Perfume and Persecution

John 12:1– 8 Imagine you were watched, as you came into church today. Imagine two shady characters sit in a large black car outside in the market square, with notebooks and dark glasses, earpieces, and cameras, recording you as you walk up the path. Imagine that as we speak, malevolent authorities are being notified that […]

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Mothering Sunday

Luke 2.41-52 Have you any idea how much stuff we throw away these days? Packaging and plastic bags, old clothes that would have been mended years ago. Computers and cameras and televisions that are out of date. Things don’t seem to last as long, do they? It’s often less expensive to throw something away and […]

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Seige

Matthew 18:10 – 14 Unless you are a shepherd; perhaps even if you are, it seems to make no sense, this gospel reading. Jesus picks up on the scripture from Ezekiel, and offers a picture saying, well of course the shepherd goes after the lost sheep. But I have this image in my head of […]

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Temptations

Luke 4:1 – 13 What is he going to do now? How is he going to do it? Why is he going to do it? The cool, cleansing waters of the Jordan have washed away the traces of his former life. Carpentry and Saturday Synagogue, home and family, Nazareth normality. All drift away down-stream. Now, […]

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On being left behind

Luke 9:28 – 43 I thought that my carrot cake was a pretty strong entry in the gentlemens’ baking class at the summer show that year. A pleasing, golden crust. A good rise. But it didn’t even place, never mind win. If I tell you that the year in question was 1988, and that I […]

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Storms

Luke 8:22-25 I wonder how old they are, Peter and James and John and these other disciples? I wonder how long they’ve been at the fishing game. Long enough to own a boat, and run a fishing business, certainly. But I wonder, because they’ll have known the waters and the weathers of the Sea of […]

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Blessings and Woes

Luke 6:17 – 26 Picture this vast throng of people, gathering out here on a flattish piece of ground, somewhere near Nazareth. Some of them have travelled for days to get here! How did they even know where to come? We don’t do this sort of thing now, really put ourselves out in order to […]

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Epic Christianity

Luke 5:1 – 11 Years ago, if you wanted to win Oscars, you made a biblical epic. My grandmother’s favourite film was The Greatest Story Ever Told. I remember being taken to see The Ten Commandments and Barabbas at the cinema. Our favourite, of course, has always been Ben Hur. Everyone remembers the chariot race, […]

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In an Ideal World

1 Corinthians 13 St Paul’s great hymn of love, 1 Corinthians chapter 13. One of the best-loved chapters in the whole Bible. In an ideal world, this would be the manifesto for all humanity, would it not? Love which is ever patient, and kind; never envious, nor boastful, nor rude. Love, never failing, ever trusting, […]

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Questions Jesus Asks

I wonder if the events of thirty winters ago have begun to fade for Mary? Jesus’ birth had been so strange. The announcements. The journeys. The visitors. The gifts. The crisis that overwhelmed her. But all that was decades before. Life for Mary has settled into a routine now, here in Nazareth. There have been […]

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