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New Church Westville Weekly Sermon Podcast
New Church Audio
Recordings of weekly sermons at New Church Westville, a family centred New Christian church located in Westville, South Africa.
1 day ago
The 5 Senses, Part 1, Taste and Smell
Have you ever thought about why the Lord gave you a sense of smell or why He gave you a sense of taste? This Sunday we’re beginning a sermon series on the five senses and we will be focusing on taste and smell. We will look at some stories from the Lord’s Word that involve taste and smell and reflect on the spiritual significance of these senses in our lives. How can we become more sensitive to the things that the Lord wants us to notice?
Sep 19, 2021
Strands Through Scripture - 3 - Covenants
We are continuing to follow threads of meaning through the many stories of the Word. This Sunday we will follow the idea of the Covenant, the special agreement between God and mankind. On the surface it appears that this agreement changes drastically from the very contractual, blind-faith based one of the Old Testament to the loving, caring relationship presented in the New Testament. In reality, these covenants are one and the same, seen from different points of view. We’ll look at how we can change how we see our own agreements with the Lord so that we can form a relationship that inspires and transforms our lives.
Sep 12, 2021
Strands Through Scipture -2- Precipitation
This Sunday we are going to look at another strand that runs through scripture from beginning to end: the imagery of precipitation. We might think of weather in the Bible as something going on in the background while the real story plays out between the human beings in the story but we can learn a lot about what’s going on in different stories by paying attention to the atmospheric conditions. We’ll look at the symbolism of the whole water cycle and also touch on things like dew, snow, and hail.
Sep 5, 2021
So He Gives His Beloved Sleep
The Word is written in such a way that every word and concept has a deeper spiritual meaning. These meanings are threaded through the entirety of the Word, tying together disparate and varied stories into one story with one message. This Sunday we will follow one of these threads by exploring sleep and wakefulness. In this theme we learn about the need to be vigilant and awake spiritually, as well as the need to rest and sleep in the Lord.
Aug 29, 2021
What Kind of God do You Believe In?
There are many ideas of God in the world. Over the history of the human race and in all the different religions around the world there is a huge variety of ideas about what God is like. So what God do you believe in? This Sunday we are going to look at a number of the different ways God is depicted and described in the Bible as an opportunity for you to reflect on your relationship with God. We’re also going to look at some common ways in which people’s beliefs about God can be hurting them.
Aug 22, 2021
Sometimes we think fondly back on the simplicity of childhood. Our biggest concerns seem small in comparison to what we face as adults. It’s a pity we cannot go back to that simple mind-set of trust and innocence. Or at least, that’s what a cynical world tells us. But the Lord offers hope in the face of pessimism. Even though we may have exchanged childish idealism for adult realism, that does not mean we can never go back. In fact the Lord promises that we can regain our innocence and find abundant hope even in a troubled world. It’s not too late.
Aug 15, 2021
Genuine Goodness - 3 - Is it Wrong to Want Some Credit
We’ve been talking for a couple of weeks about genuine goodness and this week we’re going to venture into some of the thorny issues around motivation. Does it matter what our motivations are if the actions we do are good? Is it wrong to want some credit for the good things we do or does that somehow spoil them? Why does the Lord care about our motivations? Spoiler alert: the Lord cares about our motivations because He cares about us and He knows what will make us genuinely happy.
Aug 8, 2021
Genuine Goodness - 2 - Picking and Choosing
We all want to be good: but how do we decide which good things to do? No matter how much we do, there is always more to be done. When faced with just how many needs there are in the world we can become overwhelmed. We cannot possibly do it all. In order to be good we have to constantly make a judgment call about what good things we will do, and just as importantly, what good things we will not do. We’ll talk about how to make those choices this Sunday.
Aug 1, 2021
Genuine Goodness - 1 - Doing Good When You Don't Feel Like It
There’s something in each of us that wants to be good—that wants to make the world a better place. But how do we do that? There’s a lot to talk about here. For this Sunday we’re going to start with the rather mundane topic of the good things that we do that we don’t feel like doing. We all have things that we are asked to do, required to do, nagged into doing, or have to do because nobody else is going to do it. Often we don’t feel like doing those things. Should we do them anyway? Should we not? Let’s talk about it on Sunday.
Jul 25, 2021
Responding to Evil
Perhaps the clearest command that the Lord gives us in regards to evil-doers is that we ought to forgive them. This command is one of the hardest commands to follow and it is crucial for our spiritual well-being. Yet if forgiveness is our only response to evil then we miss the bigger picture. So in addition to forgiveness, what else does the Lord teach us about responding to evil? This Sunday we will explore how to broaden our view of that response.
Jul 18, 2021
Strengthen Your Heart
It has been a hard week. This Sunday we will have a special service with Joel, Malcolm, and the Rev. Bheki Dube each playing a part. In the Psalms we read, “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!” (27:14). Join us online as we ask the Lord to strengthen our hearts.
Jul 11, 2021
Our Relationship with What the Lord Teaches - 2 - Individual Experience
Last week we talked about some general principles as to what makes for a healthy or unhealthy relationship with what the Lord teaches. This week we’re going to talk about what it’s like to be an individual navigating the ups and downs of our individual relationship with what the Lord teaches.
Jul 4, 2021
Our Relationship with What the Lord Teaches - 1 - General Principles
Here’s one expression of our relationship with what the Lord teaches: “God said it. I believe it. That settles it!” It’s not quite that simple, is it? What should our relationship with statements in the Lord’s Word be? What if we don’t understand them or don’t believe them? Do we reject them? Do we tell ourselves to believe them anyway? There are big ramifications to how we hold our relationship with what the Lord teaches so let’s talk about it this Sunday.
Jun 27, 2021
Avoiding is something we all do. We do it with small things, like when we ignore our body’s signals that it’s time for bed or when we procrastinate on the dishes. We do it with bigger things, like when we put off that important but difficult conversation we need to have or when we put future decisions out of mind. And we do it even with the most important things in our spiritual lives, when we know we have an issue but it is to challenging to face. But if we are to grow spiritually we cannot put off or ignore our flaws. We need to address them head on. This Sunday we will look at some of the reasons we avoid spiritual challenges and what we can do to overcome that tendency.
Jun 20, 2021
What is the New Church - Part 3 - Picturing the New Church
Every June, as New Church day approaches, we turn our attention to the book of Revelation. Revelation presents fantastic imagery of plagues and warfare, of dragons and angel armies, of a colossal city and a lake of fire. What it does not appear to do is lay out nicely and clearly what the New Church will be. Why did the Lord choose imagery over rational explanation to paint a picture for us of the New Church? This Sunday’s talk for the whole family will dive into what we can learn of the New Church through understanding John’s visions.
Jun 13, 2021
What is the New Church - Part 2 - Being Different
In talking about what the New Church is we could focus on how the New Church is different from other churches but this Sunday I’m more interested in talking about how we hold those differences. Are we meant to be trying to be different? Do we feel embarrassed to be different or maybe superior? Let’s work to have the Lord guide our thinking about being different.
Jun 6, 2021
What is the New Church? Part 1
Every year on 19 June we celebrate “New Church Day.” We treat this day as the birthday of our church. But what is it that we actually are celebrating? What is the New Church? How does the New Church fit into the broader world of religions and faith? How widely does it extend? How does it differ from any other faith? This June we will spend time looking at exactly what the New Church is, and especially how it fits into the world around us.
May 30, 2021
Being Born Again
Have you been born again? Or, to ask the same question in a different way, have you been significantly changed by trying to follow the Lord? That’s the point, right? To become a less selfish, more loving, more wise and useful person. Who could you become if you really gave yourself over to loving the Lord and loving other people? Sometimes it can feel like we’re not making much progress in that direction. Is that because we’re not trying hard enough or not letting go enough or just because it’s hard and it takes a long time to change? These are the questions that we’re going to wrestle with on Sunday.
May 23, 2021
Confirmation of Baptism
Last week we witnessed a baptism. Malcolm talked about the importance of baptism as a mark of committing to a certain way of life. But he also mentioned how rarely many of us reflect on our own baptisms. In the New Church we practice infant baptism, meaning many of us were not even conscious of what was going on when it took place, and have no memory of it. How do we confirm and affirm that we as adults accept the promises made when we were infants? Or if baptised as adults, how do we confirm and affirm the promises made years ago when younger? This Sunday we will look at various ways of confirming the promises of baptism and making sure the commitment of baptised remains with us.
May 16, 2021
Circumcision and Baptism
This Sunday we get to witness a baptism. The teachings of the New Church tell us that the sacrament of baptism was instituted by the Lord to replace the ritual of circumcision. We might prefer not to think too much about circumcision but, if we spend a bit of time reflecting on the purpose and function of circumcision, it can give us a different and useful angle from which to get a better understanding of the sacrament that replaced it, baptism.
May 9, 2021
The 4th Commandment directs us to “honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which Jehovah your God is giving you.” I hope you have a chance today to do some of that honouring. But of course, this commandment goes far beyond just one day of the year and beyond just one earthly mother. More broadly we can reflect on how we honour motherhood in general, and how those qualities of motherhood come into our spiritual practices. Whether your mother is still here or has passed on, whether your relationship with your mother is deep, conflicted, or non-existent, it is possible to honour spiritual motherhood.
May 2, 2021
When Having the Ark of God Doesn't Help
We’re going to look at a story this Sunday where the Children of Israel are facing a powerful enemy and they decide to bring the ark of the covenant into battle with them. But then they get absolutely slaughtered by their enemy. There are other stories in the Bible where the presence of the ark of the covenant with the people brings about a miraculous victory for the Children of Israel. There are also times in our lives where we’re facing something difficult and we feel like we’re making an effort to follow the Lord but He doesn’t seem to be helping at all. What’s going on?
Apr 25, 2021
Education, Part 3 - Learning the Lord's Way
So far we have seen why education is a necessary part of life and how education is really an opening up of a path to the Lord. This Sunday we will look at some of the ways that we do the actual practice of learning and teaching. For learning to be useful we have to make sure we are taking account of all that the Lord says about our minds and how they grow.
Apr 18, 2021
Education, Part 2 - An Opening of the Path
Last week Joel talked about the necessity of education. This week we will be talking about a model of what education does for a person and how a New Church worldview can inform what we educate people in and how we educate them.
Apr 11, 2021
Education, Part 1 - The Necessity of Education
We are beginning a series on education, specifically New Church education. Education is more than just what you learn in school: it is a process of growing from ignorance into wisdom, from selfishness into selflessness, from hell into heaven. This Sunday we will look at the reasons that we all have to learn, and why we need to keep on learning into eternity. Education is something that we can never be done with, especially if we want to follow the Lord and be part of His Kingdom.