Tagged: Moses

Have a look at my photos


Photo by Chris Coe on Unsplash

Luke 9.28-36

You know what it’s like!

Some friends invite you round for a meal. And what do they do? They get out the smartphone or the tablet to show you their photos. Or if they’re really technologically savvy they show you the photos on the TV screen. First it’s the holiday photos. And then it’s the photos of the children. And you struggle to pretend that you’re really interested – your eyes start to glaze over and you keep saying, “Yes, that’s really nice …” without meaning it.

Well – this morning we’re going to have a look at a photo album. Not really, of course, but in your imagination. Over the past few weeks, since Christmas, we have been given in our readings a series of snapshots of the lives of Mary and Joseph, and of their son Jesus as he grows up. Starting with his birth, visits from shepherds and wise men, then a trip to the Temple and the flight to Egypt, and coming right up to date with his baptism, and the start of his ministry turning water into wine.

And I want you this morning to use your imaginations – imagine that all those years ago Mary and Joseph had been lucky enough (if ‘lucky’ is the right word!) to own one of the latest smartphones with a camera so that they could take photos everywhere they went.

You can just imagine what it might have been like. And I want you to really use your imaginations now. Jesus is now grown up. Joseph has died so there’s now just Mary and Jesus. Jesus has finally left home and is now working as a travelling teacher and Mary has invited you round to her house and now she wants to show you photos going all the way back to when Jesus was born.

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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

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