Getting Wet: a sermon for Sunday 11 January 2015 (The Baptism of the Lord)

SERMON

Text: Matthew 3.1-17

Getting wet

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

Surely one of the worst things that could possibly happen to someone is to be arrested for a crime you haven’t committed. Bad enough that you might spend years in jail. Worse, however, to be branded a criminal, to be told you are guilty when you know you are not guilty. It’d be terrible to be criminalised by mistake. And who would choose to be treated like a criminal?

By NickGibson3900 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By NickGibson3900 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Time for a U-Turn! Sermon for the Second Sunday of Advent, 8 December 2013

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 8 December 2013: Year A, The Second Sunday in Advent

SERMON
Texts: Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19
Matthew 3:1-12

Time for a U-Turn!

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

John the BaptistLet me take you out into the wilderness. Let me take you out of our own small, Palestinian town, along unfamiliar country roads, out beyond the farms and the good grazing. We follow a narrow track downwards- down below sea level into the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea. Here few people live- a few soldiers on frontier duty, or strange, otherworldly sects such as Essenes of Qumran. But something is stirring in this wilderness, something strange is blooming in this desert. We are not the only ones who are curious enough to be going to see what’s going on. Continue reading

Sermon for the Baptism of the Lord. January 12 2013

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 13 January 2013: Year C, Baptism of Christ

SERMON
Texts: Isaiah 43:1-7
Luke 3:15-22

Baptism… of fire?

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

I well remember the day I graduated from Glasgow Uni. For once, I didn’t go the Uni in jeans and a sweatshirt- I had an academic gown to wear. There was lunch in the University dining room with my parents, and a meaningful chapel service, before we went to the Victorian splendour of the Bute Hall for the graduation ceremony itself. Students somehow become just a wee bit more adult on graduation day. Continue reading

Sermon for the Second Sunday of Advent 2012: About turn!

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 9 December 2012: Year B, Second Sunday of Advent

SERMON
Texts: Philippians 2.3-11
Luke 3.1-20

(from the New Revised Standard Version)

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

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness.

In a few words, Luke the Gospel writer sets the scene for the appearance of John the Baptist. A few words which describe a nation in crisis. Continue reading