Alleuia! Christ is risen!
Last Sunday was, of course, Easter Day, and this year as both the Western and Eastern Churches were keeping Easter on the same day it meant that the whole of Christianity were able to celebrate together!
It’s hardly a surprise then that my sermon was about the risen Jesus – but I wanted to remind people that there needs to be a response to the reality of the risen Jesus from us, just as there was from the disciples on the first Easter Day when they discovered that Jesus was alive.
Just a preliminary note for those from outside the UK. I start by talking about Eastenders, which is a hugely popular TV soap opera in the UK broadcast four times a week. Recently it’s been a bit sensational with among other things a major bus crash followed by a car crash! The reference to snow is that outside scenes shown at the beginning of April had clearly been filmed a couple of months earlier when we had snow!
Perhaps it’s just my imagination.
Eastenders always used to seem to be so miserable and depressing. But recently I’ve noticed that nobody in Eastenders seems to have to face the problems that the rest of us are dealing with. In fact, it seems that Walford is a good place to live – at least as far as health is concerned! Continue reading
It was, of course, Palm Sunday this week. Here’s what I said.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.
Charles Dickens could have been writing about Palm Sunday. Continue reading
Last Sunday was the first Sunday of Lent and as usual the gospel reading was about Jesus being tempted in the wilderness.
“Well, Jesus. You’re marooned and alone on your desert island. Well, perhaps not an island but you’re in the desert and on your own. What are your eight pieces of music? What luxury would you like to have? And what book, apart from the Bible and Shakespeare?”
We are all familiar with the concept behind Desert Island Discs [Note – Desert Island discs is a popular long-running radio programme in the UK]. Each week a famous person goes along with the fantasy that they have been marooned all alone on a rather nice hot and sunny desert island somewhere in the tropics with an apparently endless supply of food and clean clothing, a decent bed and toilet facilities. I’m assuming those things are all there since no-one ever seems to ask for them for their luxury. Continue reading
Here’s what I said this Sunday past.
Relationships between couples can be problematic. However hard we try sometimes things don’t always work out. Every couple wants happiness, but sometimes it’s rather evasive. So it was with, I’m sure, the best will in the world that around a hundred years ago Woman’s Weekly gave regular advice to wives on how to keep their husbands happy. In those days, of course, it was rather one way! And so Woman’s Weekly gave lots of tips to housewives that would enable them to make sure they had a happy husband and therefore a happy marriage.
Advice such as:
- Make your own clothes
- How to use up leftovers – including a recipe for rhubarb dumplings
- How to pack a holiday trunk
- Talk less
We reach the second Sunday of Advent and so the gospel is about John the Baptist. Here’s what I said.
I’ve often thought that our elder daughter, when she was a teenager, would have got on with John the Baptist like a house on fire. The thing is, as an early teenager, she went through a grunge phase. Now, for those of you who have no idea what grunge is let me explain. Grunge was a combination of music and lifestyle that became popular in the early 80s. And the first thing you noticed about teenagers who were into grunge was how they dressed. Mainly black and dark coloured clothes, often second-hand and generally tatty, to go with the deliberately unkempt appearance of those who wore them. Along with that went the lifestyle. Those who followed grunge tended to opt out of a conventional lifestyle. They rejected normal social conventions, career choices, ways of living, and opted for alternative lifestyles. Continue reading
Here’s my sermon for this week. I used the gospel reading, the story of the sinful woman who anointed the feet of Jesus at the house of Simon the Pharisee. Essentially the story of two people who for their own very different reasons sought out Jesus.
In some churches it is the custom for the preacher to give their sermon a title. It’s not something that’s every really taken on in the Church of England, but it’s actually not a bad habit for the preacher to get into. It helps to focus the mind on the what message from the Scripture reading is about. So today, I’m giving my sermon a title: The Importance of Being Earnest. Most of you will, of course, recognise immediately the reference to Oscar Wilde and his most famous play. As I read this gospel reading a number of famous Oscar Wilde quotes came to mind, so as we think about the woman who was a sinner and who washed the feet of Jesus, Oscar Wilde will today help us reflect on what we are being taught by sharing with us some of his most famous quotations. I’m tempted to say, as Oscar himself once said, “I wish I had said that,” but he often puts things so well – and so much better than I can. Continue reading
Here’s what I said in my sermon last Sunday.
Where there’s blame, there’s a claim.
We’ve all heard or seen the adverts. Accidents happen – and yet someone must be to blame and must pay the price. We find it hard to cope with the concept of ‘accident’ or ‘human error’. These days if anything goes wrong we feel that someone, somewhere, must be to blame and that it’s important that they accept the consequences. We’re encouraged to think, “Who’s to blame?” Simply human fallibility is no longer seen as an allowable option. Continue reading