Oil crisis! A sermon on the parable of the wise and foolish virgins 15 March 2015

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
15 March 2015, The Fourth Sunday in Lent (Year A, Narrative Lectionary
Gospel Reading: Matthew 25:1-13
Sermon: Oil crisis!

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

‘The Kingdom of Heaven will be like this’ says Jesus. It’s a familiar enough start to one of Jesus’ parables. But what do you think of when you hear those words? For many of us, the Kingdom is what we often use to describe the ongoing activity of God in the world. Jesus, we believe, has initiated this new movement- his Kingdom. As more and more people become involved, as more and more the goodness of God is seen in the world- that’s the Kingdom, isn’t it- so we say! And heaven? Well, that’s for afterwards. The place we go when we die- a rest after all our work for the sake of the Kingdom.

‘The Kingdom of Heaven will be like this’. And then Jesus tells us a story- a story which makes us think (as always). A story about ancient Jewish wedding customs, involving foolish and sensible young women, a bridegroom who arrives late, oil lamps that are running low, and a wedding part that only some people are admitted to. What has any of this to do with doing the work of God’s Kingdom in our world? What has any of it to do with our hope for eternal rest with God in heaven, the next world? In fact, what has any of this to do with anything? Continue reading

Mr Rudi Oelschlaegel – funeral announcement

Mr Rudi Oelschlaegel died at Cameron House on 17 March 2015.

He was 92.

The Rev Arthur Sinclair will conduct Mr Oelschlaegel’s funeral service which will be held at  D Chisholm & Son’s funeral home on Monday 23 March at 1.45pm

The funeral director is Wm T Fraser and Son (01463 243232).

Commonwealth Day Prayers at the Old High Church

On the morning of the 9th of March 2015, the Highland Council will be joining other Local Authorities across the UK in commemorating the centenary of the First World War by means of a Single Commemorative Act.

Members of the public are invited to attend the ceremony at the Old High Church, Inverness at 10.30am.

This event will also mark National Commonwealth Day, beginning with a reading of the Commonwealth affirmation in both Gaelic and English before moving to an Ecumenical service, conducted by the Rev. Peter W Nimmo, incorporating the Single Commemorative Act.

There will be four lit candles on display in the church representing each year of the First World War; as part of the service, one of these candles will be extinguished in order to illustrate the feeling of darkness that came over Europe during World War One. This act will be repeated each year until all the candles have been extinguished, church lighting will then be used to symbolise how light ultimately overcame the darkness.

This act is the vision of Scott Taylor, the Highland Council’s Civic and Facilities Team Leader at the Town House, who submitted the winning proposal to NACO (the National Association of Civic Officers) as part of a National competition seeking ideas for a single, nationwide, ceremonial event.

Provost of Inverness, Cllr Alex Graham, said: “This annual Single Commemorative Act will help to put into perspective the darkness that Britain felt during those four long years. The fact that all Local Authorities across the UK have been invited to take part at the same time is especially poignant and will reflect the way in which we all stood united during the war.” He added: “I would wholeheartedly recommend any members of the public to attend if they can do so.”

From the Highland Council website .

All we need! A sermon on the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard: 1 March 2015, The Second Sunday in Lent

Old Testament Reading: Psalm 16.5-11

Gospel Reading: Matthew 20:1-16

(Year A, Narrative Lectionary)

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

‘That’s not fair!’ is a phrase which parents are very familiar with. If one child gets a bit more cake, than his brother, of if little sister gets to watch TV while big sister has to tidy her room, we hear the plaintive cry, ‘That’s not fair’. Children soon develop a find sense of justice- especially if it’s an injustice to them, as they see it.

I think most children would ask of our Gospel parable today: ‘Is it fair?’ For it is a story about a strange kind of fairness. Jesus tells us of farmer who hires men for the day to work in his vineyard. He goes to the marketplace early in the morning and hires some men for the day. And because, presumably, he needs more of them, he goes back at nine o’clock and twelve o’clock and three o’clock and even at five o’clock. Continue reading