Category: Sermons

I’m into something good …


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John 2.1-11

The gospel for the 3rd Sunday of Epiphany this year was the wedding at Cana. Here’s the sermon preached at St John’s by Mother Anne-Marie.

I walked her home and she held my hand
I knew it couldn’t be just a one night stand
So I asked to see her next week and she told me I could
Something tells me I’m into something good!

You have to be a certain age to remember Herman’s Hermits, but that song “I’m into Something Good” gave them their first number one in 1964. The young lad in that song had read the signs. “She danced close to me like I hoped she would”, “She stuck close to me the whole night through” and “I walked her home and she held my hand”. All the signs that he was into something good! Continue reading

Has the penny dropped yet?


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1 Samuel 3.1-10; John 1.43-end

There’s nothing worse than being with a group of people and someone tells a joke – and you’re the only one that just doesn’t get it. Everyone else thinks its hilariously funny and you just don’t get the punchline. You just stand there looking dim!

Every year during August Edinburgh holds its world famous festival, and along with the festival you will find the fringe – a range of additional shows that has grown up around the official festival. And each year there is a competition run by the television channel Dave, for the best 10 jokes of the Edinburgh Fringe. This annual joke competition is so popular it’s reported in all the quality press – even The Times and The Telegraph. Now, I think I’ve got a pretty normal sense of humour, but every year I just don’t see the point of half of the jokes listed.

Take the winning entries from the last three years – none of which I found particularly funny even after though I did get the point of the jokes. I’m going to roadtest them on you now. Continue reading

Light in the darkness


11135542_mSince our church has as its patron Saint John the Evangelist, we always keep the Sunday following Saint John’s Day (27th December) as our patronal festival. Here’s what Mother Anne-Marie said on the occasion.

1 John 1; John 21.19b-end

If you were with us over Christmas, we seemed to have a theme in the talks and sermons – at least at the Christingle and Midnight Mass – that of light and darkness. It wasn’t planned. In fact, after my talk at the Christingle service, Fr Jerry said, “you’ve stolen some of my midnight sermon!” You see there was no conferring – the theme emerges from the readings and what we are thinking about – Jesus as the light of the world.

These themes of light and dark interweave in the writings of St John the Evangelist whose feast we keep today. At midnight mass we heard the great Prologue to his Gospel – “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it”. Today in his first letter we hear “God is light and in him there is no darkness at all”. These days we hear the phrase “God is love” banded about a lot and it is a comforting, cuddly, warm sort of phrase, also coming from the pen of John, though he didn’t mean it in the rather bland cuddly way it is used today. He was talking of a costly love which involved an agonising death on a cross. Continue reading

Strike a light!


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Sermon for the Midnight Mass, on the prologue to John’s Gospel.

John 1.1-14

 “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” (John 1:5)

In the beginning God had been very busy creating things. And it was tiring! So God said: Wow! I’m worn out. I’ve just created a 24-hour period of alternating light and darkness on Earth.

The angel said: What are you going to do now?

And God said: I think I’ll call it a day! Continue reading

What a surprise!


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Here is the sermon for the 4th Sunday of Advent – the gospel reading is Luke’s account of the annunciation.

Luke 1.26-38

When I was growing up Christmas presents were always surprises. You never knew what you were getting until you woke up on Christmas Day morning and starting ripping the paper off the presents. Well – you didn’t know unless you’d been doing some snooping around mum and dad’s bedroom before Christmas. My dad took to hiding them in the loft, little realising that getting into the loft was no barrier for a determined child.

These days people seem to have become accustomed to letting parents, wives, husbands, children know what they want for Christmas – and any element of surprise is taken away. Continue reading

Be prepared!


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Isaiah 61.1-8, 8-end; 1 Thessalonians 5.16-24; John 1.6-8, 19-28

It’s almost here. Christmas is just a week away. And as we all know Christmas is a time of parties and celebration, of eating and drinking, and generally having a good time. It’s a time that everyone enjoys, isn’t it? Go on – admit it – you can’t wait. The excitement is unbearable.

Well. if everyone started their Christmas preparations by reading the very helpful advice on the website of First Aid for Life entitled Common Christmas Accidents I suspect that most of us would simply give up on Christmas altogether.

Christmas is recognised as being one of the most stressful times of the year. Applications for divorce will rise by 40 per cent in the new year. And First Aid for Life report that 80,000 people will visit Casualty departments at Christmas, 6,000 of them on Christmas Day. One of the most common accidents is parents stabbing themselves with scissors while trying to open or assemble their children’s toys. Continue reading

Not an ordinary king


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Ezekiel 34.11-16, 20-24; Matthew 25.31-end

Last week I began by talking about food, and particularly about unused herbs and spices sitting unused in the kitchen cupboard.

So, this week, just to keep the theme going, I’m going to begin by talking about drink – wines and spirits in particular. How many people, I wonder, have a mostly undrunk bottle of some foreign liqueur or spirit sitting in a cupboard somewhere, because they bought a bottle on holiday – seemed nice but when they got it home they realised it was awful. And it just gets older and older – and the older it gets the more and more unsure you become about ever drinking it. You try and get rid of it on unsuspecting visitors but they don’t want it either. So it sits there half drunk.  Continue reading