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The view in the mirror

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Looking at James’ letter
James 1:17-27
13th Sunday after Trinity 

We are just about to start on a new series of sermons based on the letter of James. Before we hear the reading here's a brief introduction as to who James is, who he was writing to and what his letter is generally about.

James was the brother of Jesus and even up until the cross probably thought that his half-brother Jesus had some bizarre ideas to say the least. It seems likely that he only came to faith after Jesus died and rose again because from the cross Jesus entrusted the care of His mother to John. After the resurrection appearances he came to faith and realised his relationship with Christ is more spiritual than physical.

This letter James has written is one of the earliest pieces of New Testament writing we have (AD45). He wrote it to the Jews who had become Christians and were now the church. Problems had become evident.


Choosing the bread of life

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Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18 & John 6:56-69

Two readings today about choosing to follow God. In the Old Testament reading Joshua questions Israel about whether they really want to commit themselves to God with all that entails. In the Gospel reading Jesus questions the disciples about whether they want to carry on following Him or turn away like everyone else has?

Throughout the summer holidays we have been working our way through John chapter 6 which is all about Jesus explaining He is the bread of life. You may well be forgiven if you automatically think that Jesus’ was here referring to His body being broken as He describes at the Last Supper. But He isn’t as this is nearly 3 years before the Last Supper. He’s talking about He Himself being all that a follower needs to live. A follower cannot live without being fed and nurtured by Christ.


We moan, God carries on!

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1 Kings 19:4-8, John 6:35, 41-51
10th Sunday after Trinity

Every year the lectionary gives us John chapter 6 for the whole of August. Having 5 weeks to speak on the same theme can be a little difficult. It reminds me of the story of a missionary to China in the late 19th century, Jonathan Goforth. After he’d spoken in a chapel in southern China, a man said to him, "I’ve heard you speak three times, and you always speak of Jesus. Why?”


Depending upon the Bread of Life

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John 6:24-35
9th Sunday after Trinity

Last week we looked at Jesus physically feeding thousands of hungry people. That miracle really seems to have hit the spot and people are clamouring to see Him produce food again just as much as many today are trying to see Team GB winning Gold Medals.

Let’s just look at some people playing basketball.


Count how many passes the team in white makes.


Feeding a lot with a little

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John 6:1-21
8th Sunday after Trinity

I quite often feel that God has a terrific sense of humour. Firstly, in this reading we have a scene in the life of Jesus where He is trying to get some time away from the crowds. I know the feeling only too well having just arrived back (yesterday evening) from eight days on a youth camp.

Secondly, He is faced with an enormous number of people to feed and scant resources to do it with. I also know the feeling – well maybe I exaggerate we only had 70 people to feed but it was in a kitchen with broken equipment and none of the right size of pans we needed.


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