Reverend Neil Taylor - Podcast
Pause and Give Thanks

Pause and Give Thanks

July 31, 2021

Read Isaiah 51.1-6 & Matthew 16.13-20

Pentecost +12

There’s a lot of nuance in our scripture readings. Isaiah 51:1-6 references Abraham and Sarah as the rock out of which God’s people are fashioned. This matches the rock metaphor for Peter in the Gospel.

The promise of salvation and deliverance at the end of Isaiah 51:1-6 is extraordinary; this promise goes far beyond any temporal salvation. Isaiah is prophesying a salvation and deliverance that will survive even the decay of creation; it promises deliverance even in the face of death.

Isaiah’s prophesy looks ahead to our Gospel lesson. To a Messiah who establishes His church, not as a beachhead of political deliverance against the Romans or any other dominant world power. But as one which will prevail against the “gates of Hades” — or, less literally, the powers of death. Jesus will build a church,  that will not only prevail against the final horizon, but against the Satanic powers of death in our present age.

Peter: When the Rock Sunk Slowly

Peter: When the Rock Sunk Slowly

July 31, 2021

Read Matthew 14.22-36

Pentecost +10

In the Gospel reading, Jesus indeed calls to his disciples in the midst of the wild and restless sea, but Jesus does not beckon them away from the storm. Instead, Jesus’ voice calls them into the storm.

Hear and Do, O People

Hear and Do, O People

July 30, 2021

Read Matthew 22, 34-40

Pentecost +21

Stop for a moment, and close your eyes, and be mindful of God’s presence. What does it feel like for God to be near you? Perhaps it’s like the golden light of a sunrise shining through the window or like feeling safe and held, feeling unafraid.

As believers, in and followers, of Jesus, you and I are as close to God as our own mindfulness, as our own soul’s desire, as our own being.

When is a Miracle More Than a Miracle?

When is a Miracle More Than a Miracle?

July 29, 2021

Read Matthew 14:13-21

Pentecost +9

When is a miracle more than a miracle?
When it’s about discipleship.
Because discipleship is is rarely tidy, rarely practical, and never convenient.

However, discipleship may be a miracle in itself.

Who Am I, and What Am I Worth?

Who Am I, and What Am I Worth?

January 28, 2021

Read Matthew 13:44-58

Pentecost +8

The people who heard Jesus speak this parable understood the gravity and tension in his story. It is important that we understand what the pearl is, and who the merchant is, this is more than just another parable. Jesus says twice,“This is what the Kingdom of Heaven is like”. In other words, "This is what eternity is all about…”. So, let’s have a have a deeper look at what Jesus is saying about the Kingdom of God.

Early in the Morning

Early in the Morning

October 1, 2020

Read John 20:1-18

Feast of Mary Magdalene

Our Gospel text opens with the statement, “Early in the morning, while it was still dark...”. This is where the Easter story really begins, this is where our Christian faith begins, it begins in darkness. It begins with fear, bewilderment, pain, and a profound loss of certainty. The creeds, clarifications and commentaries we cherish nowadays came later. What came first were many variations on the same theme, such as, hope amid struggle.

Join me as we look at what happens when ordinary people brush up against an extraordinary God. What does it look like when broken, hungry humanity encounters a bizarre and inexplicable Love in the half-light of dawn.

Does Jesus Condone Weeds?

Does Jesus Condone Weeds?

September 26, 2020

Read Matthew 13:24-43

Pentecost +7

This story is about the Church. The Church is wheat and weeds both; however, we like to think we know who’s who. The big question is, why can’t we leave judging to God? What is it in human nature, that is somehow heightened in Christian human nature, that has to judge? Join me, as we ask the question: does Jesus condone weeds?

Small things make a Big Difference (Part Four)

Small things make a Big Difference (Part Four)

September 17, 2020

Our Habits

Read Romans 7

We want a big change and we want it now. But maybe taking your life in a new direction has a lot more to do with the little things. Join me, as we learn how to embrace the small things that make a big difference.

Small things make a Big Difference (Part Three)

Small things make a Big Difference (Part Three)

September 17, 2020

Our Words

Read Proverbs 18:12

We want a big change and we want it now. But maybe taking your life in a new direction has a lot more to do with the little things. Join me, as we learn how to embrace the small things that make a big difference.

Small things make a Big Difference (Part Two)

Small things make a Big Difference (Part Two)

September 17, 2020

One Thought

Read Proverbs 23:7

We want a big change and we want it now. But maybe taking your life in a new direction has a lot more to do with the little things. Join me, as we learn how to embrace the small things that make a big difference.

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