Including Outsiders

Acts 11:1-18 One of the things I often do when I’m preparing to talk about a passage, writing a sermon, is to go back to a big excel spreadsheet that I’ve got which lists every sermon I’ve ever preached – the Bible passages, the title, and a one-line summary. This isn’t because I’m trying to […]

Practicing Love

Acts 9:36-43 Over the next five weeks we’re going to be looking at a series of stories from the book of Acts – the book, probably written by the same author as Luke’s gospel, though we don’t really know who that was, that charts the development of the early Christian Church, mostly through the stories […]

Easter Celebration – Sharing Good News

John 20:1-10 | Acts 10:34-43 Some preachers love preparing and preaching on Easter Day. I know that because my Facebook feed is full of them. So much enthusiasm for celebrating this most incredible of days with the faith community that they are part of, unpacking once again the miracle of the day as it unfolded, […]

Celebrating God’s Presence

Luke 19:28-40 There’s a sermon that I, and I think many preachers, tend to preach on Palm Sunday. You’ve probably heard it – if not from me, from some other preacher over the years.

Welcoming when we return

Luke 15:11-32 What is there to say about the story of the Prodigal Son that has not been said a thousand times before? One of the two best known of Jesus’ parables – I reckon it’s probably just nudged out of the top spot by the story of the Good Samaritan – it, like the […]

Persevering when we fail

Luke 13:1-9 A couple of weeks ago, in a scripture class, I ended up talking with a year 5 group about the word ‘Covenant’, especially as used in the Old Testament. For us it’s mostly a Bible word, although it does seem to get used in legal contexts as well – particularly, as far as […]

Revealed as Son of God

Luke 9:28-36 Over the past few weeks we’ve been following through this theme of “Jesus Introduced” – looking at different aspects of the way that Jesus, and his message, were first encountered by the people of his day.

Setting High Standards

Luke 6:27-38 There’s a prayer by Walter Brueggemann (that I used as part of morning worship last Sunday) that begins like this:

First Followers

Luke 5:1-11 I don’t know if you are fans of the TED talks – as a preacher I have to admit that I find them a bit daunting (at least the good ones) – the amount that people can say, and the engaging way they can say it, in a talk roughly the same length […]

Welcomed and Rejected

Luke 4:21-30 So we continue our short series, Jesus Introduced, with this story about his reception in his home town of Nazareth, when he was invited to speak at the synagogue. This wasn’t, as recorded in Luke’s gospel, actually the start of Jesus’ preaching ministry. He had speaking in the synagogues in the towns around […]

Presented as a baby

Luke 2:22-40 So today we begin a short series entitled “Jesus Introduced”. Over the coming weeks we’ll be looking at the way Jesus re-introduced himself to the people of his hometown (something we explored last week), how he connected with his first disciples, how he introduced some of the central themes of his teaching, and […]

Complicated

Luke 4:14-21 We in the Church have, I think it’s fair to say, a complicated, ambiguous, relationship with the scriptures. We know them as the story that shapes our worldview, our perspective on life, but find much in them that jars with our experience: a creation story that bears little relationship to the evidence of […]

Magnificat

Luke 1:39-55 Mary’s was not the only miraculous pregnancy in the Christmas story. Mary’s cousin Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah were much older than Mary – old enough that Elizabeth’s pregnancy was itself considered a miracle. It was to this older couple that Mary ‘went with haste’ soon after she received the visit of the […]

Christmas is for adults

They say that Christmas is for the children. And true – the Christmas story is a great story for telling with kids. It’s got all the elements – a baby, animals, mysterious visitors from afar, long journeys, signs in the sky, supernatural beings – the lot. And of course, it’s all tied in with all […]

Zechariah

Luke 1:68-79 Zechariah’s story is one that we tend to skip over most years in advent. There’s so much happening, and only a few Sundays to fit it into – and with carol services and advent pageants and all, the story gets squeezed down. We’ll hear Mary’s incredible Magnificat, and the stories of the visits […]