A new creation- sermon for the Fourth Sunday in Lent, Sunday 6 March 2016

Scripture Readings (from the New Revised Standard Version)
2 Corinthians 5:16-21
Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

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

One of the mysteries of church life, which after all these years I’ve still not solved, is the fact that so many church people seem to regard their role as preventing and hindering change. If you asked people beyond the church what they regarded as typical attitudes of religious people, they would probably say something like ‘conservative’ or ‘traditionalist’ or even ‘old-fashioned’. Religious people seem to find change difficult- it’s always been done that way is a familiar cry. Even change for the better is too often a subject of suspicion.

It may well be that in many religions, that is the correct attitude to take. And, no doubt, there are many things in our fast-changing world which Christians ought to be suspicious about. But the idea that Christianity is fundamentally not in favour of change is not, in my view, supported by the Bible. In fact, the opposite is the case. 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