Pray Earnestly for Labourers [Trinity 6]

As we read these words in the gospel[i], they are not just an account of what happened to seventy-two disciples when Jesus sent them out ahead of him. Nor are they simply a model for evangelism. They are the word of God to the people for whom Luke was inspired to write his account of the Gospel; and they were recorded to be God’s word to every generation and people group that has received them since then. And often we need to ask questions if we are to really hear what they are saying to us. Continue reading

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Bearing the Cost or Pursuing the Prize? [Trinity 5]

We live in a world where we are very aware of what people think about us. And for all our individualism, we cannot escape the fact that who we are is powerfully shaped by our relationships. The effects of the recent campaigning on the EU Referendum, bear witness to that.

But, above all, we were made to be in a relationship of love with God (who made us). In the constellation of relationships in which we orbit, what place does he have in your life? Our Gospel readings are all about that, and it is the most important question you and I must face. Continue reading

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Let us be Grateful for Jesus, a Kingdom that cannot be shaken!

Many people have blogged their responses to the referendum result. With a day’s grace to reflect, some things have not been said, so here is my response.

First, to be transparent, I should say that I voted to remain; not because the EU is so good, or that we are so weak we need it; but because we are still relatively string and rich, and we have a responsibility to work with the countries of Europe as we face an extraordinary time of crisis – and we may have just made things worse.

As the campaigning proceeded I began to fear that a good outcome was impossible; such a display of anger, greed, fear and xenophobia. Whether it was good idea to have the referendum or not, it has not so much lanced the boil of our continuing arguments over the EU (and so much more) as t has revealed how sick we really are.

Many, I know were praying for the right outcome. Did God answer those prayers? Continue reading

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A Changed Future [Beacon Magazine July/August 2016]

Things are changing. By the time this magazine letter is published, they will have changed. But one thing has not changed. God is still sovereign and working out his purposes in Christ amongst us. Continue reading

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Hearing Hearts [Trinity 4]

The Lord is here! He is speaking to each one of us and to all of us together.

And, as always, if anything is lacking here this morning, it is not his presence or his voice, but our hearts and our ears.

 “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” … “Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.” (Lk 8.8,18)[i]

Whatever we sing or say, whatever I say now, this much is certain – The Lord is here, and he is calling out to you and me. Continue reading

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The Meeting of Two Opposing Tides [Trinity 2]

Luke highlights an event for us in Jesus ministry which is not just an historic example of Jesus in action, but a picture of how he works in our own day and in our own lives.

It’s like two great opposing tides, two currents in our world. And the great question is, which you are caught up in.

But these tides are people. Try an imagine it: Jesus is coming towards Nain with a crowd of people, imagine what they were thinking, feeling, anticipating; and out of Nain they come face to face with another very different crown. I am sure we can imagine them; we see it all too often in our own community. Two different crowds come face to face with one another. Continue reading

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Looks like nothing has been happening

This Blog has not been updated for a while. That doesn’t meant that nothing has been happening. On the contrary, I have just been too busy. I also had a security issue that has taken sometime to fix. I hope to be back up and running in the near future.

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Remembrance – Who Are You?

Today is Remembrance Sunday, and in various places today there will be a formal Service of Remembrance, with wreathes and the silence. And, perhaps as here, there will be normal church services, not following the formal pattern of Remembrance, but aware of the day. After all, it is not just Remembrance Sunday, it is also the Third Sunday before Advent.

But it is not just lack of time that has led me to compose one sermon for all these services. In a very real sense, every Sunday is an act or remembrance and every Remembrance Sunday is just another Sunday service … life goes on. Continue reading

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Ears to Hear? [Bible Sunday]

Today is the Last in the church’s ‘summer’ season of Sunday’s after Trinity and it begins what always seems to me to be a mini-season with its own focus on Remembrance. Next Sunday (All Saints) we will remember all those who have been before us in this community of faith and who have passed on to us the baton and torch of faith to carry in our generation. After that we come to Remembrance Sunday and contemplate those whose lives and sacrifice won for us the freedom in which we live as well as those in this generation still offer themselves to keep alive the flame of freedom for the next generation. And today? Today is Bible Sunday! Continue reading

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The Only True God [Trinity]

Trinity Sunday is traditionally a difficult preach; something you might give to the Curate or Reader – in rugby terms, a bit of a hospital pass. It is difficult because the idea of the Trinity is complicated and hard to understand. And it is difficult because, like the other major festivals, year by year we come back to the same theme – often the same readings – and yet have to find something new to say.

It is not that the truth of the Trinity is not biblical, or that it is somehow indefensible. But, perhaps, we can sometimes get so bogged down in the detail that we fail to see the whole; we can’t see the wood for the trees. Continue reading

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