Created with Sketch.
By the Well
45 minutes | Jun 17, 2021
B127 – Pentecost 5 (Proper 8)
Our guest this week is Rev. Dr. Garry Worete Deverell, Trawloolway man, Anglican Priest, and Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow in Indigenous Theologies at the University of Divinity. We discuss themes of vulnerability and weakness in 2 Cor 8:7-15 and Mark 5:21-43 which accompany teaching of “genuine love” and moments of healing and faith. We also reflect on what the laments in 2 Sam 1:17-27 and Psalm 130 in terms of how Christians might continue to lament in helpful ways. We refer to Musa Dube’s “Fifty Years of Bleeding” and this episode of the New Testament Review podcast discussing Candida Moss’s article on Mark 5. Garry Deverell blogs at Uncommon Prayers and his latest book is called Gondwana Theology: A Trawloolway man reflects on Christian Faith.
33 minutes | Jun 10, 2021
B126 – Pentecost 4 (Proper 7) 1 Sam 17:32-49, Mark 4:35-41
Rev. Assoc. Prof. Monica Melanchthon joins us to discuss the David and Goliath story (1 Sam 17:32-49). Their battle occurs in the “liminal space” between two armies, a place where God is found and works in unlikely ways and through unlikely people. In Mark 4:35-41 Jesus finds himself in a different liminal space between Jewish and Gentile territory. His calming of the storm reveals his divine power and identity. “Great wind” is replaced by “great calm” and ultimately “great fear” (reverence) as the disciples realise they stand in the presence of the divine.
27 minutes | Jun 3, 2021
B125 – Pentecost 3 (Proper 6)
This week we focus on 1 Samuel 15:34-16:13 and Mark 4:26-34. Themes emerge regarding kingship and kingdoms. David is the surprising choice in 1 Samuel as the youngest and one chosen by the God who “looks on the heart”. The parables in Mark are about the Kingdom or Reign of God, bringing to the fore the inevitability of the Kingdom, its growth that doesn’t rely on humans, and its inclusive nature. Political resonances challenge the dominance of empire and proclaim a radically different kind of kin(g)ship. References: AJ Levine’s Short Stories by Jesus and Raimundo Barreto’s article on reading Mark with Latin American eyes.
29 minutes | May 27, 2021
B124 – Pentecost 2 (Proper 5)
This week we note the people’s demand for a king in 1 Samuel 8:1-20 is about wanting a visible, tangible site for authority. God’s offer of intimate relationship with the people, trusting their discernment, is not enough; the people don’t trust God or themselves. God, mercifully, but with dire warning, grants their wish. We talk about the frailty of our human institutions – in society and the church, and what this reading might say about God’s view of us and our capacity. The Mark passage (Mark 3:1-20) throws into sharp relief our tendency to divide ourselves into ‘in’ and ‘out’, and shows that our human institutions will ‘fall’ under the grace of God’s kingdom. We note the divisions Jesus’ coming provoke, dismantling of traditional structures, and radical judgment for those who reject him. We mention the story of the Tongan boys marooned on an island for 15 months in 1965, which is recorded in this Guardian article by Rutger Bergman, May 9, 2020.
31 minutes | May 20, 2021
B 123 – Trinity Sunday (Rom 8:12-17, John 3:1-17)
Rev. Assoc. Prof. Frank Rees, systematic theologian and Baptist minister, joins us to discuss the relational and egalitarian nature of the Trinity. We discuss the various ways the communal, intimate, transcendent, and interdependent nature of God is revealed in Isaiah 6:1-8, Romans 8:12-17, and John 3:1-17. Frank concludes that the triune nature of God reveals “differences that don’t divide” – a challenge and invitation to our way of being as Christians. We mention Jonathan Tran’s article, “The New Black Theology: Retrieving Ancient Sources to Challenge Racism“, Rublev’s Icon, and Frank Maloney’s John Commentary.
29 minutes | May 13, 2021
B121 – Easter 7
Psalm 1, Acts 1:15-26, John 17:6-19 are the focus this week. Acts 1 narrates the choosing of a new leader to replace Judas, raising questions about how we choose leaders and what we look for in our leaders. The Psalm invites us to “mediate on God’s Torah (instruction)”. In many ways it frames and introduces all the Psalms, placing them in continuity with the first five books of the Bible (Torah), challenging believers to meditate on the scriptures and offering hope for a world where the righteous flourish. In John 17 we get part of Jesus’ farewell prayer for his disciples asking for their protection and assuring spiritual connection. Do we pray for our congregations? And what for?
30 minutes | May 13, 2021
Pentecost (Acts 2:1-12; Ezekiel 37:1-14)
Ian Ferguson joins us for our Pentecost episode, where we talk about the creative, regenerative power of the Holy Spirit as she comes to us in Acts 2:1-21 and Ezekiel 37:1-14. Ezekiel’s vision of the dry bones shows the power of God’s Spirit to bring life from death. In the Acts passage the Spirit is robust and dramatic, infusing believers with gifts, with conversion and the joy of faith. We mention the inherently outward focus of the Spirit and therefore our outward posture as Spirit bearers, exercising our gifts, in and as community, for the sake of the world. Ian referred to ‘linguistic colonialism’ which is a quote from Willie Jennings’ Theological Commentary on Acts
28 minutes | Apr 29, 2021
B120- Easter 6 (John 15:9-17, Acts 10:44-48)
The readings this week invite us to reflect on change, the role of the Holy Spirit, and Jesus’ commandment to love. Acts 10:44-48 narrates the “gentile pentecost”, the delightful interruption of the Holy Spirit who falls upon everyone while Peter is speaking. This is the fourth pouring out of the Spirit in Acts, this time prior to water baptism and upon those outside the faith. Peter exemplifies the capacity to change in response to God’s prompting. John 15:9-17 continues Jesus’ teaching on abiding in love and the command to love in the manner of Jesus. Psalm 98 expresses joy at the thing God has done and offers a way to respond to these NT passages. We refer to “Tank man” and this protester, Ieshia Evans.
28 minutes | Apr 22, 2021
B119 – Easter 5 (Acts 8:26-40; John 15:1-8)
The universal embrace of the gospel is embodied in the Ethiopian Eunuch in the Acts 8 passage. The usual social barriers are no barriers to his baptism and the joy of faith. We talk about the communal context of interpretation of scripture, the importance of teaching, and the proclamatory, spoken nature of the good news. The John passage includes the final I am statement and centres on vine imagery, which emphasises the interconnectedness of the faithful with one another and with God, the vinegrower. The language of ‘abiding’ speaks of love, grounded in living God’s commandments. This love is further fleshed out in the 1 John 4 reading. We refer to Brittany Wilson’s article “Neither Male nor Female” New Testament Studies 60.3 (2014).
37 minutes | Apr 16, 2021
B118 – Easter 4 (Good Shepherd)
Robyn and Fran unpack the good shepherd imagery used for God in Psalm 23 and Jesus in John 10:11-18. We discuss the complexity of “laying down one’s life” and its afterlife in the way we talk about veterans and self-sacrifice (noting it is Anzac Day in Australia this Sunday). We refer to a discussion of sacrifice in Rutledge’s The Crucifixion. Kylie Crabbe returns to look at Acts 4:5-12 where questions of power and resurrection arise again.
30 minutes | Jul 29, 2020
A139 – Pentecost 10 (Gen 37, Matt 14:22-33)
Meg Warner joins the podcast to talk about Joseph, favoritism, family dissension and trauma. We discuss how Joseph’s story is contradictory and ambiguous; that Joseph himself is an enigma – which attention to the nuances of his dreams illustrates. We note that though his story is as long as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’s, Joseph is not put in their esteemed company – largely for political reasons. Focus on his brothers’ betrayal of Joseph highlights the rippling effects of trauma, at the personal, communal and global levels. We talk about the apocalyptic nature of the miracle in the Matthew reading, and the echoes of Genesis 1 and Exodus 32 which cast Jesus as both the new Moses and the great ‘I am’. Is it an epiphany? We note that Peter’s understanding of faith as obedience: he requested to be commanded to walk. Fear took over when he took his eyes from Jesus. We mention Meg’s Tragedies and Congregations and Joseph: A story of Resilience, and Mary’ Trump’s Too Much is Never Enough.
29 minutes | Jul 22, 2020
A138 – Pentecost 9 (Gen 32, Matt 14)
Brian Kolia joins the podcast to discuss Jacob’s wrestle with God in Genesis 32:22-31. We point to the humour in this story where God takes on some human characteristics and becomes the trickster, a role that has previously been Jacob’s. Relationship with God is associated with both struggle and blessing here, as well as a new identity. Themes of seeing, darkness, and the hope that comes with daybreak also emerge. We note Psalm 17:1-7, 15 picks up many of these themes. The feeding of the 5000 (Matthew 14:13-21) parallels the deathly feast of Herod that precedes it, highlighting the difference between the values of God’s kingdom and Herod’s. We point to the egalitarian elements of Matthew’s feast and that in God’s kingdom not only is everyone “satisfied” but there is abundance and enough left for others. Follow us on twitter @bythewellpod.
28 minutes | Jul 15, 2020
A137 – Pentecost 8 (Genesis 29, Romans 8, Matthew 13)
We continue with the Jacob story in Genesis 29:15-28 where themes emerge about God choosing the unlikely person, that God’s plan does not depend on our righteousness, and that God “sees” those whom the world deems unloveable or unimportant. Romans 8:26-39 speaks to the impossibility of us being separated from God’s love and the parables in Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52 offer a range of images to describe the Kingdom of Heaven. We refer to Wil Gafney’s Womanist Midrash, Mark Brett’s Genesis and AJ Levine’s Short Stories by Jesus. Follow us on twitter @bythewellpod
28 minutes | Jul 8, 2020
A136 – Pentecost 7 (Gen 28, Roms 8, Matt 13)
The Genesis narrative continues as Jacob encounters God in his dream (Gen 28:10-19a). Key themes here include God’s unfailing faithfulness to his covenant and the unexpected places God encounters us – in vulnerability and in the ordinary. Theologically it is significant that God found Jacob, not the other way round. Romans 8:12-29 continues the focus on God’s persistent delight in being in relationship with us, such that, through Jesus, we receive the lavish gift of adoption. God’s love is both cosmic and intimate. Matthew 13 challenges us to play with parables not as tidy, moralistic tales, but as windows into God, as deceptively simple pictures which reveal glimpses of God’s unique Kingdom. We mention Beverley Roberts Gaventa’s When in Romans, Brendan Byrne’s Romans, and Garry Deverell’s Gondwana Theology.
27 minutes | Jul 1, 2020
A135 – Pentecost 6 (Gen 25, Roms 8 & Matt 13)
The Genesis reading takes us into the “Jacob Cycle” with the story of the twins, Jacob and Esau (Gen 25:19-34). Themes of miraculous births, younger sons usurping older sons, and duelling nations continue. Theologically, these passages affirm that God chooses the frail, sinful, and broken to receive God’s promises and partner in God’s mission, a theme that continues in Romans 8:1-11. We also discuss the parable of the sower/seeds in Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 – a passage that speaks about the abundance and reckless generosity of God. We refer to Terry Eagleton’s Reason, Faith, and Revolution, Beverley Gaventa’s When in Romans, Brendan Byrne’s Romans Commentary, Warren Carter’s Matthew Commentary, Ben Myers’ Ten Rules for Preaching Parables, and Bill Loader’s Lectionary page.
31 minutes | Jun 24, 2020
A134 – Pentecost 5 (Song 2, Genesis 24, and Matt 11)
This week the lectionary offers a rare chance to preach on the love poetry known as Song of Songs (Song of Solomon). Hebrew Bible scholar, Brian Kolia, joins the podcast to unpack Genesis 24:34-38, 58-67, Song of Songs 2:8-13, and Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30. We compare Abraham’s quest to get a wife for his son with the erotic, body positive, love poetry of Song of Songs. Themes of place, ethnicity, and love permeate these Old Testament readings, while Matthew’s gospel compares the yoke of Christ with that of the world. We refer to this article by Elaine James. Find us on Twitter @bythewellpod
31 minutes | Jun 17, 2020
A 133 – Pentecost 4: The Binding of Isaac and True Hospitality (Gen 22 & Matt 10)
This week Robyn and Fran focus on Genesis 22:1-14 – the sacrifice or binding of Isaac. Is this an appalling story of an appalling God? Or a call to obedience in God at all costs? Or a rejection of child sacrifice? We talk about the text being silent on the characters’ psychological dynamics, because of its theological focus. We also discuss Matthew 10:40-42 and note the costly requirement of following Jesus being not simply to offer hospitality, but be willing to be guest – to give up power and control in a genuine posture of missional engagement. We note the nuances in the meaning of ‘welcome’ as it appears in Matthew 10.40. We refer to Mark Brett’s Genesis and Ellen Davis’ Getting Involved With God.
29 minutes | Jun 3, 2020
A131 -Laughter, Hope and Hospitality (Genesis 18 and Matthew 9-10)
Rachel Kronberger joins us this week, the 2nd Sunday after Pentecost, when we focus on Genesis 18:1-15 and Matthew 9:35-10:8, with a brief excursus into Romans 5. We trace the covenant promise from Gen 12, and the patience and faith required of Abraham and Sarah. We look closely at Sarah’s role and the subversiveness of her laughter. We note the image of God in Rublev’s (15th cent.) icon with its depiction of the visit of the three figures to Abraham and Sarah as the Trinity, and the way Rublev expresses hospitality in the story. We speak of suffering in both key texts, and note Jesus’ compassion for the people in the Matthew passage, and what it means for the ministry of the whole people of God. We mention Brendan Byrne’s Lifting the Burden, Marylin Robinson’s Home, and Mark Brett’s Genesis. Follow us on Twitter @bythewellpod
30 minutes | May 27, 2020
A130 – Trinity Sunday (Gen 1:1-2:4a & Matt 28:16-20)
Do you have to talk about the Doctrine of the Trinity on Trinity Sunday? Well, no. But this Sunday, in particular, invites us to explore our image(s) of God and what it means for humans to be in that image (Genesis 1). We discuss the relational nature of the God revealed in these texts, how we keep sabbath, and the call to mission in Matthew 28:16-20. We refer to the Enuma Elish and Ben Myers’ tweets on the Trinity.
39 minutes | May 20, 2020
A129 – Pentecost: Acts 2:1-21 with John Flett
John Flett joins us this week for a rich conversation about Pentecost and mission. We focus Acts 2:1-21 and John 20:19-23, drawing similarities and contrasts in the way the Spirit is portrayed in each text. We talk joy, peace, freedom, and being sent for the sake of the world, not for our own sake. John outlines ‘what not to do’ in a Pentecost sermon, and then offers a more faithful, radical alternative. We mention John’s latest book Questions of Context, and an article by Craig Barnes, The Spirituality of Quarantine.
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2021