Tagged: temptation of jesus

Please make a U-turn if possible!


This Sunday was the first Sunday of Lent. We heard how following his Baptism Jesus was sent into the wilderness and was tempted before he began his public ministry. And, as it happens, I too was sent – up the hill in Caterham to preach in our neighbouring parish church. Here’s what I said.

Luke 4.1-13

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? I remember reading in The Times a few years ago when I was in my early forties (those who know me will be aware that’s more than a ‘few’ years ago!) of some research scientists undertook 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.

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This Lent, be a silly shepherd


12825181_mThis last Sunday was the first Sunday of Lent. The gospel reading was, as usual, the account of Jesus being driven into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to face the temptations from the devil. I decided, though, rather than preach on the gospel to address Lent generally and give the congregation a challenge. Here’s 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. In particular, 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

First Sunday of Lent – here’s what I said


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Last Sunday was the first Sunday of Lent and as usual the gospel reading was about Jesus being tempted in the wilderness.

Matthew 4.1-11

“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