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 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