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”
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.
I have had a complicated relationship with the Ascension. I am talking about Ascension Day rather than the Church of the Ascension – perhaps that’s another sermon there… As our regulars will have heard before, I was brought up a Northern Irish Baptist. Northern Irish Baptists make the sandal-wearing guitar-strumming Baptists of England look veryContinue reading “The ‘Truth’ of the Ascension”
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?
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?”
Heston’s last sermon at the Ascension was unscripted, so we can’t upload the text to this blog. However, the sermon ended with this poem by Francis Drake: Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves, When our dreams have come true Because we have dreamed too little, When we arrived safely Because weContinue reading “Disturb us, Lord…”
A Sermon by Heston Groenewald There have been horrific headlines from Palestine this week. And tomorrow marks 100 years exactly since Great Britain declared war on Germany in 1914. It’s easy to feel pretty helpless as we read about all this… So this morning I’d like us to think about VIOLENCE. Violence is right atContinue reading “Violence and Hunger”
A sermon by Margaret Offerman Nearly always when Christians gather to worship they say the lord’s prayer, with its pledge to hallow the name of God and to will that his kingdom may come on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus had a poetic imagination. When he wanted to convey the wonder of theContinue reading “The kingdom of Heaven”
Our first reading this morning is a challenging one; it reveals one of the skeletons in the cupboard of the Judaeo-Christian tradition; but to fully understand the challenge we need a little background information. The story concerns Abraham, Sarah and Hagar. I was tempted to try and make the story more accessible and arouse yourContinue reading “The Story of Hagar Genesis 21.8-21”
A sermon for Trinity Sunday The Trinity were planning a holiday. The Spirit, manifesting the creative part of the divine nature, was coming up with the ideas. “Let’s go to Los Angeles,” the Spirit suggested.“No, no, no,” said the Father, “They’re all so liberated, they’ll spend the whole time calling me ‘Mother’ and theyContinue reading “The Mystery of the Holy Trinity fully explained”