Don't worry be happy

Do not worry

Matthew 6:22-34 Reading the gospel today we read three times the clear command “do not worry”. Now I doubt that there is a piece of advice which is more often given, more universally accepted as wise, and more completely useless, than those words: “do not worry”. I mean, can you imagine a circumstance in which […]

Lord’s Prayer

Matthew 6:1-13 Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, once said “If somebody said, give me a summary of Christian faith that I can write on the back of an envelope, the best thing to do would be to write out the Lord’s Prayer.” It is perhaps the only piece of Christian liturgy used by […]

Be Perfect

Leviticus 19:13-18 | Matthew 5:38-48 Last week – or maybe it was the week before – I mentioned that there was this pattern of speech that Jesus used in the sermon on the mount, and which was a good indication of the way that the author portrays him as taking part in the cut and […]

Choice and Hope

Sirach 15:15-20 | Matthew 5:21-26 A while back, and I’m not sure exactly how it happened, there was a conversation in our household that turns out to be relevant to our readings today. Somehow we ended up talking about the doctrine of original sin.

The Law and the Prophets

Isaiah 58:1-8 | Matthew 5:13-20 Today, as we continue our exploration of Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount, the best known block of his teaching about what it means to live as his disciple, as a citizen of his reign, our gospel reading brings us one of those passages where it’s hard to […]

Beatitudes

Micah 6:1-8 | Matthew 5:1-12 Last week I spoke about the importance of the word ‘disciples’ in the life of the follower of Jesus, reflecting on the sense that it carries with it – or ought to carry with it – of a lifelong process of being incrementally trained in the way of Jesus, the […]

Growth Mentality

Matthew 4:12-23 Back before advent – I know that seems a long time ago now, but bear with me – back before advent we looked at a number of passages from the Hebrew prophets, under the theme of “When everything has changed” – reflecting on the promises of God as understood by the people of […]

Joseph

Matthew 1:18-25 We don’t hear very much about Joseph in the Christmas story.

Full of grace and truth

John 1:6-18 We have seen his glory, full of grace and truth. John, using the imagery of light in the darkness to speak of the arrival of Jesus I must have read or listened to these words dozens and dozens of times – every Christmas of my life, to begin with, and I’m sure plenty […]

Christ the King

Psalm 46 | Colossians 1:11-20 Today we come to the end of the Church year. Next Sunday, is the start of advent, the start of the time of getting ready, as we approach the great mystery of Christmas. This week, the final Sunday of the Church year, we celebrate the festival of Christ the King.

Celebrating connections

Isaiah 65:17-25 We’re drawing close to that time of year when we start to look towards Christmas; to the season of advent, when we will be preparing ourselves once again for our celebration of that most incredible of all miracles and mysteries, the coming of God into God’s world, not through a spectacular act of […]

How Long?

Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4, 3:1-2 Habakkuk is quite unusual amongst the prophets of the day – not unique, but unusual – in his approach to the suffering that he saw around him.

The days are surely coming

Jeremiah 31:27-34 One more week in the book of Jeremiah. Last week we reflected on Jeremiah’s words to those who had been taken into exile, those for whom everything had changed so dramatically, who were wondering what it meant, how they were supposed to live now that they were in this foreign land, the land […]

Live where you are

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been spending some not inconsiderable amount of time thinking about where we should go next in terms of our sermon series. Since Pentecost, back in June, we’ve explored once again what it means to be followers of Jesus – empowered by the Spirit, following in the freedom we […]

Hope for all creation

Romans 8:18-25 Today we come to the end of our series for the Season of Creation, and we’re deviating from the principle that I set out at the start of the series, when I spoke about the challenge of taking the lectionary readings and trying to hear the voice of creation in texts where we […]