Gospel Conversations

Exploring the weekly Gospel

 Gospel Conversations continue into 2024, with Conversationalists from within the Diocese and far beyond, joining with Michael Godfrey to ponder the weekly Gospel readings our lectionary gives us.

These are free-flowing conversations, with the aim of floating and teasing out ideas and responses to the weekly passage,
not as an academic exercise but as a creative dance with the text and the Spirit who enlivens the text for us. We hope they will spark some ideas for those who are preparing sermons, but also that they will be used by people to think about the Sunday readings during the week.

Find our Conversations from 2023 HERE. Conversations from 2022 can be accessed HERE and 2021 can be accessed HERE

Turn your sound up and make sure you view the videos in full screen…


Pentecost Sunday! A time of celebration, wonder, joy and sheer confusion! Today we ponder Jesus’ words as he tries to prepare his disciples for what is to come by promising them the multi-faceted care of the Paraclete. Jesus in John’s gospel can be challenging to understand, so join Judy, Mary-Jo, Anne and Michael as they toss some ideas around that might be worth considering.

Easter 7, May 12: For the next couple of weeks we’re continuing with Jesus’ final discourse in John’s Gospel, in which a sometimes bewildering whirl of ideas, commands, and comfort, are given to the first disciples – and us. In one of our inter-continental discussions, we are joined by Matt Jeffries from the Arthur Rank Centre in the UK, Jerry Morris from the Methodist church of Wisconsin, and Peg Riley from Christchurch. Together they explore our relationships with the church, with God, and with each other in ways that will – as the Spirit does – challenge and comfort you

Continuing on through John’s Gospel, we dig deeper into that amazing word, “Abide”, which we encountered last week. Our conversationalists find in it comfort, questions, and challenges . Especially, how does abiding in Christ connect to his command for us to love each other? David Tomb, Wendy Scott, and Ben Truman give us memorable pictures and ideas to ponder on.

Sometimes the most challenging thing about a biblical passage can be to avoid thinking, “Oh, I’ve read that/heard that a million times.” The image of Jesus as the vine and us as the branches could strike us with that sort of familiarity, so the Conversationalists today “branch out” to see how we might be able to look at it anew. Join Kelvin Wright, Nicki Colledge, and Anne van Gend as they puzzle it out with Michael.

Easter 4. This week we have one of the most beloved images of Jesus to think about: Jesus the Good Shepherd who knows each sheep by name, and welcomes those from unexpected pastures. Even this beautiful image brings with it challenges as well as good news, and Deborah Broome joins us for the first time to mull them over with Lisa Emerson and Damon Plimmer – and, of course, Michael!

Easter 3, and we’re really beginning to grapple with how to deal with the overwhelming GOODNESS of the good news of the Resurrection! Luke gives us a resurrected Jesus who is thoroughly with us, scars and all, and has yet defeated death. John Goodwin, Jenny Dawson and Esther Clarke-Prebble make up our team of conversationalists this week. Christ is risen – indeed!

April 7. Easter 2! Traditionally this is called “Low Sunday” and many congregations find themselves a little smaller than usual as people recover from Holy Week and Easter! It would be a pity to miss this beautiful reading, however. Jesus appearing to his disciples huddled in a room with doors locked; Thomas refusing to believe until he can see it with his own eyes – there is so much here to dig into! Simon Martin joins us for the first time, and together with Gillian, Jonathan and Michael, gives us a taste of just how much there is to glean from this amazing passage.

Easter Day! If you’re not preaching this week, perhaps hold off watching this until Sunday, because this is a real celebration of the resurrection, and over Holy Week we still have Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday to work through before we get there. But when we do, what an amazing, glorious story we are given! Grace, Peg and Anne have a thoroughly enjoyable time thinking about the women at the tomb and the mind-blowing Good News they are tasked with sharing. Christ is risen!

March 24 Passion/Palm Sunday Last year we talked about the “blessing of the Palms” Gospel reading, so this year we’re tackling the longer, “Passion” reading. This catapults us straight into the tension and darkness of Holy Week. Is there good news to be found as we wait by Jesus’ body on the cross or in the tomb? Bishop Steve, Jenny Dawson and Michael Holdaway wonder about this together.

March 17th. We’re continuing to jump around the Gospel of John as we come ever closer to Holy Week. Here, Jesus is told that some Greeks want to see him, and for some reason that launches a speech about seeds and serpents and glory and his own death. This week we have Kelvin Wright, Natalie Millikan and Mannie Marara helping us to find meaning in the swirling and wonderful words of Jesus.

March 10 Lent 4 This passage contains one of the most familiar passages in all Scripture – but our conversationalists may not react to it the way you expect! Whether or not you agree with them, we invite you to enter the conversation, listening, weighing up, accepting or rejecting their suggestions, and being part of the ongoing journey to know God and God’s will better. This week Alec Clark, Gillian Townsley, and Andrew Metcalfe join Michael to discuss “God so loved the world….”

March 3rd Lent 3 For the third week of Lent we jump over to John’s Gospel for the unexpected story of Jesus making a whip and driving out the store-keepers in the Temple. This could seem out of character for Jesus – what’s going on? We’re helped along in our thinking by Lisa Emerson, Esther Clarke-Prebble and Esme Macdonald this week, who give us three gloriously different approaches to this story.

Gospel for Sunday Feb 25.”Take up your cross and follow.” It’s not an easy command to hear, and as we continue through Lent, it’s something we need to grapple with. What could Jesus have meant? What are the dangers associated with some of the ways we understand him? Join David Tombs, Nicki Colledge, Eddie O’Connor (for the first time) and Michael as they ponder these, and other, questions.

LENT 1 Feb 18. We enter Lent with a bang, hurried along by Mark’s rapid-fire story-telling. Baptism, temptations, proclamation, all in a few short verses. Aptly, our conversation this week is also short and sharp! Bishop Steven Benford, Peg Riley and Anne van Gend explore with Michael how to respond to heavenly voices, demons, angels, and wild beasts!

Gospel for Sunday Feb 11. This week’s gospel is the story of Jesus healing a leper, and the beautiful interactions between them. Why was this one healing told in detail, when there had been so many healings before this one? Damon Plimmer, Gary Griffith-Smith and Anne van Gend join Michael to explore the significance of this life-changing story for the leper, and for us.

Gospel for Sunday Feb 4th. We’re back! Refreshed after a month or so off, our Conversationalists are starting again for another year. We launch with the energetic combination of Kelvin Wright, Wendy Scott and Emma Wilson, who join Mike to talk about the rush of stories that strike us just as the Gospel of Mark begins.

Previous Gospel Conversations

2023 HERE

2022 HERE

2021 HERE

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