

The Resurrection

One of the great privileges of going on Moore College Mission is preaching to a group of people you’ve only just met. This year on mission I preached to the morning congregation at Wee Waa Anglican Church.

My topic was the Resurrection.

Matthew 28 1 15

The Resurrection is not a Zombie Story

When there’s no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth

George A Romero’s 1978 movie Dawn of the Dead is considered a horror classic. The dead have dug their way out of their graves and are slowly lurching around as horrific zombies. They’re not quite dead. And not quite alive. When done right, zombies are very, very scary.

Read More…

Sermon: The Arrival of the King

Is Jesus the king?

Why should I care?

Why do the crowd get so excited over a man on a donkey?

Why does Jesus go berserk in the Temple?

All these questions and more are answered in my sermon on Matthew 21

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CHERUB: The Recruit by Robert Muchamore

Think back to when you were a kid. For some of you this will be an easier task than for others. Remember how it felt. Did you ever feel like you were ignored? That no one ever paid attention to you? Most of us have felt like that at some stage. Now what if you could harness this “power” for good? Could a kid be the ultimate spy, able to slip around unnoticed and help take down the bad guys?

That’s the idea behind the CHERUB series of books by Robert Muchamore. Sometimes the best spy for the job is a 11 year old.

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Watchmen #9

Watchmen #9

Watchmen #9

Don’t you see the futility of asking me to save a world that I no longer have any stake in?

Say there is a God. Say he did create the universe. Is he still around? Is he still at work in his creation? Or did he wind it up and leave it to run by himself while he nicked off for a beer?

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Sermon: Jesus The Real Deal

Yesterday at Church I spoke on Matthew 8:18-34. Focussing on the story of Jesus calming the storm, I wanted to show that a) Jesus had real power and authority, greater than any man and b) Jesus is someone worth following unconditionally.

Alice Cooper: It’s Much Too Late

DragontownI once used the Alice Cooper song It’s Much Too Late for a high school chapel service. Each student was passed out a sheet of paper with the name of the song and the lyrics printed on it. I asked anyone if they knew who Alice Cooper was. Most of the teachers put up their hands. And one student. Just one. I was pretty sure he was just trying to get some attention. So I told him if he could tell me, I’d give him a couple of minties. His reply? “She’s a poet.” Me and the teachers laughed because he got it wrong on both counts. He is a popular rocker from the 70s and 80s. But some of my favourite work of Alice’s comes from this century. Like It’s Much Too Late.

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