Sermons by James Henley

Sermons by James Henley

Sharing Faith

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?

Love Embodied

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?

Practising God’s Kingdom

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…

Using our gifts to grow God’s kingdom

Third Sunday of Epiphany Readings: Isaiah 62.1-5; Psalm 36.5-10; 1 Corinthians 12.1-11; John 2.1-11 (view all) Well, 2018 has flown by, and we now find ourselves meeting for the first time as a Ministry Area family in the new year. We’re now into my second year as Ministry Area Leader, and the first has had plenty of ups and downs, lots of challenges, but also plenty to celebrate as well. One of our big jobs over the last year has…

The Invitation to New Life

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…

Preparing the Way

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…

Never Again (Remembrance)

2nd Sunday of the Kingdom Readings: Jonah 3. 1-5, 10; Psalm 62. 5-12; Hebrews 9. 24-28; Mark 1. 14-20 (view all) At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month the Armistice was signed, bringing to an end the First World War. The four years and three months of the Great War were characterised by brutal trench warfare and near constant bombardment. During this time somewhere between 750,000 and 1 million British soldiers gave their lives, with a…

Simple Faith

1st Sunday of the Kingdom Readings: Deuteronomy 6. 1-9; Psalm 119. 1-8; Hebrews 9. 11-14; Mark 12. 28-34 (view all) I have a real problem with writing long sentences. Particularly when I was studying for ordination, I used to ask my wife Amy to proofread my essays, and she’d often have to cut down the huge sentences I’d written which were sometimes three or four lines long. It was always a difficult process having to choose what to prioritise, what…

A Life Changed

Last Sunday after Trinity Readings: Jeremiah 31. 7-9; Psalm 126; Hebrews 7. 23-28; Mark 10. 46-52 (view all) One of the wonders of modern technology is ‘call screening’ — you can now see who is phoning you before you take their call. I wonder whether, for whatever reason, you ever see who’s calling and decide to ignore it. Perhaps because you know it’s a marketing call, or because you’re busy, or don’t have time for that person. I know I’ve…

Freedom to Serve

Twenty-first Sunday after Trinity Readings: Isaiah 53. 4-12; Psalm 91. 9-16; Hebrews 5. 1-10; Mark 10. 35-45 (view all) Not long ago, Amy, Evie and I went across to St Fagan’s for the day, and discovered that they have a new attraction — a high ropes course! You are harnessed in and taken up a long staircase until you are at the tops of the trees, and then have to negotiate your way around various tightropes and other obstacles, ending…

Choosing Faith

Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity Readings: Joshua 24. 1-2a, 14-18; Psalm 34. 15-22; Ephesians 6. 10-20; John 6. 56-69 (view all) One of the most terrifying days of my life so far was the day when Evie, my daughter was born. Amy, my wife, had been in labour for over 24 hours and nothing was happening, so the doctors decided that she needed to have a C-section. So Amy was taken to be prepared for theatre, and I was taken to…

Our Communion

Twelfth Sunday after Trinity Readings: Proverbs 9. 1-6; Psalm 34. 9-14; Ephesians 5. 15-20; John 6. 51-58 (view all) I was brought up in a very active Christian family, and so, throughout my childhood, believing the things that Christians believed and doing the things that Christians did, especially in church, just seemed normal to me. I can remember the period in my early teens when I began to realise, though, that what I thought was normal wasn’t necessarily what was normal…