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Sermons

Mary’s ‘yes’ and the Magnificat

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Luke 1:39-55
4th Sunday of Advent
(23-12-12)

What’s your favourite Christmas song? Is it one of the carols such as "Silent Night" or "Away in a Manger?" Or "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" or "Jingle Bells." Choosing might be hard: do you choose something nostalgic, or one that touches your heart, giving hope and comfort or do you go for a fun one?

Why is everybody so happy at Christmas? Have you ever found yourself surrounded by people full of festive cheer that you can’t relate to? All around are smiling and laughing, whilst you feel like weeping? Everyone else carefree and your mind’s full of worry, stress or pain?

Our Bible reading was about "The First Christmas Song Ever". We should expect Mary to feel worried and stressed here yet she’s so happy she’s singing a song.

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Facing up to the truth

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Luke 3:7-18   
3rd Sunday of Advent
(16-12-12)

Never be tempted to ignore John the Baptist. We cannot reach the crib unless we go via him! Before we meet the charming baby smiling in the straw, we are confronted by this bizarre and maybe frightening figure of John the Baptist. However, we can’t experience the Joy of Christmas without the repentance preached by John the Baptist. He gets rather sidelined in the Christmas celebrations though. But, even if we were to ignore him, all four evangelists announce his coming before the arrival of Jesus.

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James Bond versus John the Baptist?

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Luke 3:1-6
2nd Sunday in Advent
(9-12.2012)

Let me just explain the context our Bible reading before we hear it. Luke is about to write about a Jewish prophet called John the Baptist. Prophets are God’s messengers; they tell God’s people what he says they need to hear. The actual Bible passage begins with St Luke naming seven important men, an emperor and other rulers and leaders, who were around at that time, i.e. he is setting this in a factual and historical setting. Luke 3:3-6

Now when this man, John the Baptist turns up at the river Jordan preaching these words there has been a very long gap since the last prophet had appeared in Israel. A gap of 400 years in fact. This makes the recent wait of 4 years for another James Bond film seem rather paltry doesn’t it. Anyone seen Skyfall yet? Can’t show it to you – this is about as near as I can get.

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Advent - Ready or Not?

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Luke 21:25-36
First Sunday of Advent
(3-12-12)

Happy New Year everybody! If you were here last week you will know that, being Advent Sunday, it’s the first day of the church year. Advent means ‘coming’.

What’s coming? Well whilst I don’t want to dismiss the fact that Santa is, or that Christmas is, what we celebrate at Advent is that Jesus is coming. Have you seen those T-shirts saying ‘Jesus is coming, so look busy’. I don’t think that’s a correct idea but I’d like you to think about what you would want to be found doing if Jesus suddenly appeared on the scene? Whatever it is, it’s probably what we should be doing now anyway.

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Christ the King: a time to reflect

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John 18:33-37
Christ the King
SMAS (25-11-12)

Next week marks the beginning of a new church year. The church has a lectionary which takes us through an annual cycle of Bible readings that teach us about Christ’s existence whilst He was here on planet earth with us AND also about His continuing existence in our hearts. If you were here last week you may remember I was talking about the Kingdom of God. About how Christ should be ruling in our hearts and that the Kingdom of God is not an airy-fairy place up beyond the clouds somewhere but is actually something that begins in the here and now in our hearts and goes on into eternity. (Same meaning as eternal life – begins in the here and now and extends beyond our bodily death. The Kingdom of God = the ‘now and not yet’).

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