Love is the Answer – but not an easy answer

Gospel Reading:   Mark 10.2-16 Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.” ButJesus said to them, “Because of yourContinue reading “Love is the Answer – but not an easy answer”

The Syrophoenician Woman shows Jesus the Way

Mark 7.24-30 From there he set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice, but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed downContinue reading “The Syrophoenician Woman shows Jesus the Way”

Jesus and the Bacon Sandwich

The following notes are from a discussion-based ‘sermon’: I’m going to start with a question.  There is no certain right or wrong answer to it (it’s not like the question of the Labour Party leadership – clearly Jeremy Corbyn is the correct answer – just sayin’) so don’t be afraid to say what you think…Continue reading “Jesus and the Bacon Sandwich”

The only Gospel is an Inclusive Gospel

Collect (prayer) of the Day: God of inclusive love, who knows us each by name: we thank you for the woman, who stood out of the crowd and defied her uncleanness to connect with you; we praise you for the leader of the synagogue, who faced the mockery of others to give his daughter hope;Continue reading “The only Gospel is an Inclusive Gospel”

St Margaret and the Dragon

This morning I want to talk about St Margaret of Antioch, as it is her day. We don’t usually celebrate minor saints, but I thought we could remember Margaret today because our Sister Church, St Margaret’s Lee is dedicated to her, and it makes a connection with our neighbours… Also my inner feminist sees thatContinue reading “St Margaret and the Dragon”

Adam vs Eve

The early chapters of Genesis are some of the most controversial in the whole of Scripture. It’s not just the strange anti-science of creationists that bring this text into disrepute. Although it is worth pausing briefly to point out that a Creationist reading of the early chapters of Genesis is not just unscientific – it is barely literate. The story of creation is told twice in Genesis first from Genesis 1.1-2.3 and then again 2.4-3.24. You will recognise both stories, but you may not have recognised that they are different. In the first are the six days each ending with “and it was good.” the second has Adam and Eve.

In the first story God created humans (male and female together) after all the other animals; in the second, God made one man (“Adam”) and then created all of the animals in order to find a companion for Adam. God brought all of the animals to Adam, but none were good enough, so God made a woman from one of Adam’s ribs to serve his companion.

Any serious reading of the early chapters of Genesis show that the ancient people who created the text did not take the stories literally – they saw these two contradictory stories, and decided that both were worth preserving. They saw that these were parables of deep and profound and life-changing wisdom, not science or history.

The Other Sheep

A sermon on John 10v11-18

Our Gospel reading places us as a sheep belonging to Jesus, our Good Shepherd. Those who have been coming for a while know that I sometimes like to start my sermons with a joke, just to wake everyone up if the readings were dull or no one knew the last hymn.

I try to find a joke that somehow cleverly fits the theme of the sermon. This week I was trying to find sheep jokes and failed to find anything remotely relevant. But this is Marathon Sunday, and lots of our regulars are cut off or at least have their transport here disrupted… I was tempted to treat it as a teacher treats the last day of term and suggest that you all just “bring in games.” I have no excuse for the following jokes, other than that I am bringing in games!

So: What do you get if you cross an angry sheep and a moody cow?

Easter Day 2015

Happy Easter!!  Jesus Christ is risen to day – Alleluia! We have gathered to celebrate something strange and often poorly understood – the resurrection is a mystery.  It is literally impossible to take it literally because the Gospels disagree on the details.  The resurrected Jesus is solid enough to eat fish by the side ofContinue reading “Easter Day 2015”

Angel or Devil?

Matthew 16.13-20 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you sayContinue reading “Angel or Devil?”