Focus on Jesus – the Transfiguration

Focus on Jesus – the Transfiguration

Exodus 24:12-18 | Matthew 17:1-9 Today’s gospel reading, the story of the transfiguration, would normally be read at the beginning of Lent, at the start of that journey. We shuffled things around so we could explore the Sermon on the Mount uninterrupted. The transfiguration is an unusual story in many ways. It’s one of the […]

The Narrow Way

The Narrow Way

Matthew 7:13-29 Today we come, at last, you might be thinking, to the end of the sermon on the mount – three chapters of concentrated spiritual, practical, an­d ethical teaching. It’s taken us eight Sundays to work our way through, and given the amount that I’ve had to leave out when deciding what to talk […]

Do to others

Do to others

Matthew 7:1-12 And so we come, at last, to the simple phrase that lies at the center of the ethical content of the Sermon on the Mount, and, perhaps, of the teaching of Jesus. Two weeks ago we reflected on the Lord’s Prayer, and how it, in many ways, was the greatest possible summary of […]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joseph

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

Full of grace and truth

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

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

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?

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.