October 2023

Sermon for the Twenty Second Sunday after Pentecost

Scripture Readings

This morning’s Gospel reading comes at the end of a lengthy section in which the evangelist Matthew records a series of challenging encounters between Jesus and the religious authorities. Jesus has generally been quite circumspect and even evasive in his responses to the challenges put to him. This time, he answers the question asked him very directly. What is the greatest commandment in the law? Love is the answer, love of God and love of neighbour. Love is what really matters. Everything else in the law is commentary.

Thursdays at Volmoed – The Greatest Commandment – Sermon by Mpumelelo Khambule, P/OHC

Scripture Readings

In this morning’s Gospel we see JESUS answering one of the Pharisees who is a lawyer, in the question he asked—Which is the Greatest Commandment in the Law. JESUS quoted the commandment that is the basis of our faith from the book of Deuteronomy 6:5. The commandment to love GOD with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind, which is accompanied by the second one which says to Love your neighbor as you love yourself.

Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost – Sermon by Br Daniel

Scripture Readings

br daniel ohc
Br Daniel

Breyten Breytenbach, the well-known Afrikaans poet, painter, and anti-apartheid activist, wrote the following line in one of his poems: “Die liefde is ‘n aaklige woord wat op ‘n toiletmuur uitgekrap is.”  Loosely translated it says, “Love is a disgusting word that is scratched out on a toilet wall.”  Of course, he used a more colourful word for toilet, which starts with an s and ends in house.

After reading the Gospel passage for today, it seems one can also add that life is a disgusting word that is scratched out on a toilet wall. Especially when we look at the news and sees what is going on in the world.

And, as with every story and every atrocity and with every good thing, there are two sides at least to all of them, and not least with today’s parable.

Sermon for the 22 Sunday of 2023- Volmoed 

Readings for the day

Part of the genius of the Gospels is that they teach in parables. Fables, myths, and parables fall into the same category of literary tools that are often called allegories. Allegories stay fresh even as cultures change because they speak in symbols – and symbols have meaning across generations. So, the parables of Jesus are as relevant now as two thousand years ago when Jesus told them. But the price of that relevance is that the meaning is not necessarily plain or obvious… Take for example the parable in this morning’s Gospel. It is a familiar story but what might it have meant when Jesus told it and what might it mean today… 

We have a vineyard with its winepress and watch tower, an absentee landowner, a group of difficult tenants, abused servants, and some obligatory priests and pharisees.  

September 2023 News

Any reflection on events of the past month cannot but be dominated by the astonishing aftermath of the storm that swept through the Western Cape during the night of Sunday 24 September. Roads were extensively damaged, bridges washed away, electricity and water supplies disrupted. The region in which Volmoed is situated continues to grapple with the impact. Road access remains constrained with real concern of it deteriorating further. Several communities have not yet had their electricity supply restored, while some communities are still physically isolated. Water supply to towns and suburbs remains limited.

On Volmoed we have been relatively well off. The level of water in the river rose significantly, and the main access road was inundated, leaving considerable amounts of debris behind when the water level dropped again. Thankfully, no buildings were flooded or otherwise damaged. Our electricity supply was restored by the Wednesday. The main pump for the water system is expected to be usable after it is serviced. We are grateful. We do have to make a substantial detour along a now much busier gravel road in order to get to town and shops.

Sermon for the Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Scripture Readings

I feel there is a sadness underlying the gospel reading for today. This is not the first time in Matthew’s telling of Jesus’ story that Jesus has entered the temple. The day before, after his arrival in Jerusalem, Jesus had gone into the temple and caused a commotion, upsetting things and driving out those who were trading instead of praying. The temple authorities were indignant, confronting Jesus about all the turmoil around him. Though they could see the healing of the blind and lame, they excluded themselves from the joy of the children who shouted with delight at the wonderful things Jesus was doing as he confirmed the presence of God’s kingdom among them.