Idleness

2 Thessalonians 3:6–13 I remember a couple of friends we knew, forty-odd years ago. At the time, they were Religious Studies students. They were patting themselves on the back. So many subjects that you study in a university are impenetrable to the rest of the world because of all the jargon, they said. Who has […]

Continue Reading →

Belonging

Ephesians 1:11–23 We all need to belong, don’t we? We all need to be connected, somehow, somewhere? The success of shows like ‘Who do you think you are?’ and the immense popularity of climbing one’s family tree: we have a need to know who we are and where we belong. Sandie Toksvig, she of Great […]

Continue Reading →

The Bad Guys

Luke 18: 9–14 Who can remember watching ‘Rawhide’, the Western series from the dawn of television? Does anyone remember the ‘Lone Ranger?’ Or ‘The High Chaparral’, which we still had to watch in black-and-white, even though colour was creeping in by then. As schoolboys in the 1960s, we weren’t bothered by political correctness, or the […]

Continue Reading →

Fake News

2 Timothy 3:14 – 4:5 You do realise that the earth is flat, don’t you? The so-called “experts” would have us believe that it’s a globe, an “oblate spheroid”. Fake news, lies, disinformation! It’s all a conspiracy, with some nefarious purpose that I can’t quite remember. But you only have to visit Whitley Bay to […]

Continue Reading →

Guarding the Gospel

2 Timothy 3:14– 4:5 Guy is a fireman. A brave and honourable profession, we’d all agree. However, Guy lives at some point in the near future, when house insulation has reached such a peak of perfection that houses no longer catch fire. What’s a fireman to do, with no fires to put out? The state […]

Continue Reading →

Angels

Genesis 28:10–17 On Wednesday morning I sat down to write this sermon for the Feast of St Michael and All Angels. So while I was poring over some of the more obscure and arcane chapters of the Bible, journalists up and down the country were still poring over the judgement handed down by the Supreme […]

Continue Reading →

Letters of Reference

Philemon 1-21 The letter of Reference. If you have ever had to write one for someone applying for a job, you will know how hard they can be to compose. You feel obliged to tell the truth; but your unembellished view of it might hinder, rather than further the prospects of the person who asked […]

Continue Reading →

Sarah and Abraham

Genesis 18:20–32 ‘The Lord appears to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre and says, “How great is the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah and how very grave their sin! I must go down and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me; and if not, I will know.”’ […]

Continue Reading →

Martha and Mary

Luke 10:38 – 42 We hear a voice: ‘He’s here! At last! We’ve been hoping against hope that he’d come; and now he’s actually here! In my house! This man has words of eternal life. And I can listen, truly listen, not just overhear snatches that the wind happens to blow in my direction. Nothing […]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →