Tagged: unity

Together everyone achieves more!

Acts 16.16-34; John 17.20-end

Now, I know there may be a few of you who missed it, but last night was the Champions League final. Liverpool and Real Madrid battled it out to see who could win the premier club title in European football.

Okay, I’m guessing most of you missed it. Football isn’t everybody’s thing. But I think we all know enough about team sports to know that if the players in a team don’t work together they will lose. If the team goes on to the pitch and then each player just does their own thing, then the other side will simply walk all over them! A team has to be united. To coin a phrase – There is no I in TEAM because TEAM stands for Together Everyone Achieves More. Teams, in order to win, must be united.

I think it’s fairly safe to assume, given the teaching in the gospels and the rest of the New Testament, that Jesus wanted his church to be united. I think it’s also fairly safe to assume that for Jesus this wasn’t an optional extra, only to happen if the situation at any particular time demanded it.

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How many 3s in 1?

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Trinity Sunday! The day preachers try to avoid preaching because how do you explain the Trinity? I gave it my best shot – and here it is! I wasn’t preaching at home this week – I was away at St Mary’s Church in Caterham, our next door neighbour.

Isaiah 40.12-17, 27-end; 2 Corinthians 13.11-end; Matthew 28.16-end

Don’t you just love parish quiz nights?

In my last parish, at one quiz night, there was a round just for the clergy. The person who had set the questions seemed determined to catch the clergy out. So, he asked a question: what was the name of the prophet Isaiah’s second son, who has the longest name in the Bible?

Of course, you all know the answer! Continue reading

What I said on Sunday – Trinity 9

I decided to preach on the New Testament reading this week, from the letter of Paul to the Ephesians.

Ephesians 4.1-16

She always knew that if she kept out of the others’ way then she would be alright. She knew that if she just kept her head down then she wouldn’t be bullied. She understood that she would always be bottom of the pile. It was just how things were. And that worked fine. And they all managed to co-exist. And for all of her life that’s how things were for Flixie. And Fursey was happy as long as he ran the show. Continue reading

Four nouns in search of a verb

As I said in my last post, I was not at St. John’s this week. As it was the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity I had been invited to the United Reformed Church in Caterham.

Things are done differently there as you’d expect. I had to give my sermon a title which was Four nouns in search of a verb. I also had to choose three readings with introductions. I came up with these:

Zephaniah 3.16-end: The Father says “I will gather you together.”
1 John 4.9-15: The Spirit says “I will dwell in you.”
Matthew 18.19-22: The Son says “I will be among you.”

Here is my sermon on the the theme of Unity.

Education isn’t what it used to be! As parents, and now grandparents, my wife and I have both felt that, as we have seen our children and grandchildren pass through the education system. It’s not really true, of course, but we all feel from time to time that the way we used to do things was better in the past. I remember not long ago, one of our daughters was struggling with one of her children over his grasp of English grammar. The problem was that when we tried to help she didn’t know what we were talking about when we started trying to explain parts of speech, sentence construction and so on. And almost with one voice we both said: ‘The trouble is you didn’t do parsing at school.’ Continue reading