Tagged: parable

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

The means to live or a meaningful life?


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Colossians 3.1-11; Luke 12.13-21

Well – there’s been no shortage of news over the past few weeks, has there? Much of it has been about the EU Referendum, of course – both the run-up and the aftermath! And inevitably much of the Referendum coverage focused on the economic consequences of staying in or coming out. Since we all voted we’ve seen the pound fall against the dollar and the euro. People are worried about the effect on their pensions, or on the value of their houses. And nobody really knows what the economic future holds. Will there be a recession?

Of course, it’s only natural that we are concerned about our financial security and about what the future might hold for us – whether as individuals or as a country. There’s only so much economic news and economic forecast one can take. But with the news that the Bank of England is set this week to lower interest rates to their lowest ever since the Bank was founded, there’s more to come. Continue reading

How good a Samaritan are you?


 

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Luke 10.25-37

Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise”.

You’ve probably all heard the expression, “This separates the men from the boys!”

Well – putting on one side the inherent sexism in such a phrase, we all know what it means. It’s used – or certainly used to be used – of situations that would mark out some as being somehow superior to others. Marking out those who would be willing to get involved in things that are dangerous or risky. Things that take courage and sacrifice. Things that are grueling, or require maturity and perseverance. Things that require more than childhood enthusiasm and energy. Things that require someone to step up to the crease – or to use an Americanism that has crept into the language even though we actually play cricket, not baseball – things that require someone to step up to the plate. 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 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

The Sower – the sermon from last Sunday


The priest I live with was preaching last Sunday. The gospel reading from Matthew was the parable of the sower. Here’s what she said.

Matthew 13.1-9, 18-23

I sounded out a friend this week about sermons on the parable of the sower – the gospel reading we have just heard. John is a very committed Christian and has heard many sermons – in fact he is a church organist. He said “Oh they’ve nearly always been sermons where I’ve felt told off – I’ve come away from church thinking I’m either the seed that fell upon rock or the seed that fell amongst thorns, and I’ve left church feeling depressed.” Continue reading