Tagged: kingdom

How much would you pay for the kingdom?


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Matthew 13.31-33, 44-52

It was reported this week that a nine-year old boy called Dylan has written a fan letter to President Donald Trump. How do we know this – well, I don’t know how many fan letters he gets but his press secretary read out Dylan’s letter at a press briefing. I won’t read it all out – you can look it up online – but here’s a bit of what Dylan said:

You’re my favourite president he wrote. I like you so much I had a birthday about you. My cake was the shape of your hat. How old are you? How big is the White House? How much money do you have?

At which point the press secretary laughed and said: “Dylan, I’m not sure but I know it’s a lot.” Continue reading

Put down the bagpipes!


26991266 - color shot of a person holding a traditional bagpipe.

Matthew 13.24-30, 36-43

One of the best known commands of Jesus is the command to love your neighbour. Even people who aren’t Christians or have never opened a Bible know it. And yet, as we all know, neighbours are not always easy to get along with!

There is a story of a young man who leaves his home in Aberdeen and goes to live in London. After he has been there a while he phones his mother to let her know how things are going.

“How’s the flat you’re living in,” she asks him, “what are the neighbours like?”

“Well,” he replies, “the woman next door keeps screaming and crying all night long, and the guy on the other side is constantly banging on the wall!”

“Never mind,” says his mother, “don’t let them worry you – just ignore them.” Continue reading

Don’t worry!


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Genesis 1.1-2.3; Matthew 6.25-end

What do you worry about? What keeps you awake at night?

Well, we worry about all kinds of things, but I wouldn’t mind betting that one thing most of you worry about at some time or other is money.

Mintel is a market research company. And a while ago they carried out a survey about worrying. And according to their survey 8 out of 10 people worry. I couldn’t help wondering if the other 2 people worried that they didn’t worry.

And what are the things we worry about? The survey showed that top of the list – and no surprise – is money! Then comes, in order, problems with family and friends, health, stress at work and then in fifth place, job security.

Today’s gospel reading gives us Jesus talking about worry! And the Church of England has done a very interesting thing with our reading this morning. Jesus starts by telling the crowd that they are not to worry. Easier said than done, of course! But look at those opening words of Jesus: Continue reading

A king and a cross


ChristusThis Sunday was the feast of Christ the King. Here’s what I said.

Jeremiah 23.1-6; Luke 23.33-43

I know that we have people here who enjoy quizzes – whether on the TV or radio or the quizzes we have from time to time at one of our social events here at St. John’s. I’m a great listener to radio quizzes, mainly because there is usually one on Radio 4 at 11pm on a Saturday night, so I can listen to one before retiring for the necessary beauty sleep I need to get up ready to take the 8 o’clock communion service. At the moment we are getting the Round Britain Quiz where the questions consist of three or four apparently unconnected facts and the teams have to find what links them.

Well, here’s a question for you this morning. I used this with the children at school this week, though they got the benefit of pictures to go with the question. What is the link between these.

  • A potato
  • A gorilla
  • Elvis Presley
  • A pub in Caterham-On-The-Hill
  • Camelot
  • Henry VIII

Continue reading

What I said last Sunday – What’s the Kingdom worth to you?


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Here is my sermon for Sunday. Jesus is speaking about the Kingdom of Heaven, and what it is worth.

Matthew 13.31-33, 44-52

What does it feel like to be able to buy absolutely anything you want, no matter the cost, and not to have to worry about whether you can afford it. Presumably the person who ran a repair garage in Mitcham, has some idea of what that feels like, having  scooped the £108 million jackpot on the Euromillions lottery in March of this year. Having given up his garage, he can now buy pretty much anything he likes without batting an eyelid. Even a top of the range executive jet would only set him back a few million. Any time he suddenly thinks “I’d like one of those” he can just indulge himself and not have to worry about his bank account.

Money, of course, won’t buy everything, and often the things we really want in life aren’t things we can just go and buy however rich we might be. And people want all kinds of things. There are internet sites that are specifically designed to let people ask questions about anything, and then others can answer the questions. And one very common question that people ask is “What do you want more than anything else in the world?” It led to some interesting answers as well as answers you’d expect:

  • A big fat savings account said one person
  • To not ever have to worry about money again, which means that I could shop and buy to my heart’s content

As you’d expect, lots of variations along the lines of lots of money. But they weren’t all about money. Take these desires … Continue reading

What I said for Christ the King


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This Sunday was the feast of Christ the King, the last Sunday of the Church’s year. Here’s what I said.

Jeremiah 23.1-6; Colossians 1.11-20; Luke 23.33-43

I know that we have people here who enjoy quizzes – whether on the TV or radio or the quizzes we have from time to time at one of our social events here at St. John’s. I’m a great listener to radio quizzes, mainly because there is usually one on Radio 4 at 11pm on a Saturday night, so I can listen to one before retiring for the necessary beauty sleep I need to get up ready to take the 8 o’clock communion service. At the moment we are getting the Round Britain Quiz where the questions consist of three or four apparently unconnected facts and the teams have to find what links them.

Well, here’s a question for you this morning. I used this with the children at school last year, though they got the benefit of pictures to go with the question. What is the link between these.

What I said this Sunday – Trinity 20


Here is my sermon from this Sunday

Mark 10.35-45

Three years ago the Guardian newspaper published a list of the thousand novels that everyone must read. I think I have some way to go. I looked through the list yesterday and I have read 65 of them. In case you think that actually sounds rather impressive I should explain. The list contains many of the great classics from around the world, Dickens, Cervantes, Dostoevsky, Jane Austen and so on, and many of the books are seriously heavy going. It also contains great modern novels that you probably know better as films – Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith, the great Philip Marlow novels of Raymond Chandler, Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I managed to resist cheating and didn’t include those in my total even if I’d watched the film.

I was actually helped along to my total of 65 by the inclusion in the list – and remember this is the thousand novels that everyone must read – of such great classics as Asterix the Gaul and Tintin in Tibet, the Discworld novels of Terry Pratchett, and The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13¾ by Sue Townsend. Even Sharpe’s Eagle, that terrific novel about an army officer in Wellington’s army. Continue reading