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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Advent Sunday

Advent Sunday So, the day is near. Salvation is nearer now than it was when we first believed, or nearer than it was when we met last Sunday.. Does it feel that way to you? Does it feel as though salvation is near, as though the night is passing and the dawn is about to […]

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Christ the King – 20th November 2016

A friend of mine was once being interviewed by a political party because he was thinking about standing for parliament. It was all going well, until they asked him a question about party loyalty. Would he always put the party first? Would he put it above his own personal convictions? He began to say ‘yes’ […]

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Harvest – 2nd October 2016

I wonder whether you think of yourself as a glass half full kind of person or a glass half empty kind of person? I imagine that we all have a kind of tendency to go one way or the other, and each of us probably drives someone else mad with either our relentless chirpy optimism […]

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The rich man and Lazarus

I wonder whether we can bring this parable a bit closer to home… Perhaps you have read or seen the play or the film of Alan Bennett’s little book – The Lady in the Van. It’s a true story about the years when a woman lived in some squalor in a van parked outside the […]

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Balm in Gilead

The book of Jeremiah is not full of stand up comedy – it has to be said – but it has got some of the most memorable language of the Bible. In one of the highlight passages, we hear what is probably the voice of God, bewailing the sorrows of the people, as God looks […]

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Being lost and being found

I wonder if you can remember a time when you were literally, and obviously, lost. Perhaps you have a memory from childhood or from more recently, a memory of being lost, and you can summon up in your stomach that awful sense of panic, that sinking feeling..   Perhaps you’ve broken down on the motorway […]

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Costly discipleship

Luke tells us about a time when Jesus was flavour of the month, celebrity of the year, the man of the moment. Great crowds were travelling with him. For a few brief summers in the Galilean hills, it was the cool thing to do. We know little about the people who made up these great […]

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