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The transforming power of grace.

Luke 5:1-11 Introduction Fishing communities from Newlyn to Anstruthers have a proud history of passing the business down through the family; they hold the sea in respect for it not only provides their livelihood and their reason for existence, but it can all too easily snatch it away.  So our story from Luke’s gospel is ofContinue reading “The transforming power of grace.”

Love is…dangerous

Jeremiah 1:4-10          Psalm 71:1-6               1 Corinthians 13:1-13             Luke 4: 21-30 There are any number of popular songs that speak about love, describing in all kinds of ways what a wonderful emotion this is. Yet the tension between that longed-for state and reality is sometimes sadly a huge gulf. We have all come across instances of people who haveContinue reading “Love is…dangerous”

Announcing a Jubilee

Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10     Psalm 19         1 Corinthians 12:12-31a         Luke 4:14-21 The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good [men] to do nothing.   Edmund Burke (1729–1797) On February 6th this year, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, will celebrate her platinum jubilee, marking 70 years of service to the people of the United Kingdom and theContinue reading “Announcing a Jubilee”

Luxury Miracle

Isaiah 62:1-5    Psalm 36:5-10           1 Corinthians 12:1-11             John 2:1-11 I’m not sure who coined the phrase ‘luxury miracle’ for the Wedding in Cana, but is it really apt: not a leper in sight, no one to release from demon-oppression, no storms to quell, no hungry masses to feed.  Just the sheer joy of God’s giving! It is completelyContinue reading “Luxury Miracle”

Baptismal identity

Isaiah 43:1-7   Psalm 29         Acts 8:14-17    Luke 3:15-17, 21-22 Introduction Depending on your church tradition, some may remember your baptism, but many I suspect others were very young when it took place.  Whenever and where ever it was, it is a sacrament about identity; we are called into the community of faith and into a relationship with God throughContinue reading “Baptismal identity”

Seeing hope – when hope is missing

Micah 5:2-5a Psalm 80:1-7 Hebrews 10:5-10 Luke 1:39-45 Last week’s prophet Zephaniah was part of the establishment, a direct descendent of King Hezekiah.  This week we move about 25 miles south-west of Jerusalem to a very rural spot ‘out in the sticks’, where most of the population were involved in subsistence farming.  However, ripples spread outwards fromContinue reading “Seeing hope – when hope is missing”

God will soothe you with divine love

Advent 3         Zephaniah 3:14-20 Isaiah 12:2-6 Philippians 4:4-7 Luke 3:7-18 Zephaniah observes idolatry, corruption and injustice I heard it said that the God of the Old Testament is full of wrath, whist the image of God in the New Testament is one of love.  I don’t think that the speaker could have read today’s readings, where bothContinue reading “God will soothe you with divine love”

‘Who do you say that I am’ … and what difference has it made in your life? Proverbs 1:20-33        Psalm 19         James 3:1-12               Mark 8:27-38 Today (11th September or 9/11) is one of those landmark days in history as the world paused to reflect on the 20th Anniversary of the huge loss of life at the World TradeContinue reading