who gave such grace to your apostle Saint Andrew
that he readily obeyed the call of your Son Jesus Christ
and brought his brother with him:
call us by your holy word,
and give us grace to follow you without delay
and to tell the good news of your kingdom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
– Common Worship
Following three weeks away on annual leave, I’m finally catching up with everything that piled up during my time away. Apoologies for this being somewhat late, but here is my sermon for a week last Sunday. We kept the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, which is actually the 14th September. We held it a day late.
“I’ll give you something to believe”, said the White Queen to Alice, “I’m just one hundred and one, five months and a day.”
“I can’t believe that!! Said Alice.
“Can’t you?” the Queen said in a pitying tone. “Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.”
Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I dare say you haven’t had much practise,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” Continue reading
Here’s my sermon from today’s Parish Mass. The Old Testament reading tells the story of the call of Samuel while the Gospel is the call of Nathanael.
1 Samuel 3.1-10; Revelation 5.1-10; John 1.43-end
There’s nothing worse than being with a group of people and someone tells a joke – and you’re the only one that just doesn’t get it. Everyone else thinks its hilariously funny and you just don’t get the punchline.
Every year during August Edinburgh holds its world famous festival, and long with the festival you will find the fringe – a range of additional shows that has grown up around the official festival. And in recent years there has been a competition, with a cash prize and voted for by those attending, for the best 10 jokes of the Edinburgh Fringe. This annual joke competition is now so popular it’s reported in all the quality press – even The Times and The Telegraph. Now, I think I’ve got a pretty normal sense of humour, but every year I just don’t see the point of half of the jokes listed. Often it takes a while before I can even see why it’s supposed to be funny. Take the winning entries from the last three years – none of which I found funny even after I had understood the point of the joke. I’m going to roadtest them on you now.
2009 – comedian Dan Antopolski won with this one-liner: Continue reading
Today is that day that Good King Wenceslas looked out on the feast of Stephen. Or, as I used to think as a child when the family sat round the piano as we sang carols, the day that Good King Wenslas last looked out, as if he were in the habit of looking out on a regular basis. It is, of course, the feast of Saint Stephen the first martyr. A day after we have celebrated the birth of the Prince of Peace we celebrate the death of a young man brutally murdered because some people didn’t like what he believed. Perhaps it seems odd to think about such things during this season of goodwill, but it’s a reminder that following Jesus isn’t an easy option. And we have been reminded of that fact by the news this morning that yesterday, Christmas Day, saw the bombing of churches in Nigeria. As we pray at our mass later this morning at St John’s for the victims and their families we pray also for Christians around the world who continue to suffer and die for their faith and for a greater understanding between those of different faiths.
Today is the feast day of Saint Cedd. We always name our cats after saints, and people often look at us strangely when we tell them that our large ginger tom is called Cedd as they think that’s not only not a cat’s name, it’s clearly not a name at all. Well it is and today is his day!