Communication

Acts 2:1-21 ‘This little piggy went to market; this little piggy stayed home. This little piggy had roast beef:’ how does it finish? Or ‘Round and round the houses, like a teddy bear. One step, two step’… What is all this nonsense all about? Not nonsense at all: these are the games we play with […]

Continue Reading →

Release to the Prisoners

Acts 16:16-34 There are certain jobs that have to be done by someone. Being a gaoler, for instance, in Philippi, a Roman town in the north of Greece, in about AD 50. We meet the Philippian Gaoler on what was so nearly the last day of his life. An earthquake undermined the foundations of his […]

Continue Reading →

Creation

Genesis, chapter 1 Earlier this month, a American expedition made what was only the third ever dive to the very deepest part of the Pacific Ocean. They took a submersible to the floor of the Mariana Trench: at 35000 feet, it is a mile deeper than Everest is high. The Mariana Trench is found where […]

Continue Reading →

Valley of the Shadow of Death

Psalm 23 When did you first work out what a valley was? At what age did geography impinge upon you? Those of you born and brought up in the Allen Valleys have always been part of a landscape of valleys and fells. But if you grow up in Norfolk, for instance, valleys are hard to […]

Continue Reading →

Easter Drama

Acts 10:34 – 43 Our scene is a massive Victorian church, on a huge council estate in Birmingham. It is Easter Sunday, nearly forty years ago; and the church is full, for a special service. Everyone’s been welcomed, and we’ve sung the opening hymn, and said the opening prayers. And now, several oddly-dressed young people […]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →

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 Computers and cameras and televisions that are out of date.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 […]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →

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, […]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →