I asked AI to summarise my sermon for me...


  • Defining moments are moments that may have changed the course of our lives or helped shape our identity. Examples include knowing our career path, being accepted or rejected, finding a spouse, solving a difficult problem, and experiencing a major life crisis.
  • These moments can be both positive (joy, moments of sadness) and negative (tragedy).

Section 1: Jesus' Baptism

  • Jesus' baptism was a defining moment in his life, marking the beginning of his ministry.
  • The moment of Jesus' baptism (Spirit descending as a dove, voice affirming Jesus' identity) sent Jesus on his way and led to the moment of the voice from heaven, the affirmation and the Spirit driving Jesus to the wilderness.
  • There was a brief moment of hesitation and John initially objected to baptizing Jesus, but Jesus insisted on continuing, saying it was proper for them to fulfill all righteousness.
  • Jesus chose to be baptized, even though he was sinless, as a way of submitting to and discovering God's will and following his plan. It was a public declaration of his identity and commitment to fulfilling God's purpose for his life.
  • This choice to follow God's will, even though it would lead Jesus down a difficult path, demonstrates his trust in God's plan and his faith in action.

Section 2: The Significance of Baptism

  • For people to be baptized by John the Baptist at the Jordan river was a sort of protest, symbolizing a journey back to the promised land and a rejection of Rome.
  • Many of Jesus' actions in the New Testament can be seen as re-enactments of Old Testament events and moments.
  • The Pharisees and Sadducees were already suspicious of Jesus and his supposed messiahship, and his baptism only heightened their suspicions.
  • However, Jesus' baptism also demonstrated his solidarity with humanity and his willingness to bear the weight of their sin.


  • Defining moments can shape our identity and direction in life.
  • Jesus' baptism was a defining moment for him, as he chose to submit to and follow God's will, even though it would lead him down a difficult path.
  • Understanding the significance of baptism helps us to understand this moment and its importance in Jesus' life and ministry.

Season of Creation - Year B (2021, 2024, 2027, 2030 etc.)

This year at church we will be following the 'Season of Creation' lectionary in September.

 Year 2. Series B: The Word Series (year of Mark)

The second series focuses on those texts where the Word is the impulse that summons forth creation, evokes praise from creation and stirs life in creation.

Earth Sunday (5 Sept 2021)
Genesis 1:1-25
Psalm 33:1-9
Romans 1:18-23
John 1:1-14

Bible Readings

Humanity Sunday (12 Sept 2021)
Genesis 1:26-28
Psalm 8
Philippians 2:1-8
Mark 10:41-45

Bible Readings

Sky Sunday (19 Sept 2021)
Jeremiah 4:23-28
Psalm 19:1-6
Philippians 2:14-18
Mark 15:33-39

Bible Readings

Mountain Sunday (26 Sept 2021)
Isaiah 65:17-25
Psalm 48:1-11
Romans 8:28-39
Mark 16:14-18

Bible Readings

2 Minute Bible Studies - 1 Timothy 1

 People don't have time for long Bible Studies - so I'm trying this...

See how it goes:

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, 

To Timothy, my loyal child in the faith: 

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 

I urge you, as I did when I was on my way to Macedonia, to remain in Ephesus so that you may instruct certain people not to teach any different doctrine, and not to occupy themselves with myths and endless genealogies that promote speculations rather than the divine training that is known by faith. But the aim of such instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith. Some people have deviated from these and turned to meaningless talk, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make assertions. 

Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it legitimately. This means understanding that the law is laid down not for the innocent but for the lawless and disobedient, for the godless and sinful, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their father or mother, for murderers, 10 fornicators, sodomites, slave traders, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching 11 that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me. 

12 I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service, 13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the foremost. 16 But for that very reason I received mercy, so that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display the utmost patience, making me an example to those who would come to believe in him for eternal life. 17 To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. 

18 I am giving you these instructions, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies made earlier about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, 19 having faith and a good conscience. By rejecting conscience, certain persons have suffered shipwreck in the faith; 20 among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have turned over to Satan, so that they may learn not to blaspheme. 

I got bumped in the parking lot - But I'm OK

When I was young my dad had a little orange beach buggy bakkie that had a dent in its side panel.  It had a clever bumper sticker:  

I got banged in the parking lot by some other trucker.

Well I got banged in the parking lot the other day.

Our parking lot at Table View Methodist has some stories to tell.  

On Wednesday afternoon I noticed that someone had been sitting in his car for an hour or so in the parking lot so I went to see if he was OK.  I noticed he had a bunch of cans of lighter gas / butane on the seat next to him and when I asked him if he was OK he said he would go somewhere else.

But he was clearly high and very sluggish in his movements so I said "no" stay here.  You don't have to move.  When he tried to start the car I grabbed his keys out of the ignition and dropped them on the ground.  He quickly jumped out of the car and attacked me.

I laid a charge of Common Assault against him at the police station.  

And after doing some research today I went to the doctor for a medical examination and ask him to fill in a J88 (Get a J88 form here if you are ever assaulted).

I had to phone the police station again today to find out my case number and who the detective is who is investigating the case.  I also had to do some research to see what needs to be done to make sure that justice is done.

Apparently many cases are dismissed because there is no J88 form.  The sergeant who took my statement said nothing about getting one.  The only reason I knew about the J88 is a friend of mine who is in the dentist business said I must get one (lucky I'm already short of teeth on my right bottom jaw!)

Those who know me know that I love peace and hate conflict.  It disrupts my spirit and over the past few days I found myself going through the anger and grumpiness that comes of these things.  

I've felt listless and struggled to focus on my work.  It has made me aware of how lucky I am to be able to talk to my bishop / superintendent and tell them what happened.  I am able to go to the police and lay the appropriate charges.  And find out via the internet and friends the correct ways to make sure that justice gets done.

I am convinced that the young man who attacked me should face the consequence of his actions.  I know that having a criminal record will be a burden to him - but if when these things happen we don't take action we will allow bullies to have their way in the world.

Things I've learned:

You have to follow up with the police to get a case number etc. 

You have to have a medical examination and get a J88 if you are physically assaulted.

There are a lot more websites dedicated to getting away with assault than there are about how to proceed if you have been assaulted. 

A criminal record will make it hard to get a job or a Visa etc.  But it can be expunged after 10 years if you have been well behaved.

It is tempting to act all tough and not do anything about it but how will the person who attacked me get the help he really needs if he doesn't face the consequences of his actions. 

I can also see how justice systems lean towards helping those who have privilege... I have the time, the means and the support to make sure that the case is pursued.  If I judge by the online world there is a lot more reward in helping the bad guys get away than helping the good guys get justice.

So, my body is healing quickly - I have thick bones.  My mind and spirit are adjusting to what happened - I need to keep my optimistic outlook on life and never lose it.  Next time I see someone getting high in the parking lot I'll be a bit more 'strategic' in the help I offer.

Notes for Services on 2020-06-14

Reflecting on Matthew 9:35-10:10 with Rev Angus Kelly and Rev Mpumelelo Masoabi.


Audio Link to 845am Service (Will expire after a few weeks)

Excellent TED Podcast. How to be anti-racist 


Matthew 9:38 "Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Is not just about getting people 'saved' it is about working for the Kingdom of God to come.

mourning takes a knee

 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
-       Matthew 5:4-5

I can’t breathe.
a knee

On the neck
of the meek

too deep

to deep

burns in tongues

but waterfall justice
is dammed

speaks in tongues

tear the heavens

mountains tremble
flood justice

skip like slain lambs

ransom a kindom of priests
to serve
and lead to justice.

- Angus Kelly (1 June 2020)

Render to Caesar (The worthship of money.)

Render to Caesar (The worthship of money.)

Rev Angus Kelly
19 Show me the coin used for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. 20 Then he said to them, “Whose head is this, and whose title?” 21 They answered, “The emperor’s.” Then he said to them, “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
- Matthew 22:19-21
The cost of living moves up and down from time to time and its quite something to see what some people count as the ‘cost of living’.  From the cost of paying for luxury vehicles and palatial villas to the cost of keeping children fed on a diet of daily pap and gravy (on good days).  Covid-19 prompted a spectacular reaction – a sudden awareness of the price of a human life.  Or human lives.  I’ve never liked being called a ‘human resource’ it sounds too much like an oil reserve – and I wonder what I’d be worth if I was no longer a ‘resource’ for someone else’s benefit.

Pharisees plot to entrap Jesus (Matthew 22:15) and so they send their disciples “along with the Herodians” (16) to ask a tricky question. Judea was under the rule of Pilate, a Roman prefect.  The Herodians preferred Herodian rule to the Roman prefecture.

The delegation represents diverse political desires and experiences:  Pharisees who for the most part believed that proper worship and observance of the Jewish law would restore the Kingdom of Judea to a rightful heir. Herodians, a political movement who wanted the Herodian line back on the throne of Israel. Jesus and his disciples who represented a religious movement essentially from the countryside – in some ways removed from the political intrigue of Jerusalem where all of this took place but who saw Jesus as the rightful “King of the Jews” as a rightful heir to the Davidic throne. It is no secret that the Pharisees had worked out how to live with their Roman rulers and existed as an important class of people who controlled the temple and religious life of Jerusalem and thus influenced control of Jews in Judea. Herodians probably longed for the patronage of the Herodian royal family as massive infrastructure projects funded by taxes leveraged from the citizens of Judea had created patronage networks that simply didn’t flow under the Roman prefecture.

The question: “17 Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?” (Matthew 22:17)

Jesus clever answer: “Show me the coin used for the tax” (Verse 19).

The coin for paying taxes bore the image of the emperor – in the example above the emperor Tiberius Claudius.  On the reverse of the coin a picture of the mother of Tiberius depicted as a goddess of peace with an inscription reading PONTIF MAXIM (high priest).

When Jesus asks: “Whose head is this, and whose title?” (Verse 20) they have to say “The emperor’s.”

“Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Verse 21)

I don’t think Jesus is just saying that people should pay their portion to Caesar.  I think he might be suggesting that they take every coin that bears his image and send it back to him.  This would fit with Jesus usual advice about what to do with wealth.  “…go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me” (Mark 10:21). Jesus measures worth differently. Jesus asks questions like: “For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life?” (Mark 8:36).

Money is only valuable when it is useful.  If Jesus decrees that all of Caesar’s money be loaded up in ships and taken back to Rome it will spell the end of Judean occupation.  Rome knew that you couldn’t rule a country by oppression and violence alone. They were clever enough to insist that a region like Palestine planted Barley and only Barley, meaning that they’d need to trade with other regions to get the goods they needed and thus pay taxes on (for example) Barley sales and olive imports.  Roman globalization meant that economies were enslaved by greed for Roman coins – the book of Revelation paints a picture of the destruction of Rome:  “Alas, alas, the great city,
where all who had ships at sea
grew rich by her wealth!
For in one hour she has been laid waste.” (Revelation 18:19)

The next part of Jesus answer about giving is the demand that we give “to God the things that are God’s.”  (Matthew 22:21). Speaking of image bearing items scripture teaches that humans are made in the image of God. Not just emperors but all humans. As bearers of the image of God the Judeo-Christian religion teaches the importance of care for all people.  Rich, poor, sick, in prison, widowed, orphaned, foreigner, sinner, tax collecter and the list goes on and on.  All of these people to be ‘given to God.’  All of these treasures to be recognized because they bear the image of God as ‘belonging to God’.

Covid-19 has shown the world that there is a value that is not measured on the spreadsheets and in the algorithms of stock markets.  The value of life.  Oil prices that drive war and conflict shrunk into negative territory because staying at home to save lives was more important than leaving home to spend money.  Billions of Denarius’ worth of life has been given to the world in terms of life and health and even the lowering of carbon emissions.  But these figures will all be measured as loss of productivity to global stock markets who are not able to factor in the mysterious value of humans created in the image of God.

The problem is that global currency values are derived from resource and productivity indexes rather than real life values.  Happiness, health, virtue and right relationships.  It seems that sometimes all of these things are contingent on devaluing currencies by ‘opting out’ of the secular trade and opting in to an economy that measures value in ways that somehow incorporate ‘life’ on the balance sheet.

When Jesus counsels the rich young man to sell all of his possessions and give the money to the poor he does not paint a picture of this young man entering into a life of poverty – instead he paints a picture of wealth beyond all measure:
Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news,f 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields. (Mark 10:29-30)

f Or gospel