Sermons on Luke
At the heart of Christianity is a claim: The claim that two thousand years ago, when Jesus of Nazareth died, he died for our sins. The claim that three days later, on the first Easter Day, he was resurrected. Is it true? Will you believe this claim that Christ was raised from the dead? And if so, what difference will it make to your life, to your world?
In many ways I am incredibly fortunate that my parents, my mum and dad, have always been a safety net for me. Whether it was when, aged 19, I wrote off the car he had just given me a few weeks before, and Dad left a meeting in Cardiff to sort it all out and be there with me, without even a word of anger. Or whether it was when later on, when Evie was just over a year old, she was rushed into hospital and my Mum drove across Wales in the middle of the night and sat with us the whole time she was in surgery (Evie is now completely fine by the way). Today though, as we give thanks for the role our mums have played in our lives, I’m painfully aware that for many this will be a difficult day.
Aside from beginning with some disturbing comments about blood mingling with sacrifices and falling towers — which we will also at least touch on — this morning’s gospel presents us with a parable about a fig tree which simply refuses to bear fruit, no matter what the owner attempts. So what might this picture, and Jesus’ comments, have to say to us today as we continue our Lenten journey, and prepare for our Annual Church Meeting after the service?
I’m sure many of us, in all kinds of areas of life, can relate to that need to warn others — whether that warning is heeded or not. In today’s gospel passage, we find Jesus given a warning by the pharisees, to turn away from the treacherous path he is walking. What can we learn from Jesus’ response to help us live faithfully today as God’s Church?
Amongst our readings for Creation Sunday, this morning’s gospel tells the famous story of Jesus and his disciples in the boat on the lake. How might this episode in the life of Jesus and his disciples be a metaphor for our lives today? And how might we learn to trust God in stormy times?
Today, perhaps more than any other time in history, we are surrounded by choices — this brand or that brand, this option or that option, remain or leave, deal or no deal (don’t worry this isn’t a sermon about Brexit!) At times the sheer amount of choices can paralyse us, unable to do anything for fear of making the wrong choice. Scientists call this the choice paradox — that having more choices actually makes us more anxious rather than more happy. So, in this age of choice where it is so difficult to tell right from wrong and good from bad, how can our faith in Jesus inform our decisions and help us to live well?
Today’s gospel reading is one of those often used to talk about evangelism — sharing our faith with others. So, how are we called to share our faith with others? And how should we go about sharing our faith in today’s complex and sophisticated world?
In today’s gospel reading, we find Simeon and Anna encountering God in the infant Jesus in a dramatic way. What can we learn from their encounter? And what might it mean for us to encounter Jesus in that same personal way, in our lives today?
Fourth Sunday of Epiphany Readings: Nehemiah 8. 1-3, 5-6, 8-10; Psalm 19. 1-6; 1 Corinthians 12. 12-31a; Luke 4. 14-21 (view all) One of my favourite and least favourite times of the week growing up was football practice. I loved playing football, having a kick around, but the first half of the practice was full of drills and exercises which I just found boring. I couldn’t wait until the excitement of the practice game at the end. Whether it’s football…
The Baptism of Christ Readings: Isaiah 43. 1-7; Psalm 29; Acts 8. 14-17; Luke 3. 15-17, 21-22 (view all) I’m in the rather unusual position for an Anglican of being able to remember my baptism. I wasn’t baptised until I was fourteen, and again unusually for an Anglican church, St Michael’s in Aberystwyth, where I was baptised has a full sized adult baptistry. So I was baptised in my Manchester United football shirt — I remember that vividly — by…
Second Sunday of Advent Readings: Malachi 3. 1-4; Benedictus (Luke 1. 68-79); Philippians 1. 3-11; Luke 3. 1-6 (view all) Well I wonder how far you’ve managed to get so far with your Christmas preparations? Are your decorations up yet? Is your tree sorted? Have you bought all the presents you need? Have you sent out your Christmas cards? I would say we’re in the process in the Henley household. We’re working our way through our present list, and last…
Advent Sunday Readings: Jeremiah 33:14-16; Psalm 25.1-10; 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13; Luke 21: 25-36 (view all) Something is coming. What is coming, according to our text, is the kingdom of God. And that kingdom actually came among us when Jesus came. He said so once. In John 11, “If I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” Each time Jesus said that the Kingdom of God was near, He was actually saying that it was among…