Listening In

Colossians 1:1 – 14 Imagine two people. Both are listening in, as these words of St Paul that we heard are read out in two church congregations. Yet neither is a regular member of these congregations: each has slipped in at the back, after the service has started. Not quite sure why, not quite sure […]

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Struggles

Luke 10: 1– 11, 16– 20 Be honest! You struggled a bit with the three readings we heard this morning. Didn’t you? I certainly struggled, looking at them earlier in the week. Because all three sound a bit, well, remote from our lives: from our joys and sorrows, our worries and our relationships. I’m happy […]

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Meetings

Luke 9:51-62 Picture busy Northumberland Street. But not now; no, no, no! Picture Northumberland Street on Christmas Eve, about half past four, an hour or so before the shops shut! Here, everybody is on a journey; and everybody is rushing. You don’t make eye contact with anyone. The only conversation, barely discernible above the noise […]

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Dinner Guests

Luke 7:36 – 8:3 I can see it from Simon’s point of view. Organising a banquet, which almost everyone in the village will attend in some shape or form: what could possibly go wrong? You know whom you need to see here. You know who needs to be seen here. You draw up the formal […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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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