Everything’s changed! Sermon for Easter Sunday 2015

Texts: John 20.1-18

Acts 10:34-43

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

The day after the Sabbath, two days after his execution, disciples of Jesus come to his tomb. Now, when I say disciples, you probably think I mean some of the inner twelve (or eleven, if you take Judas Iscariot out of it)- those men who are often the ones whom the Church has honoured with statues and stained glass windows.

But the four Gospels are unanimous it saying that it was women who were the first witnesses to the resurrection. Continue reading

Where were you? A sermon for Christ the King Sunday, 23 November 2014

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 23 November 2014: Year A, Christ the King

SERMON
Texts: James 2.14-16 and 26
Matthew 25.31-46

Where were you?

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

Sheep and goats are animals biologically related to each other, and both were common in Palestine in the time of Christ. Today we are more used to seeing sheep on our Scottish hills; for us, goats are relatively exotic. But goats are hardy beasts, well suited to the arid Middle Eastern climate and landscape, where they have been herded since prehistoric times for their meat and milk ( see Harper’s Bible Dictionary (1985), p350). During the day, sheep and goats can graze together, but come nightfall they must be separated, for whilst the sheep like the fresh air, the goats have to be kept together to keep them warm (Schweizer The Good News According to Matthew, p476; Fenton, Saint Matthew, p4012).

Perhaps one evening, as the sun set over the hills around the Sea of Galilee, a shepherd separated his sheep and goats, and as he did so, he was being watched by a lad from the nearby town of Galilee. Continue reading

Sermon for Easter Day 2014: I have seen the Lord

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 20 April 2014: Year A, Easter Day

SERMON
Texts: John 20:1-18
Acts 10:34-43

“I have seen the Lord”
In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

In our very materialist world, it is a cliché that ‘seeing is believing’. We kid ourselves that we get to know things by seeing them. For a long time, science worked that way- you did an experiment, and if you could see what happened, then you had discovered a new scientific truth. In fact a lot of science involves things we can never see- like tiny particles, or planets which no telescope could ever see- but that doesn’t mean that the tiny particles or distant planets don’t exist. Scientists can work out that they are there, without every actually seeing them. Continue reading

John Bell to speak on ‘The Strange Silence of Biblical Women’ at the Old High Church Sunday 21 July 7.30pm

John BellKnown to many as a hymn writer, Iona Community member John Bell is a scintillating speaker, much in demand around the world, so we are very lucky to have been able to persuade John to come and speak about ‘The Strange Silence of Biblical Women’ at our Summer Evening service at the Old High, Sunday 21 July, 7.30pm. Continue reading

Summer Evening Speakers announced: includes John Bell

Old High-1

Old High St Stephen’s Parish Church has announced the speakers at this year’s summer evening services at the Old High Church, Church Street, Inverness.

We have been hosting guest speakers at evening services on summer Sunday evenings at the Old High, the oldest church in Inverness, for more than a decade. We host these speakers as a gift to the whole Christian Community of Inverness, fulfilling the Old High’s role as the ‘town church’ of the City of Inverness.

Each event begins with worship at 7.30pm, and includes refreshments and a question and answer session.

This year’s guest speakers are:

9 June 2013: James M Fraser MA MEd FRSA, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Highlands and Islands.

30 June 2013: Kenneth Steven, writer, author and poet

21 July 2013: Rev John L. Bell, Iona Community member, hymnwriter, lecturer, broadcaster

11 August 2013: Rev Martin Johnstone, Priority Areas Secretary of the Church of Scotland and Chief Executive of Faith in Community Scotland

Please see below for more information about each speaker. More detail about their talks will follow later. Continue reading

All one! A sermon for 14 April 2013

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 14 April 2013: Year C, The Third Sunday of Easter

SERMON
Texts: Galatians 3.23-29
John 20.1-18

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

Easter is not just one Sunday of the year. For there is a sense that every Sunday, for Christians, is the day of Resurrection. We know from the Gospel accounts that Jesus was crucified on a Friday, and that after being buried he lay in the grave over the Jewish Sabbath (our Saturday). On the third day, after the Sabbath, he rose again. And that’s why, at a very early stage, the followers of Jesus began to meet for worship, not on the Sabbath, but the day after- the day of resurrection, our Sunday- which the early Christians called ‘The Lord’s Day’. Every Sunday is Easter Sunday. Continue reading