Ordinary Time 2019
What does it mean to be persistent in prayer? Does God even answer our prayers? And, when we are in desperate straits, facing impossible circumstances, how can we draw on our faith to sustain us?
I often think about how we as a church can be there for people in need. How we can be more inclusive, more welcoming. And how we can be there for those who feel like outsiders. We can all have times when we feel like the outsider. I know there are times when I have made others feel like the outsider. The offer of healing is to be experienced today, but how can healing make space for the outsider?
If our sight is focused on our personal, physical wellbeing, then our spending, our bank balances, will follow. If, however we have caught a greater vision, a picture of God’s kingdom, then the way we use our resources will shift. We realise that we are not our own masters, but entrusted as managers — or stewards — of God’s resources.
‘All are welcome’ — words we sang a few moments ago. But words which are very often much easier to say or sing than they are to live and practice. So, as we reflect on this morning’s readings, how can we practice welcoming hospitality to others, especially those who are different from us? How can we truly ‘welcome all’?
When we trust that God is actually truly good, then we can believe that God wants only the best for us. And when we see through God’s eyes, we can let go of where we are now in order to journey towards the plan that God has for us. We can live now, in the light of eternity.
‘How much is enough?’ — this is often our question when it comes to money, especially since we live increasingly in a world of consumerism, where we’re bombarded with messages telling us we need more. So what does a Christian attitude to wealth and money, grounded in Jesus’ teachings, look like in today’s world? Rather than focusing on the scarcity of resources, or what might happen tomorrow, how can we live our lives grounded and rooted in the generosity of God? Is it possible to live a different kind of life, set free from financial worries in order to live simply and love generously?
I’m sure that, if we’re all honest with ourselves, we can think of plenty of examples where we’ve ‘passed by ‘on the other side’, as our gospel reading this morning describes it in the well-known parable of the Good Samaritan. So, as we consider this morning’s readings — how can we learn to love our neighbour more fully as Christ has taught us?
Often when we read scripture, we find ourselves overwhelmed with stories and images of salvation and transformation. And yet we live at a time when the Church is facing more and more challenges, and reaching less and less people, when the response in our society to the good news of Jesus Christ seems overwhelmingly negative. So, how can we be good news to those around us? What does it mean to share with God in his kingdom harvest?
A sermon for the first Eucharist of the Revd Matt Davis as priest, and the Revd John Thorne as deacon. Why should our faith be more than routine? How can our eyes be opened this morning to the wonder of following Jesus, and the incredible opportunity that faith in Christ presents to us? How can we live for more?
The horrible way in which the Dursleys treat Harry, and the ways in which they get their just desserts, are of course a source of great humour. However, in today’s gospel reading we encounter someone else who is being swept under the carpet in a far more serious and dehumanising way. What can we learn from Jesus’ encounter with this man, and the responses of those in the passage, to help us to live as followers of Jesus today?
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?