Eucharist Service: Wednesdays 7h00 - Friday 9h00 - Sunday 7h00 & 9h00

23 April 2017: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“Get busy…”By Forbes T Maupa ©

John 20 vs. 19-31: The Commissioning

 

A good morning to us all as we continue in post resurrection Sunday mode. Of course, we are aware of the reality that Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead two millennia ago but we celebrate it as a fresh experience. The resurrection story remains only ‘a day old’ to us because we are called to wake up to it as a daily expectation and experience. Life maybe challenging but Easter is real, Jesus did not rise to an easy world but indeed to a difficult and is challenging one. He rose again restoring hope.

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16 April 2017: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

 

 

 

“Crippled by fear…”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Matthew 28 vs. 1-10: The Resurrection

Hallelujah Christ is risen and He is risen indeed! My wish on this glorious morning which is the hallmark of our Christian faith is that the story of the resurrection may have practical meaning in our lives. The story needs to find relevance in South Africa 2017 going forward as we sojourn at a time that is seemingly dark and full of uncertainties. As we have been inviting each other to imagine the events leading up to Jesus’ death throughout Holy Week, I invite you to do the same today. Imagine the sense of confidence the followers of Jesus had had while they were “hanging out” with him as he performed all sorts of miracles and teaching with authority. The followers of Jesus must have felt invincible for a season (perhaps as South Africans post 1994) and then puff that sense of confidence was wiped off their lives as their leader is nailed to death like a common criminal on the cross. Their confidence, their zeal and all else gained over three years was crushed in four days and now what?

 

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9 April 2017: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

 

“Passion for what he creates…”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Matthew 27 vs. 11-54: The Passion of Jesus of Nazareth

Here we are 40 days after Ash Wednesday and the pilgrimage to Easter continues but the plot is thickening very quickly. The church’s dramatization of today begins with the joyful re-enactment of Jesus’ dramatic entrance into Jerusalem riding on a lowly foul to a deafening cheering sound of the masses. They shouted “Hosanna in the Highest”, laid branches and other items for this important individual who was coming into town. We must contrast this jovial mood with a mood we can only imagined was playing out in Jesus’ mind knowing in a few days’ time he would suffer an awful death. Also to be grappled with is the idea that Jesus knew of the impending suffering and still willingly went to Jerusalem. Why? We will individually respond to that by the way we respond to his message. In the mix of this celebration and perhaps uninformed expectation of what Jesus was/is about, was scheming and plotting by those who had questioned his ministry from day one. The jubilation of Palm Sunday turned into a diabolical and heinous trial and execution of Jesus of Nazareth.

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31 March 2017: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“Breathing new life…”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Ezekiel 37 vs. 1-14: The Valley of Dry Bones

John 11 vs. 1-45: Lazarus brought back to life

I stand here today following a night (like a few others in our democracy) that I think will reshape our country in one way or the other, for positive or for good. There will be many interpretations of what is going on in this beautiful nation perhaps all of them with some merit because we all comment from our vantage points. I choose to observe the drama from the view point of the weak, poor and vulnerable who get trampled on as the powerful and privileged play power games and blaming.

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10 March 2017: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“Leave all you know…really?”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Genesis 12 vs. 1-4a: Abram commanded to leave his people

I have travelled a bit (by choice) and have had some experience of what it feels like to leave the people one loves behind even though there was a definite assurance that I would be seeing them soon. I remember my first trip to boarding school; it felt as I was being sent to a slaughter house. I cried all the way being an eleven year old but thereafter I of course went back home with loads of memories at the end of the term. My first trip out of Zimbabwe wasn’t any easier and all the trips thereafter were painful as I left my mum and dad and siblings behind. This all felt like something was being taken out of me, sometimes it felt like I was being unloving by going away. Then I had my own children! When I left the country without them I would watch them cry at the airport or at Parkstation in Johannesburg and I must say I think “I died a little” seeing their tears. It is even difficult for to go away for two days or a week on retreat without getting my kids to cry and especially Malik. Again, it always feels like one is being uncaring when you “leave” your loved ones. As indicated earlier, all these departures and tears had and will have some assurance that I would come back soon. A lot of you here have children and family who live in other towns or other countries; the decision to go wouldn’t have been an easy one and the thought of being without you and you them, is always painful on their hearts. However, to a degree we all choose to embark on these journeys.

Abram on the other hand was uprooted by YHW not by choice and commanded “Leave your country, your kindred and your father’s house for a country which I shall show you; and I shall make you a great nation…So Abram went as YHW told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.”(Genesis 12 vs. 1-4) 

 

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3 March 2017: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“For it is written…”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Matthew 4 vs. 1-11: Anchored

Our Lenten journey continues and already today we are on day three and I hope daily we are doing our best to remain committed to our need to be transformed by the Holy Spirit during this special season. The Anglican Church of Southern Africa has A.C.T. as its Vision Statement which means

·        Anchored – in the love of Christ

·        Committed – to God’s mission

·        Transformed – by the Holy Spirit

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1 March 2017: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“Commended to God”By Forbes T Maupa ©

2 Corinthians 5 vs. 20- 6 vs. 10: Ambassadors of Christ

I am actually excited that Lent is upon us simply because I have always viewed it as a time of preparation. I see Lent like a sportsperson, this is the time to put in the hard yards, to eat right, train harder, sleep enough and do all sorts of things sportspersons do in order to be at their peak. Quite often we see our teams and or athletes winning but what we don’t get to see is the effort put in before the actual competition. There is a lot of sacrifice, ‘blood, sweat and tears’ so to speak and then joy comes at the very end! One thing is certain; the time for preparation isn’t easy and will never be. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it and so it is effort that distinguishes results at the end. I must hasten to say that I am not suggesting that those of us who cannot do certain things are excluded or are unable to please God. This is not the point, training is good for the “sportsperson” and helps the sportsperson become the best of themselves and teaches them valuable lessons.

So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God…” (2 Corinthians 5 vs.20)

 

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26 February2017: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“It’s nice to be here”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Matthew 17 vs. 1-19: The Transfiguration

 

Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah…” (Matthew 17 vs. 4).

The story of the Transfiguration is well known among Christians and is most certainly a hit with junior church lessons. A lot of emphasis has gone into explaining why specifically Moses and Elijah appeared on the mount when Jesus was transfigured. Indeed there is a lot to be said about these two towering figures of the Old Testament and their impact of the children of Israel. Some have chosen to focus on the voice from heaven declaring that Jesus is the beloved which connects so neatly with the baptism but all these are not my focus today.

When Jesus and his three friends were up the mount where Jesus was transfigured and the apparitions of Moses and Elijah appeared, Peter felt so at home that he wanted to tarry there forever! The awesome presence and warmth that the transfiguration brought was such that, the only place Peter wanted to be at is in the “shekinah” because it was an experience literally ‘out of this world’! Of course, in his suggestion to build dwellings he forgot that he, James and John would also need dwellings but I am sure he was happy to “crush” with anyone. He would have been happy even to just hang around outside “the dwellings” as long as he was within the awesome presence he felt. This I believe is the root of the popular Christian salutation, “Kum’nandi ukuba la, It’s nice to be here!”

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10 February 2017: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“We always have a choice”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Deuteronomy 30 vs 15-20-39: Don’t abandon the confidence of the past

I have often been with people who are going through one situation or the other and are desperate for an explanation. The easy answer to explain away what we do not quite get is often  “ Take heart, it’s God’s will”. This phrase is normally used to comfort folk who are going through tough time and it seems as if it works for some. I must admit that I am always cautious to use the phrase “it is the will of God” maybe because quite often I am not always sure what that will of God is. I am even more sceptical when the phrase is directed towards one or other thing that is happening or has happened to me. I need more than just the phrase to believe that certain things happening around me are willed by God.

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5 February 2017: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“Sweet and Salt with a glow”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Matthew 5 vs. 13-20: Salt and Light of the earth

 

Good morning friends, it feels good to be back and preach again in a Sunday service after 3 consecutive Sundays of visiting preachers. It has been such an honour for me to sit through the preaching of Rev Peter Houston, Rev Gary Thompson and just last Sunday Bishop Tsietsi Seleoane. I am hoping that we will continue to enjoy the diversity of our diocese and Christian-Anglican expressions throughout the year as we seek to Inspire and Empower each other. On a personal note as rector, I have envisioned 2017 as “The year of revelation” and so I would want to invite you all to join me on this quest as we seek to experience the revealed Christ and the manifold things he will reveal to us.

 

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27 January 2017: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“Holding on to the solid foundation”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Hebrews 10 vs. 32-39: Don’t abandon the confidence of the past

Good morning to you all and I hope that we are all learning to hold on to the peace that only Jesus can give. I say this fully aware that it feels as if we are under siege from criminals and thugs around our community. The reported number of hijackings has increased and just yesterday one of us was robbed at gun point and injured quite badly. Fear is being drilled into us and at times we may be driven to question where God is when all this is happening. I am not going to attempt to offer any quick fix solutions to the anxiety we may be feeling but I just hope that God will manifest Godself in our worship, word and sacrament and address whatever and however we feel.

A short reflection from Hebrews 10 vs. 32-39. The author of Hebrews in chapter 10 continues to deal with the notion of Jesus the Christ being both high priest and sacrifice for us and doing so once and for all. The author is at pains to encourage his audience to find adequacy in Christ to wipe off all sin, restore confidence and be in good standing with God and one another. Having done so, the author has to deal with the fact that though Jesus is sufficient, the human proclivity to falter remains. So while Jesus the Christ is sufficient, humanity still runs the risk of losing that faith and being at odds with God. What then is to be done?

 

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13 January 2017: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“The faith of friends”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Mark 2 vs. 1-12: Healing of a paralyzed man

There is a saying, “Show me your friends and I will tell the kind of person you are”. The people we associate with shape our thinking, places we go to and what we do with our time. This can be to our benefit or to our ruin. The Gospel reading today presents a story of a group of friends of whom one of their own was paralyzed. I want to assume that these friends would have visited their paralyzed friend always, tried several remedies for him and then they heard Jesus was in their town, Capernaum, preaching and healing. They took their friend to the house Jesus was teaching from and found the place full but they didn’t lose heart. Instead they went in through the roof and ushered their friend right onto the feet of Jesus and because of the faith of his friends, the paralyzed man was healed and forgiven.

 

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8 January 2017: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“Behold the old is gone and the new has come”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Isaiah 42 vs. 1-9:New things have come

Matthew 3 vs. 13-17: Jesus baptised by John the Baptist

Today we celebrate the first Sunday after the Epiphany which is marked traditionally with the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. Epiphany itself more generally refers to a moment of sudden and great revelation of something major but more specifically in our context refers to the manifestation of Christ to the world as represented by the Magi or wise men from the east. And so today we continue in the spirit of the season of epiphany reflecting on what it means for Jesus the Christ to be made manifest to us in the different ways reported in the bible and those we experience personally. Today’s Gospel reading also marks Jesus’ official start of his ministry aged thirty. It is most appropriate for me to make that point as we launch our stewardship month; it is time to start something new and be damn good at it. We invest ourselves in ministry and stewardship together with the one who came to redeem us as we follow his example.

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations…a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench…See, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth”(Isaiah 42 vs. 1-9)

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18 December 2016: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“God with us”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Isaiah 7 vs. 10-16:Immanuel to be born

Matthew 1 vs. 18-25: Promise of the Immanuel fulfilled

All this happened in order to fulfil what the Lord declared through the prophet: ‘A virgin will conceive and bear a son, and he shall be called Emmanuel a name which means God is with us” (Matthew 1 vs.22f) a fulfilment of Isaiah 7 vs. 10-16

 

We are a week away from Christmas and again we are reminded of the purpose for which the church put up this special day on the calendar. I say this fully aware that Jesus of Nazareth is very unlikely to have been born in December and that the choice of the 25th had more to do with the need to advance Christianity as the empire’s religion. Every year I indicate this fact and therefore I will not dwell on it save to say that we know that Jesus of Nazareth was born historically, whether he was born in June or July is of no consequence but the purpose of his birth is what we are called upon to commemorate and encapsulate in our lives.

 

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4 December 2016: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“Prepare the way of the Lord”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Isaiah 11 vs. 1-10:The promise of the Messiah

Matthew 3 vs. 1-12: John the Baptist preaches at the Jordan

In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near...then people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him…they were baptized…confessing their sins” (Matthew 3 vs. 1-6).

 

Today is a rather important day to us as a parish because just yesterday, our church turned exactly 160 years since it was consecrated by Bishop Colenso in 1856!With that in mind, today we have a baptism service which furthers our commitment to the Great Commission of making disciples of the nations and baptising them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The purpose for which this parish was established continues through us but only if we continue to make the good news of Christ’s love known to all. We continue to commit ourselves to being heralds of Christ’s incarnation to the world and so I think it was quite inspired that the consecration of our church happened in Advent clearly indicating that we celebrate the God who became humble in Jesus Christ and became accessible to all of us.

 

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November 2016: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

 

“Pray for them/they pray for us/we remember?”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Revelation 20 vs. 11-13:John’s vision of the book of life.

John 6 vs. 37-40: Raised up on the last day.

Good morning to you family and what a pleasure it is for me to again have this opportunity to minister in this great place we call our home. Today we gather to commemorate a feast that is set for the 2nd of November:All Souls. As the Saints and Seasons booklet points out; this feast is not without controversy for one obvious reason which is that we all have no concrete idea of what actually happens to the human soul once the body is buried or cremated.

 

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23 October 2016: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“Humility in prayer”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Luke 18 vs. 9-14: The Pharisee and the Tax Collector

 

We are gathered here together as we joyfully receive the gift of prayer that Mothers’ Union has organised for us clergy and they do this with you all as a congregation. I have looked forward to this special day every year as a cleric and I am reminded especially of the days I was in eMbalenhle, eMzinoni, Leslie and Kriel and the whole archdeaconry would gather on the Clergy Prayer Day to pray for us. I am reminded especially of Mrs Beauty Khumalo (may her soul rest in peace) and how she led the prayers with such zeal that one left the event feeling soaked in prayer and grace. And of course today had to be a rainy day to indicate the showers of blessings.

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16 October 2016: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“Keep asking”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Luke 18 vs. 1-8: The persistent widow

“Then Jesus told them a parable about the need to pray continually and never lose heart…” (verse 1).

 

Today marks the fourth sermon on our continuous teaching and or preaching on prayer with a view to turning our community to a more prayerful and less talking one. Today we meet Jesus in the narrative according to Luke detailing a parable Of the plight of a poor widow who was seeking redress and justice against some enemy. In the parable, the judge would not grant the widow her wishes. The text does not explain why the judge was so unwilling to assist the widow. Perhaps, Jesus wanted his audience to imagine the obvious difficulties and vulnerabilities widows would ordinarily encounter in getting anything done for them. It was more likely the requests of widows would be ignored because they were poor and being women made their plight even more insignificant.

 

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02 October 2016: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“Lord Increase Our Faith”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Luke 17 vs. 5-10: The Power of faith

Welcome to the month of October! Waal, this year just seems to have screamed past us with no warning. After preaching a couple of weeks ago on prayer or at least on the need for us to pray in all situations, a parishioner here approached me and asked me to preach in future about how to pray. It is my intention to work on a series of teachings around how to pray and I want to consider today as the starting point. I want us to see today’s gospel reading as an indirect way of informing us what the foundation to prayer can be.

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23 September 2016: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“Who do you say I am?”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Main Texts:

Luke 9 vs. 18-22: Peter’s profession of faith

 

Luke reports that as Jesus was “praying alone” (vs 18) his disciples came to him and Jesus asked the “Who do the crowds say I am?”(vs 18). I would want to argue that the human Jesus must have looked at the crowds around him and started wandering what it is that attracted them to him. Did they actually understand who he was and what he was about? Perhaps even the disciples themselves did not fully comprehend who their Master was! Following someone they don’t know, wouldn’t that be tragic?

 

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18 September 2016: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“Lord, Teach us to pray”By Forbes T Maupa ©

1 Timothy 2 vs. 1-7: Prayers to be made for everyone

I have been reflecting on the prevailing socio-economic and political conditions in our country and indeed in the whole world. We are beset by conditions of pain, desperation, uncertainties, wars, rumours of war, famine, environmental catastrophes, corrupt political leaders, dysfunctional churches, collapsing family units and untold violence almost in every sphere of life. The question always remains, what can be done? What can communities, families and or individuals do in the face of all these challenges that look insurmountable?

 

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving, be made for all people, for leaders, and for all those in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour.” (1 Tim 2 vs. 1-3)

 

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11 September 2016: St John the Baptist Pinetown

“Be purposeful in the current”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Main Texts:

Jeremiah 1 vs. 4-8: Destiny

Esther 4 vs. 12-17: Born For Such a Time as This

We gathered here yesterday as we sought to walk a road to the future with our young people. This comes from the view that we want to make sure that the future of our children become purposeful and deliberate. In as much as today is meant to set these same children into the exams writing phase, today’s message is meant for all us.

The first reading for today narrates how Jeremiah was called by God with the words:

 

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you came to birth I concentrated you; I appointed you as prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1 vs.  5)

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9 September 2016: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“The unending mercies of God”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Luke 15 vs. 1-10: Parables reflecting God’s eternal love

Greetings family. Today’s Gospel reading has as its key statement the following verse;

“The tax collectors and sinners, however, were all crowding round to listen to Jesus, and the Pharisees and scribes complained saying, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them”[1].

Jesus must have overheard these utterances because it prompted him to teach in a series of parables. The “problem” seems to have been that Jesus was welcoming of undesirables which the text bunches together as tax collectors and sinners. It would be relatively easy to define the tax collectors because of their trade and their reputation during that era to rob people by over taxing them and enriching themselves. However, those described as “sinners” could have been anyone who the community had decided to label as such for any transgression which could have been real or trumped up.

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21 August 2016: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“When It’s Wrong To Do Good”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Luke 13 vs 10-17: Healing on Sabbath

 

We continue on our liturgical journey with the evangelist Luke who today presents to us Jesus teaching in a synagogue. We do not forget that we are invited to especially focus today on Theological Education and especially focus on those at the College of the Transfiguration, both ordinands and staff. 

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14 August 2016: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

 

“The prize of following Jesus”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Hebrews 11 vs. 29- 12 vs2: Focus on Jesus

Luke 12 vs. 49-56: Divisions because of Jesus?

 

After a three day break I came back into the parish fully aware that I actually need more rest to sleep and recharge. It however feels great to again have an opportunity to speak to us as a congregation. I must admit that I intend using the pulpit as a pastoral from which I get a chance to speak to us all as a collective. Hopefully, all of us will see and hear what we are delivering from the pulpit and use it as rallying point as we seek to build the parish(ioners) together. It is from this point that I approached the gospel reading for today with a deep sense of difficulty because I am aware that it is quite easy to misinterpret it. I make no claim that I will be the one to properly interpret it but that I hope my endeavour will give us an open view of Jesus of Nazareth was saying to his followers and indeed to us.

 

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5 August 2016: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“Don’t be anxious about anything”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Luke 12 vs. 22-32: Trust in Providence

Hebrews 11 vs. 1-3: Faith

I must admit from the onset that today’s Gospel reading is one of those nice to read ones but extremely difficult to apply. Well, at least personally! Chapter 12 of Luke’s gospel presents a series of teachings that Jesus was offering to his followers and any others who were listening to him. These include being prepared to declare the gospel without fear, warnings against hoarding possessions and then follow verses 22 to 32.

In the NJB version, verse 22 opens as follows:

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life…” 

 

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17 July 2016: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

 

“Busy being busy”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Luke 10 vs. 25-37: Mary and Martha host Jesus

Today’s gospel reading came hard on the heels of the parable of the Good Samaritan as reported by Luke. Having reflected on what it means to be a neighbour and who we should consider to be our neighbour, Luke reports that Jesus’ journey led them to Martha and Mary’s home. In the context of being a good neighbour or in this case, being a good host, what then was expected of Martha and Mary?

 

 

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1 July 2016: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“The Labourers are few…”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Luke 10 vs. 1-11, 16-20: The mission of the Seventy-Two

 

The past couple of weeks have surely provided the background for today’s brief reflection which is based on Luke 10 vs.1-20. I have been feeling quite ill-equipped to handle the demands of ministry in our small parish and also having to redefine the difference between ministry and mere administration. It has been an opportunity to differentiate between having bodies in functional positions and those who actually do that which contributes to work on the “vineyard”. On a personal note, today this whole vineyard labourers theme is quite important because I was ordained a priest on the 1st of July!

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19 June 2016: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“God in the drama and the silence”By Forbes T Maupa ©

1 Kings 19 vs. 1-4, 8-15a: God in the small still voice

Luke 8 vs. 26-39: Jesus helps a man with many demons

 

The world has decided that today is Fathers’ Day, I must admit that sometimes I am not always sure what these days stand for and especially when it comes to us men who enjoy privilege and dominance all year round. Suffice it then, that I hope us men will take this day not just as one to be spoiled because we are always spoiled, but as one we use to reflect on what our fatherhood means. We need to be conscious of the fact that through the ways in which we live our lives in our homes, we are directly busy defining to the children around us what fathers do or don’t do. Even in the way we do church and present God the father, we inadvertently define to those around us what it means to be a father.

 

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12 June 2016: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

 

“The loving repentant woman”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Luke 7 vs. 36- 8 vs. 3: Women around Jesus

One of the many things we try to do in an attempt to interpret the message of the Bible is to go back into the history and context in which the text emanates from. Today’s gospel reading is one such reading that gets across more clearly if we try and understand the cultural practises of the day.

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15 May 2016: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“Holy Spirit: then unifier”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Genesis 11 vs. 1-9: Tower of Babel

Acts 2 vs. 1-21:The day of Pentecost

John 14 vs. 8-17: Promise of the Holy Spirit

“Now the whole earth had one language and one speech…And the Lord said, ‘Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they will begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad…Therefore its name is called Babel, because the Lord confused the language of all the earth…”(Genesis 11 vs. 1-9).

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1 May 2016: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“Survival as resistance and faith”By Forbes T Maupa ©

John 5 vs. 1-9: Cure at Bethesda

 

We continue in the season of Easter which for me remains to be one of expectation and renewal. The season highlights the possibilities of new and fulfilling beginnings as we defiantly claim the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth as our own, as one happening in our own lives in the here and now. Within this Easter context, today’s gospel reading takes us back to one of Jesus’ spectacular miracles early in his ministry.

 

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17 April 2016: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“Back to Basics”By Forbes T Maupa ©

John 10 vs. 22-30: Jesus claims to be the son of God

I have heard someone say, “belief is the death of reason” sarcastically suggesting that those who believe in any religious deity do so at the expense of reason. Of course, when we look at the so called tools of doing theology, we speak of context, reason, experience, scripture and tradition. Clearly, reason plays a major role in our understanding of God.

 

Belief is לְהֶאֱמִיןdenoting trust, rely upon, accept to be true.

 

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10 April 2016: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“Changing for abundance”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Philippians 3 vs 12-4 vs.1: My joy and my crown

John 21 vs. 1-19: Jesus appears on the shore of Tiberias

We gather on this third Sunday of Easter continuing with the celebration and euphoria of the Resurrection. I fully appreciate that it may be difficult for us to perhaps imagine how the disciples who physically experienced the death and resurrection of Jesus would have felt at that particular time. We read from John’s Gospel and particularly in verse 14, the gospel says “This was the third time that Jesus revealed himself to the disciples after rising from the dead”.

 

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15 May 2016: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“Holy Spirit: then unifier”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Genesis 11 vs. 1-9: Tower of Babel

Acts 2 vs. 1-21:The day of Pentecost

John 14 vs. 8-17: Promise of the Holy Spirit

 

“Now the whole earth had one language and one speech…And the Lord said, ‘Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they will begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad…Therefore its name is called Babel, because the Lord confused the language of all the earth…”(Genesis 11 vs. 1-9).

 

 

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1 May 2016: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

 

 

“Survival as resistance and faith”By Forbes T Maupa ©

John 5 vs. 1-9: Cure at Bethesda

 

We continue in the season of Easter which for me remains to be one of expectation and renewal. The season highlights the possibilities of new and fulfilling beginnings as we defiantly claim the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth as our own, as one happening in our own lives in the here and now. Within this Easter context, today’s gospel reading takes us back to one of Jesus’ spectacular miracles early in his ministry.

 

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27 April 2016: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“Don’t look for the living among the dead!”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Isaiah 65 vs. 17-25: The new creation

Luke 24 vs. 1-9: Jesus rises from the dead

“For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind” (Isaiah 65 vs.17).

Some have chosen to interpret this passage to mean that the prophet Isaiah was speaking about an apocalyptic time beyond our earthly life. Isaiah was writing to a people who had been crashed and demoralised by occupation and exile. The people of Israel to whom Isaiah was writing would possibly have heard this message to mean that God would intervene and end their slavery and exile. I doubt that in an era where notions of heaven weren’t that well developed, the audience of Isaiah would have heard him to be prophesying about an afterlife “new heaven and new earth”. I want to suggest that the prophecy was not a message from God to say God had “failed” or at least decided not help the exiles now and simply says to them, “Don’t worry, I will sort it out later in heaven”. We need to think of a God who responds and gets involved in the here and now.

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17 April 2016: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“Back to Basics”By Forbes T Maupa ©

John 10 vs. 22-30: Jesus claims to be the son of God

I have heard someone say, “belief is the death of reason” sarcastically suggesting that those who believe in any religious deity do so at the expense of reason. Of course, when we look at the so called tools of doing theology, we speak of context, reason, experience, scripture and tradition. Clearly, reason plays a major role in our understanding of God.

Belief is לְהֶאֱמִיןdenoting trust, rely upon, accept to be true.

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10 April 2016: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“Changing for abundance”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Philippians 3 vs 12-4 vs.1: My joy and my crown

John 21 vs. 1-19: Jesus appears on the shore of Tiberias

We gather on this third Sunday of Easter continuing with the celebration and euphoria of the Resurrection. I fully appreciate that it may be difficult for us to perhaps imagine how the disciples who physically experienced the death and resurrection of Jesus would have felt at that particular time. We read from John’s Gospel and particularly in verse 14, the gospel says “This was the third time that Jesus revealed himself to the disciples after rising from the dead”. Even though this was the third time, I want to argue that this “appearing and disappearing” of Jesus did not do any good to their fears and doubts. After all, the disciples were struggling to recognise him after resurrection! 

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24 March 2016: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“Learn from the Master”By Forbes T Maupa ©

John 13 vs. 1-17; 31b-35: Washing of feet

 

“Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love…he got up from the meal…poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him” (John 13 vs. 1b-5).

We gather today not only re-enact a moment in history but to offer ourselves through this liturgy in worship and also to try and emulate the instructions as given by Jesus. The above quoted passage clearly states that Jesus stood up to show the extent of his love towards his friends. In other words, the act of washing his friends’ feet has to be interpreted in light of the extent to which Jesus intended to show his friends how much he loved them.

“When he had finished washing their feet… (he asked them)…Do you understand what I have done for you? You call me, ‘Teacher’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set an example that you should do as I have done for you.” (John 13 vs. 12-15).

 

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09 March 2016: St John the Baptist Pinetown

Palm Sunday Sermon : By Matthew Wright

 

Well, we know that Palm Sunday is marks the beginning of Holy Week and historically it commemorates the day on which Jesus arrived at Jerusalem in the week preceding the crucifixion. And so as we ask the question: what is Palm Sunday about, I believe that there are three things we should focus on – Jesus’ so-called triumphal procession into Jerusalem which liturgically and symbolically is linked to the second of the three things, namely our procession around the church with Palm crosses. And finally the third thing we have to focus on is the reading of the Passion narrative which points us towards the end-goal of our Lenten journey.

 

So there is the reading of Jesus “triumphal entry” into Jerusalem; there is our own procession around the church in which somehow (symbolically or liturgically) we are seen to be linked with the crowds that welcomed him; and finally there is the Passion of Jesus, which was acted out for us by the team lead by Edward.

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6 March 2016: St John the Baptist Pinetown

“Greetings, warrior of God”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Judges 6 vs. 11-24: Jesus tempted in the wilderness

Today we have the service of baptism and the enrolment of new members into Mothers Union. Baptism marks a very important stage in our Christian journey and is key to our faith as through it we ‘experience’ the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and begin a new life in the body of Christ. With the enrolment of Mothers’ Union members, they too will be required to renew their baptismal vows and recommit to the faith into which we are all baptised. I am hoping therefore to enthuse a possible new beginning into us and take us from some corners we might find ourselves trapped in.

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4 March 2016: St John the Baptist Pinetown

“The greatest commandment”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Mark 12 vs. 28-34: The First commandment

It is customary that we lead our act of penitence with the worship leader saying

Jesus said, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it, You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On this two commandments depend all the law and the prophets

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2nd Sunday in lent

 

 

Rev Thuli Mhlongo      

Date: 21/02/2016

‘’This is my son’’ my chosen one listen to him: Luke 9:35

Jesus is indeed the son of God, as God chose to bring him on earth so that we could experience the Godly life. All we are commanded to do is to listen to him and follow in his steps because he is the way, the truth and the life; without him we are lost, without him we are dead in sin, without him we are like salt that has lost its value. At this time of lent I am calling upon each one of us to present to come out of the comfort zone, the comfort zone of sinfulness for the sake of Christ, whose blood was shared so that we could be saved.

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24 January 2016: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“With discipline I can”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Daniel 1 vs. 8-18: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; Acts 17 vs. 10-13: The enquiring minds;

 

Luke 2 vs. 41-48: Jesus asking questions in the Temple.

Welcome beloveds to this service as we set out to commission all learners and educators for the 2016 academic year. Today’s sermon comes against the background of the low 2015 matric results. The message is simple; we all need to do much more to improve the situation. We will certainly pray but more importantly we need to be practical and intentional in our approach.

I am convinced that it is possible for us to improve results in the schools but this will require a communal effort. Learners, educators, parents, religious communities and everyone else have to come together and work on this one. Yes, there are the perennial issues of syllabus and pedagogue but remember others are making it with the same syllabus and sometimes living in more disadvantaged communities than ours. It shouldn’t be acceptable for communities to have no say when we see school children roaming the streets after school instead of doing homework or extra reading or when they walk so slowly to school as if the whole world is waiting on them. It is my view that discipline and commitment is going to win us the day.

 

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17 January 2016 Sermon for the 2ndSunday after Epiphany

Reconceptualizing the Institution of Marriage :  Revd Eliza Getman

Isaiah 62:1-5; Psalm 36:5-10;1 Corinthians 12:1-11; John 2:1-11

God our beloved, born of a woman’s body, you came that we might look upon you, and handle you with our own hands. May we so cherish one another in our bodies that we may also be touched by you; through the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ. Amen. (Janet Morley – “All Desires Known”)

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17 January 2016: St Paul’s Durban

“Same Spirit, varied gifts”By Forbes T Maupa ©

1 Corinthians 12 vs. 1-11: Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Greetings to you my friends and happy and blessed 2016 to those we haven’t seen thus far. I want to present today’s readings as a continuation of the last week’s readings. Last Sunday, we were introduced to how the Samaritans received the Holy Spirit after being prayed for by Peter and John. We also read about Jesus receiving the Holy Spirit after his baptism and being confirmed as the beloved of God.

 

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10 January 2016: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“Seal of the Holy Spirit”By Forbes T Maupa©

Acts 8 vs. 14-17: Samaria receives the Holy Spirit; Luke 3 vs. 15-17, 21-22: Baptism with the Holy Spirit

For those we didn’t see last Sunday, welcome to 2016 and we give thanks to God because we did not lose any among us to accidents that characterise the festive season. I think today’s readings are most appropriate to enthuse us and give us that necessary push as we start the new calendar year. New years can be very exciting or they simply can be cumbersome and it is easy to get all discouraged right from the beginning. I am hopeful that feeding from the powerful words shared by Rev Matthew last Sunday, we can latch onto the message of today and begin the year with energy and godly enthusiasm.

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25 December 2015: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

 

“News of peace”By Forbes T Maupa ©

Isaiah 52 vs 7-10: Prediction of salvation; Luke 2 vs. 8-20: Message to the shepherds

Merry Christmas to you my dear friends. This is my third Christmas season in Pinetown and I am so glad I am here! I have what I think is a simple and light message for us to take home.

How beautiful on the mountains, are the feet of the messenger announcing peace, the messenger of good news, who proclaims salvation…[1]

An angel of the Lord stood over the shepherds and the glory of the Lord shone round them. They were terrified, but the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. Look, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people. Today…a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.[2]


Sunday, 22nd November 2015 (Christ the King Sunday)

Revd. Matthew Wright

Readings: Dan 7:9-10, 13-14; Rev 1:4b-8; John 18:33-37

Today is Christ the King Sunday which represents the culmination of the Church’s calendar year. Next Sunday is the beginning of advent which, as you know, prepares us for Jesus’ birth and so also the start of a new Church year cycle. Christ the King Sunday, therefore is significant because it reminds us of Christ’s role for the Church, for us, and indeed, for the world.  It represents the realisation of his final, universal rule at the right hand of God.

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Sunday 8th November, 2015

Revd. Matthew Wright

The collect for today, as you would have heard, mentions specifically the plight of orphans and widows mainly because in two of our readings widows (and in the case of the OT reading, orphans) are central to the story. In the time of the OT and in the time of Jesus widows and orphans occupied a special position within society. And when I say special I don’t mean privileged – in fact, quite the opposite

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Sunday, 18th October 2015

Revd. Matthew Wright

(Readings: Mark 10: 35-45; Hebrews 5: 1-10)

Leadership, authority, ambition – these are some of the things I would like to spend time looking at today, not only because the texts are talking about them, but because they are part of our everyday lives. Personally, I struggled a bit with the readings because although they seem to be promoting a certain type of leadership, I’m not very sure how we should implement this.  And so maybe you will help me in thinking about this. 

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A Brief Synopsis of the Thesis South African Anglican Clergywomen Merging
Ministry And Motherhood: Exploring Presence, Praxis And Power

By Rev’d Dr Eliza Getman

I have recently completely a PhD thesis on ministry and motherhood. The research was based on in-depth interviews with seven South African Anglican clergywomen in positions of authority in three provinces. These interviews were respectful (and hilarious and moving) instructive and inspirational conversations. Nelle Morton speaks of “hearing each other into speech” – this means that sometimes we don’t even know our own deep wisdom until people take the time to truly listen and encourage us to articulate it. These interview conversations helped to shift and redirect my professional and my personal direction. The alternative experience and perspective of clergywomen helped me to see the church in a new light and with new eyes.

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Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

July 26 2015 (17th Sunday of the liturgical year}
St John the Baptist Anglican Church, Pinetown

2 Samuel 11:1-15
Psalm 14
Ephesians 3:14-21
John 6:1-21

O God who took human flesh that you might be intimate with us: may we so taste and touch you in our bodily life that we may discern and celebrate your body in the world, through Jesus Christ, Amen.

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Reconciliation

19 July 2015: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“Horizontal and Vertical reconciliation” By Forbes T Maupa ©
Ephesians 2 vs. 11-22: Reconciliation

Those bible versions that give sub headings to passages label the read we read from Ephesians today as “Reconciliation of the Jews and the gentiles with each other and with God” or a variation of that. That is meant to summarise what the reading is about, though some sub headings are misleading this particular one seems to be spot on.

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Sea Sunday

12 July 2015: St John the Baptist – Anglican Church – Pinetown Sermon preached by: Edward Pines

"Sea Sunday" - Sermon preached by: Edward Pines
Theme: These men have seen the works of God.

Collect:    Almighty God, you led your people through the sea, and made a path for them in deep waters: be near all those who face the dangers of the seas; protect them from disaster, help them on their way, and bring them safely to their desired haven with hearts thankful for your mercy. In Jesus name we pray, AMEN.

OT: Jonah 1: 17 – 2: 10
Psalm: 107: 1 – 3, 23 – 32
Gospel: Matthew 8: 23 – 27

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Grace Sufficient

05 July 2015: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“God’s grace is sufficient” By Forbes T Maupa ©
2 Corinthians 12 vs. 2-10: Paul’s boasting and humility

For the most part of my talk today, I will be making reference to a passage of scripture that is widely quoted and used by Christians. Songs of praise and worship have been written about/on/around the verse. It might be that some of us here hold dear to the words that I am putting under the microscope today and so it would be interesting to speak into “your area of confidence”. But I am also interested in generating conversations around widely held views on what certain passages of scripture mean. You may begin this conversation with your friends, bible study group or even with yourself!

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Corpus Christi

7 June 2015: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“…eat my flesh and drink my blood” By Forbes T Maupa ©
Mark 14 vs. 12-16, 22 -26: The institution of the Eucharist

In his little book, God’s Pharmacy; Herman Uys writes “You are what you eat…” This is a statement that has come to be associated with motivations for weight loss programmes and healthy living routines. It is indeed true that by and large, our bodies reflect what we eat or as Herman Uys goes on to say “what we don’t eat” as well. Today we celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi which was meant to be celebrated on the 4th of June this year. It is my intention to talk around the topic of the sacrament called the Holy Eucharist. Corpus Christi is loosely translated to mean the Body of Christ but I can’t help but notice the close resemblance between corpus and corpse. We need to take note that from biblical and Anglican teaching the two basic and “compulsory” sacraments are baptism and Holy Communion.

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Ascension Day

14 May 2015: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“Go and get busy” By Forbes T Maupa © Ecumenical Service
Acts 1 vs. 1-11: The Ascension

Easter season greetings to you all my sisters and brothers and indeed welcome to the Anglican Parish of St John’s the Baptist Pinetown. May this spirit of love and unity continue to prevail among us; together we can achieve even the unimaginable. Today we meet to commemorate Ascension Day, this is indeed a special day to remember because it became a precursor to an important even that led to the founding of what we now call Church. Jesus had long promised
“Still, I am telling you the truth: it is for your own good that I am going, because unless I go, the Paraclete will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you”

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Peace With You

19 April 2015: St John’s the Baptist Pinetown

“Peace be with you” By Forbes T Maupa ©
Luke 24 vs. 36b-48: The risen Christ appears to the apostles

As the season of Easter continues, we gather again today to continue celebrating the wonderful mystery that is resurrection. In trying to give meaning to today’s Gospel reading I will make use of three statements or traditions that we find in our Eucharist Liturgy (Anglican Prayer Book 1989). One of these traditions has been a source of much discomfort for some Anglican churches (and definitely here at SJB), because it continues to evolve. These traditions or statements are as follows:
“The peace of the Lord be with you always
Peace be with you”

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