The scandal of grace: a sermon for 12 June 2016, Proper 6 (Year C, RCL)

Scripture Readings: Galatians 2:15-21

Luke 7:36-50

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

My name is Simon, and I’m a Pharisee.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking. You think you know what a Pharisee is. One of strongly religious types. Someone who lives by rules and regulations, who enjoys pernickitiness, who claims that ancient rituals are everything. Someone all-too-happy to avoid people I’d call a sinner. Someone proud to say he’s never broken the rules. Continue reading

Faith for the Future: Sermon for 2 September 2012

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 2 September 2012: Year B, Proper 17

SERMON
Texts: James 1:17-27
Mark 7.1-8

Faith for the Future

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

The word ‘Pharisee’ is a word which, for us, seems to sum up the worst about religion. My dictionary says that a person referred to today as a Pharisee is ‘anyone more careful of the outward forms than of the spirit of a religion, a formalist [or] a very self-righteous or hypocritical person’. The adjective ‘pharisaic’ means ‘hypocritical’ (Chambers Dictionary 1998). So the Pharisees have a got a bad name. Continue reading