Being built up…

‘Built together into a dwelling place for God’ If you ask most people to draw a church, they’ll draw a building – and usually they draw one with a great big spire – even if they regularly worship in a tin tabernacle or school hall and even if they know deep down that the church […]

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A different kind of plate…

The picture on the front of the order of service today is a recent photo of my granddaughter, Rose. She is wearing a T-shirt that we gave her for her birthday – she was 13 last month. It carries the message, ‘Beware, for I am fearless and therefore powerful.’ It’s from a great company that […]

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Faith is a gift, but it’s not magic…

The other day I was in Waterstones looking for the religious books section. You will appreciate that it’s not the most obvious one right by the doors with all the bestsellers… I found it at last upstairs in one of the quieter parts of the shop. And I was fascinated to see that religious books […]

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Come and save us…

O God of  mercy and calm, be with us in the stormy days of our lives; the turbulent hours when we are not our best selves, or the days when trouble comes and we are all at sea. Help us to ride the storms and face the winds, fill our sails with your Holy Spirit, […]

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Ride upon the storm…

The church of Jesus Christ has gone through many storms. The ecumenical symbol for the church is of a boat – with the cross as its mast. And we all know that this little boat that we call the church has been through many a storm. Perhaps the biggest miracle of all is that we […]

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Relatives…

Anyone who has ever watched Eastenders will know that it’s all about faamily… it’s based on a particular view of family loyalty, the central importance of the blood ties of family – and particularly of the small, nuclear family. This is a central theme in much of what we read, watch, think about and experience […]

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We are in the world…

This is, I think, the John’s Gospel version of the Ascension – as Jesus prays about what things will be like post crucifixion, and resurrection. He will not be in the world, but his disciples will be – we will be. He’s kind of saying that it’s OK because he has left all that matters […]

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Another sermon about love

We human beings are great at missing the point of things. I know, for a start, that we hear the criticisms people make of us more than we hear any affirmation. That’s why we all need to be a whole lot better at affirming each other than picking each other apart. And sometimes we hear […]

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Only Connect

Vines are such beautiful plants. I once grew one when I lived in a Manse with a greenhouse, not for grapes to eat or to make wine, but just for the sheer beauty of it. I love the way the branches wind and twist, the shapes of the leaves and the gentle, curling tendrils. Grapes […]

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Come to God…

Come to the meadow, to the still waters of God’s presence and be restored… Come with all that hurts and all that makes you afraid, come even though your life is shadowed by sorrow and live in fear no more.. Come to God in prayer and let God touch you with mercy and with goodness […]

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The Lord is my shepherd

We all know the 23rd Psalm pretty well. And a good thing too. It’s beautiful and comforting and strong and honest and full of hope. You can say it at many different moments in our lives and it sounds loud and clear. Like almost every pastor, I take it with me to death beds and […]

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The heart of the Gospel

There is lots in that Gospel passage to intrigue any of us; the insistence that the risen Jesus was not an apparition, that his risen body was flesh and bone and not only ‘spirit’, that his risen body bore the wounds from crucifixion, that he could eat fish, that the Scriptures had been fulfilled…(‘Which scriptures?’, […]

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