“There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.”
The truth at the heart of Christianity is that God loves every one of us – every human being alive. And that how we judge our differences – of age or gender or race or sexuality or social status do not matter at all to God.
There is an old saying from the Baptist Church I attended at my youth – the pastor used to say “the ground is level at the foot of the cross.” Meaning that we all stand on the same level – in our encounter with God the poor have the same status as the rich, the uneducated with the educated, the outcast and the respectable…
To me the amazing thing about this story is not Elijah, who is a bit too scary and fanatical (in his later showdown with the prophets of Baal he takes the idea of “fire and brimstone” preaching a bit too literally) but the woman – who in her poverty is generous, who in her religion is open-minded, and who in her sinfulness is found worthy to play a part in God’s plan, and finds a place in Scripture…
One Sunday a Vicar told his congregation that the church needed some extra money and asked the people to prayerfully consider giving a little extra in the offering plate.
He said that whoever gave the most would be able to pick out three hymns.
After the offering plates were passed, the vicar glanced down and noticed that someone had placed a cheque for £1,000 in offering.
He was so excited that he immediately shared his joy with his congregation and said he’d like to personally thank the person who placed the money in the plate.
A very quiet, elderly, saintly lady all the way in the back shyly raised her hand.
The pastor asked her to come to the front. Slowly she made her way to the pastor.
He told her how wonderful it was that she gave so much and in thanksgiving asked her to pick out three hymns.
Her eyes brightened as she looked over the congregation, pointed to the three particularly dishy young men in the building and said,
“I’ll take him and him and him.”
There are two words that strike terror into the hearts of congregations throughout the developed world. Usually they only occur in the summer months, but you, poor unfortunates are going to hear them this morning. You must brace yourselves, for this is a HOLIDAY SERMON! Holiday sermons are usually written on the beach, often onContinue reading “Holiday Sermon – New Year in New York”
It’s getting better all the time Or the Lord will fulfil his promise to Israel a sermon for Advent I Jeremiah 33:14-16 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfil the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that timeContinue reading “It’s getting better all the time”
Acts 2.14-21 The Vicar was saying goodbye to folks at the door after the service. A woman said, “Vicar, that was a marvellous sermon.” The Vicar said, “Oh, I have to give the credit to the Holy Spirit.” “It wasn’t THAT good!” she replied. Today we are thinking about the Holy Spirit, and as weContinue reading “Pentecost – a sermon not THAT good”
Acts 2:42-47They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceedsContinue reading “We are the Resurrection”
John 3:1-17Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no oneContinue reading “Nicodemus must be Born Again after dark”
Readings: Isaiah 49:1-7; Psalm 40; John 1:29-42 Today I want to ask question “What is the Church?” Please close your eyes for a moment, and with your eyes closed I want you to visualise the Church of the Ascension. Take a few moments to form a mental image… How many of youContinue reading “What is the Church?”