Anger management for churches: sermon for 16 February 2014

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 16 February 2013: Year A, Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany
SERMON
Texts: 1 Corinthians 3:1-9a
Matthew 5:21-26
Anger management for churches!

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

When I was a wee boy, television used to close down at night. And in central Scotland, the end of the night on STV was marked with a 5 minute epilogue known as Late Call, in which a clergyman, or some other worthy, churchy person, would offer a wee thought for the evening. I seem to recall that once or twice our own local minister did a week of Late Calls, which was quite exciting, in a small town kind of way!

All-night TV killed off the epilogue. Yet Late Call still survives in a very different form- on the internet. On You Tube, and you can find parodies of Late Call by that wonderful Glasgow comic actor, Rikki Fulton. For many years, Hogmanay TV wasn’t complete without Scotch and Wry and Rikki Fulton’s end-of-year address to the nation as the perpetually depressed Rev I M Jolly in Last Call. Continue reading

God does care! Sermon for Sunday 25 August at St Stephen’s

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 25 August 2013: Year C, Proper 16

SERMON
Texts: Jeremiah 1:4-10
Luke 13:10-17

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

Today’s a wonderful day of new beginnings. It’s the beginning of the school year, and it’s always lovely to welcome children to church today. We’ve been celebrating new beginnings with the families of Freya and Amy-Rose to church, as we celebrate their baptism today. And every Sunday is a day of new beginnings for Christians, because for us Sunday is the first day of the week.

According to the old legend of creation in Genesis, the first book of the Bible, God created the world in six days, and rested on the seventh. Continue reading

God at Work: sermon on Acts 9.1-20 John 21.1-19- 28 April 2013

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 28 April 2013

SERMON
Texts: Acts 9.1-20
John 21.1-19

God at work

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

There’s an American phrase to describe what it’s like when the unexpected happens. They say that something comes at you ‘from left field‘. It’s a baseball term- I think it means that the ball suddenly comes from somewhere you didn’t expect- but if there are any baseball fans who can put me right you can speak to me afterwards. Often we fear the unexpected. We are usually don’t like things come from ‘left field’, because too often the unexpected event is unpleasant- and accident, for example. But the unexpected, even if we are not prepared for it, is not always unpleasant. When the unexpected happens, it can shake us out of our comfort zone and change our life for the better. 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