Sermons on Spiritual Life
On this Creation Sunday, our readings invite us to trust in the Creator, who provides for all his creatures, but also challenge us to reflect honestly on the broken state of our world, in which there is so much to make us anxious. So as we reflect on God’s character as our creator, and the nature of his creation, I wonder how we can live more fully as God’s children?
In our readings this morning, we continue the Epiphany theme of light dawning in darkness, as Jesus is shown to fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah, and calls his first disciples. I wonder how Christ’s invitation for us to follow him today can help us to deal with the darkness in our own lives, and in the world around us?
Second Sunday of Epiphany Readings: Isaiah 49.1-7; Psalm 40.1-11; 1 Corinthians 1.1-9; John 1.29-42 (view all) Having just concluded a period of celebration of the amazing and wonderful birth of Jesus… His virgin birth. The angels announcing his birth to the very startled shepherds. The three wise men who had travelled a vast distance over a long period of time, guided by a star. The need for his parents to flee with him to Egypt for his own safety, when…
At his baptism in the Jordan river, Christ immerses himself in our broken humanity, healing the great divide and uniting what is human with what is divine. This is the spiritual reality of baptism: You are now indelibly marked with the divine, and united with God in Christ.
On the Feast of Epiphany, as we celebrate the journey of the Magi to worship the infant Christ, we are also reminded that our lives are a similar spiritual journey. So at the beginning of this new year, this new decade: How can we faithfully navigate our way through life? How can we guided and sustained as we journey onwards? And what does it mean to reach our destination, our journey’s end?
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.
Whatever your method of choice, whether it’s exchanging cards, presents, flowers, even planning dramatic acts of devotion, as human beings we are always trying to find ways to express our adoration to one another — whether it’s our partners, our family or friends. This morning’s gospel reading features a similar act of devotion from Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, as she anoints Jesus with perfume. So what is the significance of this dramatic act, and the reactions of those around Jesus? And how might we be encouraged and challenged in our devotion 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?
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…
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…
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…