StJohn&StStephens-logo

Sermon: ‘Wear the badge!’ given by Don Mason on 2 May 2010

Wear the Badge!

Acts 11: 1 – 18, John 13: 31-35

 It was night.  So ends the verse immediately before the short passage from John’s Gospel we have just read.  It was night.  This short phrase marks a break in the narrative.  Before, it was evening, now it is night.  There’s a subtle symbolism too in the word ‘night’ — a time of darkness, extinguished light, scheming and secrecy.   (more…)

NEW PATHS FOR CHRISTIANS: Four innovative voices (in ten papers)

NEW PATHS FOR CHRISTIANS 

Introduction

 During all the years when Reading Jubilee Debt Campaign was operating, I have had at the back of my mind a vision of Jesus – inspirational, charismatic, a leader with a clear message, central to which was a care for the poor. A message signalled by St Luke at the start of his gospel account:

 He has put down the mighty from their seat and exalted those of low degree; he has filled the hungry with good things and the rich he has sent empty away.

 I assumed that folks in our churches would be similarly inspired, But, although we have been so fortunate in the untiring commitment of a few people and a few churches, the picture that emerges ten years after we started is one of tiredness and a general  lack of enthusiasm.  Why should this be?  It might be due to normal human frailty amongst our Christian fellows but my reading indicates something more specific. (more…)

THEN THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY – NOW FACE TO FACE. Hamish Preston

PAPER 1

 THEN THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY – NOW FACE TO FACE

(Apologies to St Paul. 1 Cor; 13.12)

 Based on

 THE NEW TESTAMENT AND THE PEOPLE OF GOD  (SPCK 1992)

and JESUS AND THE VICTORY OF GOD  (SPCK 1996)

by N T Wright

               This is the story of  how Jesus and his Ministry have come to the centre stage in the world of the scholars. The story is told in  the opening chapters of both  the texts referred to above, beginning with JESUS AND THE VICTORY OF GOD.

 Chapter 1

Jesus Then and Now

 Most scholars in the twentieth century have shied away from attempting a full-face portrait of Jesus; they have felt the need to distance themselves from a whole body of earlier commentaries which had portrayed Jesus in loving, but spurious detail, based on the imagination of the writers rather than on historical data. Instead, scholars have preferred to attend to the rise of the early church a generation or more after the time of the ministry of Jesus. This is because the gospel texts have been held to reflect the concerns of the evangelists themselves as they wrote for the later generations of Christians. The texts were not to be relied on, the scholars judged, as historical data concerning Jesus himself.       (more…)

Sermon: ‘Peter’s next step’ by Rev Vincent Gardner given on 18 April 2010

 

Peter’s Next Step. Rev. Vincent Gardner 18/04/10

During a Minister’s fraternal, an old pastor stood up to share his faith and attitude to his lifelong ministry. Yet his testimony surprised a number of people. The pastor stood up and looked at the group and said, “I am a pastor of a small, not-growing church. I am not ordained. I am not college trained. I was asked to leave two Bible colleges I attended. On any given day I am capable of being (more…)

Sermon: ‘Passion Sunday and rule of life’ by Rev Ali Marshall given on 21 March 2010

Discipleship – John 12:1-8

 I can be very predictable…there is someone amongst us who, with a smile and a twinkle in his eyes, when he sees I am preaching says, are you going to tell us God loves us? What an honour, if those who have heard me and met me leave with a greater sense that God loves them, how the world could change, how the world would change if we all knew this, not just assent to it in our head but were free to act on it….but how? (more…)