Tagged: sin

Prepare ye the way of the Lord – Advent 2


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We reach the second Sunday of Advent and so the gospel is about John the Baptist. Here’s what I said.

Matthew 3.1-12

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

What I said this Sunday – Trinity 3 (Proper 6)


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.

Luke 7.36-8.3

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

What I said last Sunday – Lent 3


Here’s what I said in my sermon last Sunday.

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Luke 13.1-9

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

What I said this Sunday for the 1st Sunday in Lent


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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