Follow the shepherd
I sometimes feel, looking at the programme guide on our television, that for the British there is nothing more important than what we eat and drink, and where we and others live.
To test my theory I checked yesterday on the BBC website. Bear in mind that this is only the BBC – other channels are available of course – if you are into homes and gardens there are 49 different programmes or series that you can currently watch to indulge your interest.
If it’s food and drink you’re into, then you’ve an even bigger choice. 85 programmes in that category. Mary Berry isn’t in all of them, though she does seem to have cornered the market in food programmes for the great Christian Festivals. At the moment, you could be watching Mary Berry’s Easter Feast. Once Easter is over, you can start getting ready for Christmas with Mary Berry Saves Christmas. And just in case you’re not sure what to do for the rest of the year there’s Mary Berry Everyday!
Someone visiting us from another planet might well conclude that we are obsessed with what we eat and where we live.Continue reading
The Good Shepherd
Acts 4.5-12; 1 John 3.16-end; John 10.11-18
As a child I had a prayer book my mother made for me, and on the front she had put a picture of Jesus as a shepherd with tiny frolicking lambs around him, and I seem to remember other little animals running around in a typical English meadow. I am sure it was a Margaret Tempest picture, the woman who did all the wonderful illustrations for the Little Grey Rabbit books.
We all know how popular pictures of Jesus the Good Shepherd are. In many of the images Jesus is carrying a lamb or a sheep over his shoulders, holding the two front legs of the lamb in his right hand and the two rear legs in his left hand. This image and the one I had on the front of my childhood prayer book, appeal to us because of the tenderness of Jesus, his care for the lambs and the obvious compassion on his face and in his gestures. Continue reading
Not an ordinary king
Ezekiel 34.11-16, 20-24; Matthew 25.31-end
Last week I began by talking about food, and particularly about unused herbs and spices sitting unused in the kitchen cupboard.
So, this week, just to keep the theme going, I’m going to begin by talking about drink – wines and spirits in particular. How many people, I wonder, have a mostly undrunk bottle of some foreign liqueur or spirit sitting in a cupboard somewhere, because they bought a bottle on holiday – seemed nice but when they got it home they realised it was awful. And it just gets older and older – and the older it gets the more and more unsure you become about ever drinking it. You try and get rid of it on unsuspecting visitors but they don’t want it either. So it sits there half drunk. Continue reading
Following the shepherd – Easter 4
This Sunday is often know as Good Shepherd Sunday, since every year we have a gospel reading about Jesus, the Good Shepherd. In our service we reflected on what it really means to be his sheep.
Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.
It’s no great secret that I am a great Star Trek Fan. And the crew of the Enterprise regularly found new worlds and civilizations, and then need to find out more about them before making first contact.
What if we were on the receiving end of that? What if intelligent beings from another planet were to discover earth? I’m sure one of the first things they would want to do is find out something about us. And one way of doing that might be to have a look at what programmes we watch on television – what are the things that we are interested in and want to watch on TV. Well, as they study our television schedules they might be forgiven for concluding that we are obsessed with two things. Continue reading
The Feast of Christ the King
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 this Sunday for the 1st Sunday in Lent
This week the gospel reading is the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. However, I felt led to talk not about the reading but to address how we should be approaching our keeping of Lent in general. Here is what I said.
There are three signs that you are getting old. One is memory loss. I can’t remember the other four.
What’s your memory like? A few years ago scientists undertook some research done into memory and age. They wanted to find out at what age your brain starts to malfunction. And it’s younger than you think. They discovered that your brain starts to malfunction, mainly because your brain cells start dying, once you reach the age of 40. At that age you can expect to start getting that experience of walking into a room and forgetting why you did, or of going to the fridge and opening the door and then standing there like a lemon thinking “why on earth have I opened the fridge door?” The only comfort you can take from knowing that your memory is fast disappearing is that everyone else over the age of 40 is just as bad and is in the same boat. Continue reading
What I said this Sunday – Easter 4
Here’s my sermon for this Sunday, Good Shepherd Sunday.
Every year on this 4th Sunday of Easter we keep what has become known as Good Shepherd Sunday. Now, since we kept Good Shepherd Sunday last year it’s not been a good year in the sheep world – for on the 4th Jun 2011, that great icon of sheepdom, Shrek the sheep, passed away. Continue reading