Being a bother

If you had to say who God’s favourite people are, or as we like to say in religious talk ‘his chosen ones’, I think you could do worse than suggest that God really likes widows. And I know that widows aren’t necessarily old, but most widows are. So, you could say, that God loves older […]

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The power of words

I wonder whether you can remember any of the things that people said to you when you were a child.  Perhaps you remember words that had a profound and lasting impact on you. There were surely some. Many of us, perhaps all of us, have a memory of words that deeply wounded us or shaped […]

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Balm in Gilead

Jeremiah chapter 8 – ‘Is there no balm in Gilead?’ It’s become one of those phrases or sayings from the Bible that many of us know and can quote, but can’t exactly place. But often we get it slightly wrong; because we might know the song that takes this verse. And there’s a subtle difference […]

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The cost of discipleship

You know what they say; ‘If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans’. Apparently it was Woody Allen who said it. It’s funny and wise – and most of us immediately grasp what he’s on about. I often think of this saying, because I’m the kind of person who likes to […]

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Broken people….

Sometimes weeks can go by in the Bible readings in church and it can sound like stuff from a foreign land. The end of the world coming with fire… the moon like blood and the sun made dark. Or there are stories of people with diseases we are not likely to catch, tribes and peoples […]

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Am I a God nearby

I imagine that most of us have had the experience of playing hide-and-seek with a child so young that they think that if they can’t see you you can’t see them. You remember, that hilarious moment when the two year old covers their own eyes and says ‘I’m hiding!’. And you have to decide whether […]

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The Good Samaritan

I suspect that if ask people what the message of the parable of the Good Samaritan is they will say something like, ‘Love your neighbour’ or ‘Go and do thou likewise’. There are hundreds of hospitals and charities in the world named after this parable. We all know about The Samaritans of course. The parable […]

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We all have dark places…

Jesus is in Jerusalem for a festival. But he goes first of all not straight to the Temple, but to the place where the sick gather hoping for a cure. A bit like going to London for the Lord Mayor’s parade, but getting off the train to go first to an overcrowded AandE department or […]

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I rise!

Today is the greatest day of the Christian year! Rowan Williams recently said that the death and resurrection of Jesus is the centre point of all human history. That’s quite a day!   And as if that wasn’t enough, today I want to say that what we celebrate right now is not only Jesus’ overcoming […]

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Palm Sunday procession…

I wonder whether you have ever walked, or marched, or cart-wheeled, or sambad, in any kind of procession. My very earliest memory of all is of watching my father march with the band at a naval base – I was about two years old. I can remember the beating of the drum and the sound […]

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Overflowing love…

Last week I baked a simnel cake for us to share after church. Traditionally you put eleven little balls of marzipan on the top because they represent the apostles – without the traitor Judas. But I always put twelve on anyway – because I feel sorry for him. And because one of the sermons I […]

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A scandalous story…

Some of the hardest passages to preach on in the Bible are the most familiar ones. Whatever can remain to be said about the parable of the Prodigal Son that has not been said before and probably rather well? When you know it’s going to be the Prodigal Son, most of might be tempted to […]

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