These talks were given as part of MustardSeed Uniting Church Ultimo's weekly Sunday café gatherings...


  • Extra•ordinary! (David Gore • Luke 2:1-14)

    Extra•ordinary! (David Gore • Luke 2:1-14)

    03/01/2018 Duração: 10min

    God becomes present in time and space and amongst humanity. The divine presence in the form of a baby - a universal symbol of dependence and vulnerability. The paradox of the Nativity is that the baby in the manger has the potential to draw from human hearts the very divine love of which the Messiah is an expression. The only appropriate response to a totally dependent baby is self-giving love. Self-giving Love is the most tangible experience of the presence of God we can have. The Nativity is an invitation to know the love of God. How are you responding to that invitation?

  • How can this be?! (David Gore • Luke 1:26-38)

    How can this be?! (David Gore • Luke 1:26-38)

    27/12/2017 Duração: 20min

    An angel visits a young woman and brings her news she would have barely understood and even more… struggled to accept. Mary did not see herself as anyone special. As far as the usual indicators go, Mary was not anyone special. It was somewhat incongruous to her that she had been considered a ‘favoured one’. The angel tells Mary she is being entrusted with a world shaping responsibility. Her response is simply to acknowledge her humble station and declare herself available.

  • A way for all (David Gore • Isaiah 40:1-11)

    A way for all (David Gore • Isaiah 40:1-11)

    22/12/2017 Duração: 18min

    Isaiah’s anticipation of Messiah is the clearest picture of God coming among the people offered by any of the Hebrew prophets. In this particular vision (Isaiah 40:1-11), Isaiah sees a new way opening for the people of God. Not just the people of God… but for all people everywhere! This new way is the eternal way. It was once hidden (since the foundation of the world). It is revealed by God’s Messiah. It is a gentle, grace-filled, healing way. A way that enables one to see all things clearly. A way that can be clearly seen by all. This is the self-giving way of Jesus.

  • God comes among us (David Gore • Isaiah 64:1-9)

    God comes among us (David Gore • Isaiah 64:1-9)

    18/12/2017 Duração: 22min

    Isaiah’s vision (Isa 64:1-9) of God making an actual appearance on earth has prescient hints of apocalypse. The heavens torn asunder. Mountains quaking! The advent of Jesus birth might (at first) seem far less earth shattering. In actual fact, Jesus’ arrival does mark the moment in human history where the unquestioned assumptions of the ways of this world were shattered. Might is no longer assumed to be right. We now go to great lengths to hear the cry of victims. Forgiveness has been revealed as more powerful than vengeance. In what ways has the advent of Jesus rocked your world?

  • The Sheep and the Goats (David Gore • Matt 25:31-46)

    The Sheep and the Goats (David Gore • Matt 25:31-46)

    11/12/2017 Duração: 19min

    When Jesus tells his story of welcome and judgement (aka the sheep and the goats) it is sensible for him to make use of the popular concepts of God’s acceptance and rejection that existed in the minds of his audience. We would be foolish to get caught up with the evocative imagery of eternal fire and miss the point of the story. Jesus wants his hearers to be aware that the way we live our lives matter! Even if we are not completely aware of what is going on, how we live tells us about what we want. What we want tells us about what we value. What we value tells us about what we truly believe. What is your life telling you about what you believe?

  • Parable of the Talents (David Gore • Matthew 25:14-30)

    Parable of the Talents (David Gore • Matthew 25:14-30)

    07/12/2017 Duração: 17min

    When Jesus tell his folksy little stories, he is not seeking to entertain his audience. He always wants to provoke something within them. In today’s story about the servants given responsibility with their master’s assets, it seems Jesus wants his audience to reflect on the way they engage in the world. The characters might read more like caricatures, but they drive home the distinction between fearfulness and faithfulness. Which one do you tend to identify yourself with?

  • The Ten Bridesmaids (David Gore • Matthew 5:1-13)

    The Ten Bridesmaids (David Gore • Matthew 5:1-13)

    04/12/2017 Duração: 17min

    Jesus tells a story of a familiar cultural event in the life of any community (in this case, a wedding) and turns it into an all-of-life lesson. He does so by retaining all the familiar elements of a wedding event story, and then popping in a couple of details that were truly shocking to his first hearers. To involve one's self in the welcoming of the bridal party and yet to neglect the most basic preparation would be a slap in the face to the bride and groom. The groom's apparent response to this neglect by the five young women was to reflect back to them the level of engagement their own actions indicated. He shuts them out! Wow... weddings can certainly get tense!

  • Values to live by (David Gore • Matthew 23:1-12)

    Values to live by (David Gore • Matthew 23:1-12)

    19/11/2017 Duração: 21min

    The Pharisees were supposed to guide the people of God in the way they should live in response to the grace of God. As is the way of people, they got more caught up with performing for the gaze of the community than living from gratitude for the grace of God. Religious leaders have an inordinate amount of power to influence the lives of those keen to live in response to God - St Paul would later write that leaders will be judged more harshly as a consequence. Leaders are meant to be models - again St Paul would subsequently write “follow me as I follow Christ”. Who would you say is the most powerful model for you in your own life?

  • A New Economy (David Gore • Matthew 20:1-16)

    A New Economy (David Gore • Matthew 20:1-16)

    10/10/2017 Duração: 20min

    Jesus frequently challenges the customary way of seeing things. In his story about the workers (Matt 20:1-16), it at first seems like the workers that got hired last end up with the better deal. But is it so simple as that? All the workers get a fair day’s pay. All the workers get what they need to live. Some of the workers do more work than the others. This is where we are inclined to consider things to be unfair. But what about when we consider the life benefits of fruitful employment - not simply the payment for services rendered, but the impact of making a meaningful contribution to the life of the community? There are things that have value beyond the dollar value. What do you value the most?

  • Forgiveness (David Gore • Matthew 18:21-35)

    Forgiveness (David Gore • Matthew 18:21-35)

    05/10/2017 Duração: 23min

    Many people wrestle with the area of forgiveness… particularly if the wrong suffered has been deeply traumatic and issued in ongoing suffering emotionally and/or physically. Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 18:21-35 does not seek to address all the dynamics of the process of forgiveness. Jesus is simply stating that being someone who forgives is the best and most appropriate way to do life. Forgiveness is at the heart of the Good News. It is the relational dynamic that sets people free. Our capacity to participate in this spirit of forgiveness is indicative of the extent to which we have appropriated forgiveness in our own lives.

  • Mutual Accountability (David Gore • Mat 18:15-20)

    Mutual Accountability (David Gore • Mat 18:15-20)

    30/09/2017 Duração: 24min

    Most of the time we like to keep to our own business and have others keep to their own. We generally neither welcome the involvement of others into our personal lives, nor do we seek to get too involved in anyone else’s. In a culture such as this, how do we understand Jesus’ teaching about mutual accountability? How can we live well alongside those we care about and both be open to receive, and offer to give, useful feedback that strengthens the individual and the community? The hope of the gospel is bigger than everyone simply getting on with their individual lives and keeping out of each other’s way. There is a call to know others and be known by others in such a way that strengthens the whole community.

  • The Scandal of Grace (David Gore • Matt 16:21-28)

    The Scandal of Grace (David Gore • Matt 16:21-28)

    10/09/2017 Duração: 19min

    Jesus does not rebuke those trapped by their own destructive behaviours. He rebukes those who would trap others with their unfounded and misguided confidence about what is right or true. Peter does not realise what he is doing when he seeks to ‘correct’ Jesus’ understanding of his destiny. Peter seems to think he knows better than Jesus how to look after things… where they should be headed. The good news is good news (in part) because it is so different from the familiar ways and the established order of things. Jesus’ way challenges long-held beliefs about the way things work. How about you? Is your mind set on the established way of the world or the ways of God?

  • Walking on water (David Gore • Matt 14:22-33)

    Walking on water (David Gore • Matt 14:22-33)

    23/08/2017 Duração: 22min

    Walking on the water has (in popular thought) become almost synonymous with being divine (how else could a person walk on water, right?!). For those who have responded to Jesus invitation to come to him, it becomes obvious that following Jesus shares many of the dynamics of walking on water. As Jesus' followers, we participate in the miraculous overcoming of the way things normally function in the world. But we must keep our eyes resolutely fixed on Jesus, lest we lose our way.

  • Heart of abundance (David Gore • Matt 14:13-21)

    Heart of abundance (David Gore • Matt 14:13-21)

    20/08/2017 Duração: 18min

    When Jesus directed his disciples to feed the crowds by the water, he was not simply wanting to attend to their immediate need for a meal. He was offering them the opportunity to taste the richness of kingdom life. As the disciples and the people offered what they had and shared it freely among the group, a miracle of the kingdom occurred. Not only did everyone get fed… there was more than enough. Scholars still tussle over whether the miracle was the multiplication of the food or the unprecedented generosity of all present to share freely what they had - both would be miraculous in their own right. Either way… with Christ’s blessing: Resources + Generosity = Kingdom Abundance!

  • Nothing can separate us from the love of God (David Gore • Romans 8:26-39)

    Nothing can separate us from the love of God (David Gore • Romans 8:26-39)

    16/08/2017 Duração: 22min

    Paul encountered many challenges in his following of Jesus. Just one of these would be enough to stop many of us in our tracks. Paul was so enamoured of God's grace, he could not help but keep going despite the challenges. The fact that nothing can separate us from the love of God clearly does not equal an easy life! Then what does it mean?!

  • Forgiveness, Gratitude and Call (Adrian Sukumar-White)

    Forgiveness, Gratitude and Call (Adrian Sukumar-White)

    16/08/2017 Duração: 18min

    When Zaccheus comes hoping to see Jesus, the enthusiasm Zac shows for catching a glimpse of Jesus is subsequently matched by the enthusiastic response Zac shows to having met Jesus. We get a sense that Zaccheus is so grateful to Jesus for the acceptance that has been shown, that Zac would hold nothing back in response to this love. The measure by which we give is the clearest indicator of the measure by which we have received. Zac knew he had received more than he could have ever hoped for. How do you understand what you have received from Jesus?

  • The Sower and the Seeds (Ian Olver • Mat 13:1-23)

    The Sower and the Seeds (Ian Olver • Mat 13:1-23)

    09/08/2017 Duração: 17min

    When it comes to the impact of the message of God's kingdom, there are a number of factors that are to be taken into consideration. Crucial among these is the receptivity of the one hearing the message. When a person receives this message appropriately it never fails to be fruitful and to have a multiplying effect. What has been your response to the message of the kingdom?

  • The thing I hate I end up doing ( Catherine • Rom 7:15-25)

    The thing I hate I end up doing ( Catherine • Rom 7:15-25)

    09/08/2017 Duração: 21min

    People are complex, are they (we) not?! At times we do stuff for reasons we can not fathom ourselves. Sometimes we even find ourselves inexplicably drawn to doing the exact opposite of the thing we tell ourselves we want to be doing. Paul was no stranger to the conundrums of his humanity. He did not pretend he had magically overcome the challenges of his flesh. But he did have a clear sense of where assistance could be found. Ironically, the way forward is not found in the arena of self-help. It is found only when we look beyond self.

  • Groundbreaking Faith (David Gore • Genesis 22:1-14)

    Groundbreaking Faith (David Gore • Genesis 22:1-14)

    06/07/2017 Duração: 19min

    In the time of Abraham, there was nothing remarkable about a father going up a mount to sacrifice his first born. Archeological research indicates the religious practice of infant sacrifice was virtually universal in that day. The remarkable part of this story is that Abraham does NOT sacrifice Isaac. In the culture of his day this would be tantamount to putting the whole community at risk. It was a bold and outrageous move of faith by Abraham. Today we live in the cultural heritage of Abraham’s remarkable faith. I am so thankful Abraham heard the voice of God calling him to bring an end to this evil practice. I wonder what evil God is calling us to bring an end to?

  • The Great Reversal (David Gore • Matt 10:24-39)

    The Great Reversal (David Gore • Matt 10:24-39)

    04/07/2017 Duração: 21min

    The truth is not always comfortable. In the passage from Matthew’s gospel (10:24-39) we look at today, Jesus unashamedly addresses a number of challenges that will confront the faithful disciple. What are we to expect as we seek to live as followers of Jesus? If Jesus’ coming does not bring peace but a sword, what are we to do? The found life will be lost and the lost life will be found?! These riddles point to a kingdom that is beyond our capacity to even imagine! As we follow Jesus the reality is revealed.

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