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Sermons

Dry Bones

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6th April 2014 The Dry Bones: Ezekiel 37:1-14

Context

597BC Babylon took Jerusalem striking at their very heart by taking Israel's land - which was God's gift to them and a sign of their relationship with God;  worse they smashed their temple where they worshipped God and the sign of God's presence with them. They exiled their king, executed his sons thus signalling an end to the monarchy tracing its line back to David and the promise of there always being a king of his line on Israel's throne. The fall and destruction of Jerusalem was total devastation to Israel. They’d lost everything which was the basis of their religion and their existence as a people. At the start of Ezekiel’s ministry, the Spirit transported him to sit among the miserable, discouraged exiles by the river. In their own words they felt like dried-up bones whose hope was lost as they were cut-off completely from home, from God and the promises of God. They no longer felt they were His special people and He was their God. Where was the reality of that now? Even though they had brought this disaster on themselves by turning away form God and not living His way in the first place.

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God’s Amazing Grace

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Genesis 9:8-17 and Luke 18:31-43
8am BCP
(2-3-14)

Sometime ago the BBC asked people to nominate their favourite poem and Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If” won. Dismayed poetry buffs said that it only won because it was a poem that everyone remembered from school days. But why? Is it remembered because its an ideology of perfection that many wish they could aspire to?

A preacher, speaking at a rescue mission in the skid-row district of a large American city recited that poem, and when he had finished a down and out rose to his feet and said “Yeah preacher, but what if you can’t?” Today’s reading from Genesis could have been an answer. The flood is a well known Bible story. But its not the most wonderful bit of story-telling. What do we know about Noah other than that he found favour with God - a dab-hand at boat building - good with animals.

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God’s amazing provision and care for us

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Genesis 1:1-2:3 & Matthew 6:25-end
2nd Sunday before Lent
(23-2-14)

We read right at the very beginning of the Bible that God made the world. There will be some people here who believe that, some people that don’t and many who probably wonder about it and are not really sure.

Firstly I must tell you that the Bible is NOT a scientific textbook and makes no statements about HOW the world, and indeed people, came into being. It merely tells us that God caused it all to happen, so you are totally free to go off and wonder and research about the Big-Bang or Evolution. That is all a different matter – all our reading says is that God made it all.

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Willingham Holy Communion 16-2-14

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Matthew 5:21-37 Deuteronomy 30:15-end
Holy Communion
(16-2-14)

There's a great programme on BBC1 called ‘Bargain Hunt’ – 2 couples are given £300 to buy antiques to be sold at a profit. The presenter issues a challenge to us afterwards: ‘come & join in if you think you can do better’! Maybe this is not your scene. Yet perhaps you have told your husband/wife something like this over the past few days, ‘our PM is useless in running our country, and these floods are a good example - I could do better.’ ‘Yes, of course dear,’ is the loyal reply! ‘Now just pass the marmalade please.’

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There is a hope

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Malachi 3:1-5 and Luke 2:22-40
(2-2-14)

Malachi asked '...who can stand when he appears?'

Luke has Simeon, holding a one-week-old bundle of vulnerability, saying that the child is destined to cause 'the falling and rising of many in Israel'.

Salvation has arrived at the Temple in the form of a helpless baby. Simeon and Anna represent the Israel that had been on tiptoe longing for the coming of the Messiah. But who would have expected that he would arrive in the arms of a young peasant couple?

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