Seeds and weeds

Mark 4:26-34 Right back at the beginning of Mark’s Gospel the author gives us a one sentence summary of Jesus’ preaching: “Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’”. When you read […]

Not a spirit of timidity

2 Timothy 1:1-14 Today’s reading from Paul’s second letter to Timothy gave me the perfect excuse to indulge in one of my favourite sermon-procrastinating pastimes – searching the internet for interesting quotes.

Dishonest Wealth

Luke 16:1-9 Don’t you just love it when Jesus praises dishonest behaviour? I particularly like the way that many Bibles, choose to spin this as the ‘parable of the shrewd manager’. Yeah, ok, the guy acted shrewdly, but I wonder what you would call a man who, afraid he was going to be sacked for […]

Ninety nine or one?

Luke 15:1-10 Don’t you just love this parable? This image of God as the Shepherd who cares about the individual sheep, who seeks out the lost, who celebrates over the return of the wanderer.

What do we do with the passover

Exodus 12:1-13 | Luke 22:14-20 So welcome to an episode of “what on earth are we going to do with this story”. A story in which we are told of God committing an act of terrorism. Systematically killing the firstborn of every family in an entire nation, in order to get the political leadership to […]

Invited and inviting

Luke 14:7-14 This week Sureka I celebrated our twenty second wedding anniversary. Now while many of the details of the preparations for the wedding have faded into the midst of time (actually, I managed to avoid much of the planning by still being in England when decisions had to be taken), one thing that does […]

Sharing the invitation

Jeremiah 1:4-10 | Acts 2:14-18 I love the call of Jeremiah. Not for those famous opening words – “before I formed you in the womb I knew you”  – with which God declares that Jeremiah was set aside for great things; nor for the way that God puts the words into Jeremiah’s mouth, appointing him […]

Knowing what we have received (part 3)

Hebrews 11:29-12:2 Over the past couple of weeks we’ve been looking at the nature of the invitation that we have received, and in whatever way, responded to, in our own lives, the invitation that we have to share with the world around us.

Knowing what we have received (part 2)

Psalm 85 | Luke 11:1-13 Prayer is complicated. There is probably no part of the Christian faith that is at the same time so universally valued and respected, and at the same time so diversely understood, or openly not understood.

Knowing what we have received (part 1)

Colossians 2:6-17 As we explore, over these next few weeks, this idea of the invitation, the invitation that we have received, from God, the invitation that we have to offer to the world around us, the invitation to taste and see that the Lord is good, to experience the love and welcome of Jesus Christ, […]

The invitation is God’s

Hosea 11:1-11 | Luke 12:22-32 Hosea, along with the so-called minor prophets, is probably one of the less frequently explored books of the Bible. And that’s probably understandable – the minor prophets do have their odd characteristics, their strange characters speaking to situations which are very different from our, frequently using imagery which is very […]

Called to freedom

Galatians 5:13-25 So two weeks ago in our reading from the letter to the Galatian Church we explored how Paul exhorted the followers of Jesus in Galatia to take seriously the freedom that Christ had won for them and the Spirit had gifted to them: freedom from the guardianship of the Law, that had existed […]

The Freedom of the Spirit

Galatians 3:23-39 One of the great temptations for the preacher, I believe, is to always choose to preach on the bits of the Bible that you are most comfortable with, that you find clearly and easily conforming to the overall narrative of the scriptures as you understand it.

The knowledge of the story

Last Sunday, of course, was Pentecost. But you might have noticed that our readings left out perhaps the most famous part of the Pentecost story – the Spirit descending on the disciples like tongues of fire, and the miracle of language that followed, as everyone heard them proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ in […]

Pentecost

Acts 2:14-21 | Romans 8:14-17 The disciples had been told to go back to Jerusalem and wait; promised that they would receive power from heaven, that they would be Jesus’ witnesses throughout Israel, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.