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Sermon Series

Festivals

Reflections on the big festivals of the year.

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The sound of the turtle dove is heard again in our land

Christmas Morning talk, St John and St Stephen’s, 2019. Luke 2:1-14 Play turtle dove track – who can identify this?   You might wonder why we’re listening to a call of a turtle dove – if there’s any vague link with Christmas?!   On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: […]

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The desert shall blossom like the rose

Isaiah 52.7-10, John 1.1-14 Sermon Christmas Eve 2019 The opening words of tonight’s gospel are from John the evangelist, our John, as I like to call him. They echo the very first words in the bible, ‘In the beginning…’ where a lyrical description of how God created the universe follows. The power of God’s word […]

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‘The child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit’

Advent 4, Sunday 22nd December 2019 Isaiah 7:10-16, Matthew 1:18-end ‘The child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit’   ‘The child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.’ I want to use those words as a sort of launch pad into a reflection on the moment of conception of the Christ-child in […]

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Christ the King (Luke 23 v 33-43)

Today we celebrate Christ the King. This is the final Sunday of the liturgical year; the culmination before we begin again with Advent. Pope Pius the tenth instituted in the Catholic church the feast of Christ the King with these words “If to Christ our Lord is given all power in heaven and on earth; […]

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Remembrance Sunday 10th November 2019

    I have just finished reading a remarkable book – both inspiring and devastating in pretty equal measure. It’s ‘War Doctor – surgery on the front line’ by David Nott. David is a surgeon who has spent a lot of time working literally on the front line in places like Syria and Gaza, doing […]

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Pentecost

Today is Pentecost Sunday.  It falls on the same day as Jewish festival of Shavuot celebrating both the wheat harvest and giving of the law on Mount Sinai.  The word ‘Pentecost’ comes from the Greek for the 50th day, because Shavuot was 7 weeks and a day after Passover Sabbath (Lev 23vv15-16).  The festival was […]

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Ascension

Acts 1.1-11, Luke 24.44-end On Sunday Gary spoke about prayer being like a pause, that moment when everything is suddenly still, as if holding its breath.  I want to suggest that the ascension is this sort of pause – a kind of still point between the resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit at […]

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Easter Sermon: The Imagination of the Risen Lamb

Our theme over the Lent has been that of ‘mediocrity’: the temptation from within to give up to bland uniformity or the pressure from without from political and religious powers to reduce the individual to the inconsequential or, as we’ve seen this morning so awfully on the news, to erase the individual entirely. Over-against these […]

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Palm Sunday

Luke 1928-40 My wife’s Auntie Frances was very sentimental about donkeys.  Auntie Frances was one of the most selfless and kind-hearted people I have met, and she was very moved by the mistreatment of donkeys in many places, and wanted to help them.  She supported donkey sanctuaries, was quite likely to send you birthday cards […]