Well pleased! Sermon for 12 Januray 2014 (Baptism of the Lord)

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 12 January 2014: Year A, Baptism of the Lord

SERMON
Texts: Isaiah 42:1-9
Matthew 3:13-17

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

Back in October there was lots in the news about a baptism. The christening of Prince George made for lots of pictures in the papers and royal gossip. In an age when fewer and fewer families think about having their children baptised, it’s commendable that the royal family still goes ahead with the ceremony. Today, however, we are remembering another baptism- what would call, in a sense, the first ever Christian baptism. It was a very different event than the private service in the Chapel Royal of St James’s Palace, presided over by a bishop and an archbishop, and attended by royalty. Today we are thinking about a ritual carried out by a man in animal skins, baptising a carpenter, in a muddy river in front of a large crowd.

John the BaptistFor me, John the Baptist frames the New Year. We meet him in Advent, preaching repentance and God’s judgement. But he says he’s not the main man. For he speaks of ‘the one who will come after me’ who, he says, ‘will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire’. John makes the one who will come after him sound pretty scary- he says of him: ‘He is much greater than I am. He has his winnowing shovel with him to thresh out all the grain. He will gather his wheat into his barn, but he will burn the chaff in a fire that never goes out’ (Matthew 3.12). 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

Christian Aid: Tax Bus and March for Justice

CHRISTIAN AID: DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

Two exciting threads are coming together in Inverness in early October, each with a strong message of justice. These are the Inverness March for Justice and a visit from the Christian Aid Tax Bus.

TAX BUS part of the Tax Justice Tour by a red double-decker bus to highlight how developing countries lose $160bn every year due to tax avoidance. Open meeting at Inshes Church, Thursday 4 October, 7pm.

Christian Aid is currently campaigning for international tax justice, exposing the injustice of multinationals shifting money around the world in order to avoid paying tax to the poorest countries whose resources they are exploiting.  Christian Aid believes that tax dodging costs poorer countries $160bn a year – money that could be spent on hospitals, schools and roads – and that greater financial transparency is key to ensuring that poor countries receive the tax revenue they are due.

To highlight this, Christian Aid is organising a Tax Bus Tour around the UK and Ireland, including Inverness.  There will be an information meeting, open to all, with talks and films, a time for questions and answers, refreshments – and of course the Tax Bus itself. This meeting will take place in Inshes Church (near the Inshes Tesco) at 7:30pm on Thursday 4 October. There is plenty of parking nearby.

Watch the tax bus video here:

www.christianaid.org.uk/taxbus

CIRCLE THE CITY CHURCHES MARCH FOR JUSTICE

Jan Satyagraha: 'Fight against hunger’ March for Justice: a unique walk for all ages, featuring exhibitions at city churches highlighting land rights issues in India.

Saturday 6 October. Start at St Stephen’s, Southside Road, at 11.30am.

The Inverness March for Justice mirrors similar marches across the UK, all in support of a massive march from all corners of India to petition the government in New Delhi, demanding rights to the land that the people live on. They cannot make a decent living from the land due to the restrictions imposed by absent landowners.  To this day, the Highlands of Scotland have faced very similar issues. Our march will be a walk from church to church in the centre of Inverness.  At each church we will have a stage of an exhibition about the issues, with refreshments as well. If you can’t or don’t want to complete the whole route, just take in those stages that you feel able to do. We want people of all ages and abilities, including families with children, to take part. We want YOU!

The March will take place on Saturday 6th October, in groups of ten to fifteen, starting at St Stephen’s Church, Southside Road, at 11:30am and finishing at Crown Church, Kingsmills Road, with stops at six churches along the way. Very limited parking at St Stephens Church but parking available at Crown Primary School next to Crown Church.

Follow the journey in India here:

www.christianaid.org.uk/getinvolved/events/walking/march-for-justice.aspx

More from David Crippen, 01463 231 466