Don’t just do something- stand there! A sermon for Transfiguration Sunday 7 February 2015

Scripture Readings: Exodus 34:29-35

Luke 9:28-36

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

The Labour politician Tony Benn, who died in 2014, was, like many of those who get to the top in politics, a very driven person. He was a Cabinet minister in the 1970s, and almost became Deputy Leader of the Labour Party in the 1980s. More recently, after retiring from the House of Commons at the last election (after 50 years as an MP), he travelled around the country with a sort of one-man show, which played to packed houses in theatres all over the country. For Tony Benn came from a political family, one with a stern sense of Christian duty. His diaries make it clear that he felt accountable for his use of time- it was a gift of God, which he had to make the most of. Continue reading

A glimpse of light: a sermon for Transfiguration Sunday 2015

Texts:

2 Peter 1:16-21

Matthew 17.1-9

A glimpse of light

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

Nowadays, we quite often say that fanatical fans of pop stars, sports stars or other celebrities ‘idolise’ their heroes, and we often speak of such famous people as ‘idols’. We mean nothing especially pejorative about the term- when we say that some sportsman or pop star is an ‘idol’ to his fans, that’s a fairly morally neutral term in today’s culture. We just think it’s slightly crazy that, especially young people, should show such an interest in these performers.

But the word idols has its roots in the Bible, and where it very much has negative overtones Continue reading

Do not be afraid: a sermon for Transfiguration Sunday, 2 March 2014

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 2 March 2014: Year A, Transfiguration Sunday

SERMON
Texts: 2 Peter 1:16-21
Matthew 17.1-9

Do not be afraid
In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

Today we’ve reached the last Sunday in the season of Epiphany, and the last Sunday before Lent, and the Lectionary always gives us the story of the transfiguration of Jesus on this day. We’ve heard how Jesus took his disciples to the top of a mountain, where they saw him mysteriously change- his face ‘shining like the sun’, his clothes ‘dazzling white’, he seemed to glow with a strange light.

Funnily enough, I was thinking about all this on Thursday night, starting to write this sermon, when I heard about something which made me leave my desk, jump in the car, and take the family up a hill to see some strange lights. Continue reading