A spoonful of cod liver oil

Matthew 20.1-16 / Proper 20 Introduction The writer Barbara Brown Taylor describes the parable of the labourers in the vineyard as being a little like cod liver oil: you know Jesus is right, you know it must be good for you, but that doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. This is one of those … Continue reading A spoonful of cod liver oil

How to deal with conflict

A sermon preached on 6th September 2020 Matthew 18.15-20 Introduction Imagine two friends in a church far away. Let’s call them Andrea and Louise. Andrea and Louise used to spend a lot of time together. They came to church together, had meals at each other’s houses, went on days out, talked and laughed. Sometimes they … Continue reading How to deal with conflict

The Canaanite Woman

Matthew 15.21-28 The meeting between Jesus and a Canaanite woman would’ve been just one among many were it not for the shock of their conversation. Even though Jesus is sometimes harsh with the Pharisees, we still expect compassion for a woman in need. And so, when we see Jesus first ignore her and then compare … Continue reading The Canaanite Woman

Being Beloved

A sermon for Morning Prayer, 19th February 2020 Psalm 72 / James 1.19-27 / Mark 8.22-26 Introduction A friend of mine has been having a difficult time recently and ended up in hospital for two weeks. She’s now back home and getting better but it was a massive shock to her and her family. A … Continue reading Being Beloved

Salt and Light

Isaiah 58.1-9a / Matthew 5.13-20 Introduction A story is told about a church that was having a special Saturday night service. Towards the end of the service a thunderstorm unleashed a bolt of lightning that plunged the building into darkness. So, the minister carefully felt his way through the church to find some candles and … Continue reading Salt and Light

‘Why do you come to me?’ The Baptism of Christ

Matthew 3.13-17 Jesus came to John to be baptised. John tried to stop him, saying, ‘Why do you come to me to be baptised?’. What kind of world - and what kind of God? This year has got off to a difficult start. Wildfires in Australia have burnt an area almost the size of Ireland, … Continue reading ‘Why do you come to me?’ The Baptism of Christ

Judgement (don’t run away!)

A talk at Morning Prayer on 18th December 2019 Jeremiah 23.1-8 / Matthew 17.14-21 One of the four traditional themes of Advent is judgement, and specifically God’s judgement at the end of time. It’s not a fashionable thing to talk about in many church circles and I can see why. The idea of judgement can … Continue reading Judgement (don’t run away!)

John the Baptist

Isaiah 11.1-10 / Matthew 3.1-12 2nd Sunday of Advent / Year A Elections I’ve heard a rumour that there’s some kind of election coming up. I don’t want to speculate on what the result will be, but in this country, when there’s a change of government the changeover is instant. On polling day itself there … Continue reading John the Baptist

A Royal Priesthood

Isaiah 6.1-8 / 1 Peter 2.1-10, 25 A talk given at Morning Prayer, 27th November 2019 Being a priest - not just for those in funny collars I know that we all have things that we find difficult to understand, and I’m sure that there are things I think I understand but have completely wrong. … Continue reading A Royal Priesthood

Remember War, Make Peace

Isaiah 65.17-25 / James 3.13-18 / Luke 6.27-38 A Tale of Two Mothers Two mothers tell their stories. “I’m an Iraqi mother. I was full of joy each time I had a child. But I’ve wept so many tears for them. I lost my first son when he was sent to fight against Iran. He … Continue reading Remember War, Make Peace