Being perfect..

‘Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.’ So, how’s that going then? Presumably this isn’t the first time you’ve heard this reading from Matthew’s Gospel. And I assume that you’ve been working on it. So how’s it going? Are you even almost there? You manage not to retaliate when someone is cruel. You […]

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Exceeding righteousness…

This is one of those Sundays when I want to make it clear that I don’t choose the readings. We follow a pattern that makes us read some of the bits of the Bible we find it hard to read, as well as those that we might want to memorise or turn into a song. […]

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Salt and light

As the savour to the salt grain, as the power to the light, as the voice that brings me homeward as the love that holds me tight, So Lord, art thou to me.  

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Salt and light

Imagine for a moment that you are not seated in a reasonably comfortable pew, but standing somewhere on a hillside in the Middle East, straining to hear a man speaking. It’s hard to concentrate because the crowd around you is not a well behaved one. This is not a gathering of the respectable and the […]

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Being called.. January 22nd 2017

Being called.. I expect that, like me, most of you have heard the story of the call of the disciples many times. You could almost recite it from memory. The fishermen by the lake; Peter and Andrew, James and John and their father Zebedee – strange name…. Jesus simply asks them, ‘Come with me, and […]

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Open our eyes, Lord Jesus, to the world around us. Give us courage to do what you ask and to ‘Come and see’. Open our eyes, Lord Jesus, to the shape of your Kingdom. Give us courage to have a vision and to ‘Come and see’. Open our eyes, Lord Jesus, to the people all […]

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‘Come and see’ – January 15th 2017

‘Come and see’ Jesus saw some people following him and asked them, ‘What are you looking for?’ They asked him where he was staying and he said, ‘Come and see’. And so they did and they stayed there all day.. It sounds a bit like just an everyday record of what happened. But this is […]

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Epiphany – 8th January 2017

I imagine that most of us can remember being told fairy tales when we were children. Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White;  or perhaps Alice in Wonderland or Narnia or the Singing Ringing Tree. These at least are stories we hold in common and they are stories that help us face some of […]

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Christmas day!

There is something utterly extraordinary that we celebrate today. But it is not, I think, that a baby was once born in a stable. There was a moment in my life, a short while ago, when it suddenly dawned on me that that’s not so very odd at all.. I was on a Christian Aid […]

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The Virgin Birth – 18th December 2016

There was one news story in 2016 that I don’t want to forget. It’s the story of how Justin Welby discovered that his father was not the man who had brought him up but was Anthony Montague Browne. It was the kind of story you could hardly make up. But the most striking thing of […]

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Third Sunday of Advent – are you the one?

Last Sunday, in chapter 3, we met John the Baptist at the height of his powers; the voice in the wilderness, packing them in to his riverside gig, every last person in Jerusalem taking a trip out to the desert to hear the celebrity speaker, the must-see show of the year. This Sunday we are […]

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Making straight? – 4th December 2016

John the Baptist’s image is – to say the least – severe. We’re not likely to be impressed today by someone who wears nothing but camel’s hair, who brings only locusts to the church ‘bring and share’ lunch and for whom washing is probably more religious ritual than personal hygiene. And he doesn’t seem to have heard that advice […]

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