Mother Anne-Marie’s turn to preach, sermon number four.
Reading: Colossians 3.1-4, Matthew 25.31-40
So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundations of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me. Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me Continue reading
Sermon number two was from Mother Anne-Marie.
Reading: John 18.1, Mark 14.33-36
Jesus went out with His disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered.
He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and agitated. And he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake.” And going a little further, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible the hour might pass from him. He said, “Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want but what you want.” Continue reading
Today is that day that Good King Wenceslas looked out on the feast of Stephen. Or, as I used to think as a child when the family sat round the piano as we sang carols, the day that Good King Wenslas last looked out, as if he were in the habit of looking out on a regular basis. It is, of course, the feast of Saint Stephen the first martyr. A day after we have celebrated the birth of the Prince of Peace we celebrate the death of a young man brutally murdered because some people didn’t like what he believed. Perhaps it seems odd to think about such things during this season of goodwill, but it’s a reminder that following Jesus isn’t an easy option. And we have been reminded of that fact by the news this morning that yesterday, Christmas Day, saw the bombing of churches in Nigeria. As we pray at our mass later this morning at St John’s for the victims and their families we pray also for Christians around the world who continue to suffer and die for their faith and for a greater understanding between those of different faiths.
I didn’t preach last Sunday. Following all the disturbances during the previous week Bishop Christopher sent a letter to be read in all the churches in the diocese. I read it during the sermon slot. You can read it here.
Those in the UK can’t have missed the news (unless of course, you never watch TV, listen to the radio or read a newspaper) that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams was the guest editor of The New Statesman recently and wrote a leader – read it here – commenting on policies of the Coalition Government. Consequently all kinds of people have got worked up about the Church meddling in politics again. When people make such comments I am always reminded of a poster of Archbishop Desmond Tutu holding a Good News Bible and sayting (and I paraphrase since it was years ago and I can’t remember the exact words) “When people say the Church shouldn’t interfere in politics I wonder what Bible they are reading.”
In the midst of all the criticism there have been some sane voices pointing out that Archbishop’s are supposed to speak out – after all, that’s what Christians are supposed to do. And the best article I’ve come across so far is from Victoria Coren writing in her blog under the title Bashing the Bishop.
Just on my way back from Southwark Cathedral having been at the enthronement of Bishop Christopher as our new Diocesan. A wonderful and moving service, what the Church of England does so well.
For those who are eagerly waiting, this week’s sermon will be posted tomorrow.