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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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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This year’s Easter

Last year, when we were living through the first lockdown, a friend of mine said, ‘I don’t want last year’s Easter’. She had gone to stay with her mother who was shielding, and it was a time when the churches were all closed. On the television she found some recordings of Easter services from what […]

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Next year!

As we all know, the Last Supper was probably, possibly, and certainly according to Mark’s Gospel, a Passover meal. In later times than Jesus the traditional thing to say at the end of a Passover meal became ‘Next year in Jerusalem!’… And it’s become a kind of phrase or saying that people use more generally […]

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God so loved…

This must be one of the most famous and oft quoted verses of the Bible –; ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life…’ I’m sure that most of you could recite it, could sing it, and […]

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God’s gift of the law…

I wonder what comes to mind if I say words like ‘law’, ‘commandments’, or ‘rules’. There is a kind of prejudice in Christian circles about laws and commandments, I think. And perhaps especially so among those of us who like to think of ourselves as ‘nonconformist’ Christians. I think this takes several forms. I can […]

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Losing your life and gaining it…

Jesus said, “For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life?” This always reminds me of that great line in […]

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God is not weary…

The wonderful poet and prophet Isaiah (the one we call second Isaiah) wrote to a suffering people, ‘The Lord is the everlasting God
..those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall soar as on eagles’ wings;
they shall run and not be weary, walk and not faint…’ It is one of the most sublime […]

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