For this life only…?: Sermon for Easter Sunday 2013

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 31 March 2013: Year C, Easter Day
SERMON

Texts: 1 Corinthians 15.19-26
Luke 24:1-12

(from the Revised English Bible)

For this life only…?

In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

Sometimes it’s suggested that Christianity is being marginalised today. No longer are the children’s swings in the public parks of Inverness no longer chained up on Sundays (so it isn’t all bad!). And it isn’t bad if Christianity is no longer being used to prop up the establishment. For Christianity began when a man who had been seen as a threat to the establishment was put to death for being a troublemaker. Continue reading

Sunday Bulletin for 17 March 2013

Worship This Week
Tonight
7pm Short Act of Worship for Lent, St Stephen’s
Wednesday 20 March
12.30pm Midweek Quiet Time at St Stephen’s
Sunday 24 March
10.00am All-Age Congregational Service with the Sacrament of Baptism at St Stephen’s NB New time for Congregational Service: no service at the Old High. Followed by annual meeting
7pm Short Act of Worship for Lent, St Stephen’s Continue reading

The fragrance of love: a sermon for the Fifth Sunday of Lent

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 17 March 2013: Year C, Fifth Sunday of Lent

SERMON
Texts: Isaiah 43:16-21
John 12:1-8

The fragrance of love

In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

Of all the senses, perhaps the sense of smell is the most mysterious. You can walk into a house full of old-fashioned furniture and the smell of polish takes you back to your granny’s. And we’ve spoken to the children about the smell of romance- smelly stuff is big business. In the Eastgate Centre, Boot’s and Debenham’s have what seems like acres of floor space devoted to perfume and deodorant. Smells affect us in strange ways. Continue reading

Sermon for the Lent 4: The Scandal of Grace (the Prodigal Son)

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 10 March 2013: Year C, Fourth Sunday in Lent
SERMON
Texts: Psalm 32
Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

The scandal of grace
In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

Yesterday we had our Future Focus Vision Day, the latest element of a process which has been going on for the last few months. We are starting to discover the priorities for our life together, and create a new vision of what kind of congregation we should be. Above all, we are seeking ways to bring the Good News of God’s love in Christ to the world we live in.

This is hard, and not just because we have not been very good at it recently. It’s hard because so many people are strangers to the Christian message. Continue reading

Patience and welcome: a sermon for 3 March 2013 (Lent 3)

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 3 March 2013: Year C, The Third Sunday in Lent

SERMON
Texts: Isaiah 55:1-9
Luke 13.1-9

Patience and welcome

In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

‘What have I done to deserve this?’- words I’m sure we have all cried at some point in our lives. Yet most people when they say that today don’t really mean it. Most people don’t believe that there is a God who will punish us for doing wrong. But as people are more aware today of other religions, the idea is creeping back. You hear people say, ‘Don’t do that, that’s bad karma’, which is a word folks have picked up from Buddhism and which they probably don’t really understand. It’s a kind of half belief in a malevolent fate which brings bad things in it’s wake for those who do wrong. But few are really quaking in terror at the thought that there might be divine punishment for being bad.

But alongside ‘What have I done to deserve this?’ there is another question which we like to ask, one which perhaps we’ve been asking a lot recently. Not, What have I done to deserve this?’ but ‘What has he done to deserve this?’. We all seem to find the news more entertaining when we people are caught out, when people apparently get what we think they deserve. Whether it’s a Catholic Cardinal or an hitherto obscure Liberal Democrat politician, or an Olympic athlete who’d previously been a national hero- whoever it is, when we hear about someone in public life getting their comeuppance, many of us are hooked. Continue reading