Lambs among wolves- sermon for 3 July 2016

Scripture Readings: Galatians 6.1-5

Luke 10.1-11

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

In the 1950s, a British Prime Minister told his people that ‘You’ve never had it so good’. There have been ups and downs for Britain since, but for a long time it has seemed that way to many people. We certainly have it better than many, if not most, people in the world. Most of us have enough to eat. Even in times of political crisis, society does not break down. The administration of government carries on. Pensions and benefits are still paid, there are neither terrorist nor soldiers on the streets, there is food in the shops and the lights haven’t gone off.

Perhaps, therefore, some of us on these islands have become a bit complacent. We have not worried overmuch about the rise of extreme nationalism and xenophobia, which has affected even relatively liberal European nations like Denmark and Holland. We were able to imagine that we Scots, tucked away in the far north west of Europe, would be immune to the pressures of the refugee crisis afflicting Europe’s Mediterranean borders. We have imagined that shopping and entertainment could create a new economy to replace jobs being swept away by automation and globalisation. Are we, perhaps, now waking up to face that fact that we are not immune to these, and other, shocks? Continue reading

Planting a seed- a sermon on some of Jesus’ parables of the Kingdom 16 August 2015

Scripture Readings: Matthew 13:24-35

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

It’s been lovely today to celebrate the Sacrament of Baptism at St Stephen’s, as we brought to the font Noah (who lives in North Kessock) and his cousin Katie (whose dad is with the RAF in England). Baptism is the way we become part of the Church. So when we baptise children, the hope is that one day, somewhere and somehow, they will find their way for themselves into being part of the church, and being followers of Jesus.

This week, children across Scotland will return to school, and next Sunday our Sunday School children will return to St Stephen’s. It’s very difficult to involve children and young people in the church nowadays, for all sorts of reasons. Often, sadly, children and their families do not feel welcome in church. The worship of the church seems boring, the activities on offer don’t compete well with the many other activities open to youngsters today. Above all, we are living in a society which seems to have lost a sense of the sacred, where religion is treated with disdain, or ignored. Continue reading