Tagged: David

Why choose Mary?


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This Sunday we kept the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It actually falls on the 15th and in common with many churches we celebrated it on the 14th. Here’s what I said:

Luke 1.46-55

Given the increasing shortage of priests you’d think that the Church of England would be falling over itself to welcome anyone who was foolhardy enough to offer themselves for training for the priestly ministry. But I’m sure it comes as no surprise to you that that is not the case. I’ve known quite a few people over the years who have expressed interest. Some got put off by the pay and conditions of service. Some realized that it just wasn’t for them. Others made it as far as the selection process. Only a handful were actually chosen to go and train to be priests.

The problem is it’s not easy knowing whether someone is called to be a priest in the Church. For the Church is not like other careers. It doesn’t matter how highly qualified you are or how able you might be – the Church has to decide whether God actually wants you to be a priest regardless of what your other qualifications might be. Important, of course, for the church to be able to discern the kind of people that God is calling. So the Church provides a very helpful 24-page document entitled Criteria for Selection for the Ordained Ministry in the Church of England.

And the introduction to the guide covers such aspects of the selection procedures as:

  • The vocation criterion
  • Gathering evidence
  • Assessing potential and risk
  • Developmental and non-developmental issues

Riveting reading. And the guide goes on to cover various aspects of a person’s makeup: spirituality, relationships, personality and character, leadership and collaboration, faith and so on – and I particularly like this one – quality of mind.

All important stuff, of course. I wonder whether God’s ever read it? Continue reading

The Feast of Christ the King


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Last Sunday was the feast of Christ the King, the last Sunday of the Church Year. I would have posted my sermon sooner were it not for my telephone company. They have just introduced fibre-optic broadband and I had decided to upgrade. The problem was that instead of giving me much higher speeds they managed to give me no speed at all as well as no phone line either. However, everything is now fixed and I am able to post last Sunday’s sermon at last.

Ezekiel 34.11-16, 20-24; Matthew 25.31-36

Last week I began by talking about food. So, this week, just to keep the theme going, I’m going to begin by talking about drink. And I want to ask you, “What is the oldest thing you have ever drunk?”

Well, whatever answer you come up with, I am fairly certain that I can beat it. The oldest thing I have ever drunk was put into a bottle in 1845. I’m talking about a bottle of Continue reading

What I said on Sunday – The Blessed Virgin Mary


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Last Thursday was the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary – also known as the Assumption in the Roman Catholic Church and The Dormition in the Orthodox Church. We transferred the feast to the following Sunday. Here’s what I said.

Revelation 11.19-12.6, 10; Luke 1.46-55

It’s not easy knowing whether someone is called to be a priest in the Church. For the Church is not like other careers. It doesn’t matter how highly qualified you are or how able you might be – the Church has to decide whether God actually wants you to be a priest regardless of what your other qualifications might be. Important, of course, for the church to be able to discern the kind of people that God is calling. So the Church provides a very helpful 24-page document entitled Criteria for Selection for the Ordained Ministry in the Church of England. And the introduction to the guide covers such aspects of the selection procedures as:

  • The vocation criterion
  • Gathering evidence
  • Assessing potential and risk
  • Developmental and non-developmental issues

and the guide goes on to cover various aspects of a person’s makeup: spirituality, relationships, personality and character, leadership and collaboration, faith and so on – and I particularly like this one – quality of mind. All important stuff, of course. I wonder whether God’s ever read it? Continue reading