Tagged: discipleship

Easter 6 – my sermon for this week


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This Sunday the gospel reading was Jesus giving the disciples the new commandment of love. Here is what I said.

John 13.31-35

Every Saturday night, as I cook our Saturday Supper, I close the kitchen door and put on some good, loud music to cook by. And you can’t help but notice just how many of the great songs released over the past fifty years or so have something to do with love.

There seem to have been more songs written about love – whether requited or unrequited love – than about anything else. There are thousands of them – and many of them instantly forgettable, though some of them have stood the test of time. “All you need is love”, sang the Beatles, tuning in to the mood of the Sixties but rather missing the point that life is not quite that simple. And, I suspect, thinking of love as warm feelings, feelings of kindness, a desire to do good to others, even, perhaps, as desire for others, but without any of the sense of deep commitment that Jesus calls his disciples to in today’s Gospel reading. Perhaps Michael Ball was closer to the Christian concept of love when he sang the words of Andrew Lloyd Webber: “Love, love changes everything, how I live, and how I die”.

Abba sang about love a lot. I should know. I listen to Abba a lot. Take their song “People need love” which I listened to again last night while preparing our Jambalaya. Continue reading

My sermon for Maundy Thursday


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Here’s what I said at our Maundy Thursday mass, just before the washing of feet.

John 13.1-17; 31b-35

They’re very popular on TV. Murder mysteries, whodunnits – Poirot, Miss Marple, Midsommer Murders, and more recently the excellent Father Brown. And all the clues are there so that you can work out along with the detective who actually committed the murder. The thing is, unless you’re very good at spotting the clues, you usually end up as baffled as the not very bright policeman and have to have it all explained by the famous detective at the end.

Our reading tonight is rather like that. For most of its existence centuries the church has been remembering the events of the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday, and every year we hear this reading from John’s Gospel. When you’ve read it, you have all the information you need to know precisely how Jesus wants you live and behave as Christians. Not so much a ‘whodunnit’ but a ‘how-you-do-it’ with clues to guide you to the right answer.

Continue reading

To infinity and beyond – what I said this Sunday


Matthew 5.38-end

To infinity and beyond!

Anyone recognise the catchphrase?

It is, of course, the oft repeated cry of Buzz Lightyear, the space ranger action figure from the Toy Story film franchise.

The thing about Buzz Lightyear is that he does not realise that he is a toy. He believes that he is the real Buzz Lightyear, a real space ranger. Throughout the film Toy Story he embarks upon various missions and challenges, uttering his rallying cry, ‘To infinity and beyond’, convinced that all of his equipment is fully functional. He doesn’t realise that his communicator is just a sticker, or that his jet pack is completely non-functional. The truth only dawns when he sees a TV advertisement for a Buzz Lightyear Action Figure. Realising he is just a toy and not the Real Buzz Lightyear after all he falls into depression and has a nervous breakdown. His cry of ‘To infinity and beyond,’ seems a bit pointless once the truth dawns upon him. Continue reading