Sermons by David Phillips

Easter 2 – Is God good?

I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. So far in Easter we have looked at the careful descriptions of those first moments when the tomb, where Jesus’ body was laid, was found empty, and of Jesus’ first appearance to the disciples when were locked in a room by themselves, and he showed them his hands and his side. This morning we step back a little to look at…

Easter 1 – A vast army

Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. [John 20:19-31] We continue to celebrate with Easter joy the bodily Resurrection of our Lord from the dead.  Death and resurrection is a constant theme in religious expressions around the world – from Shamanism, with their rituals of death and rebirth, to Mesopotamian religions, who remake…

Easter Day – Set your mind on things above

Set your minds on things that are above! The strife is o’er, the battle done; the victory of life is won; the song of triumph has begun. Alleluia! Every Sunday, but especially today, we proclaim and celebrate that Jesus has risen from the dead! Our Gospel today [St John 20:1-10] speaks only about the empty tomb, the first moments of the realization of the Resurrection.  It dawned on the disciples Peter and John first by…

Good Friday – Why Sacrifice?

God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. [Galatians 6:14] Today is the most solemn day of the Christian year. We have prepared ourselves for it with an almost forty day fast.  We have intensified our focus on the Cross by veiling it for the past two weeks in church services.  Last night we have stripped away all other furnishings in the church except this Cross, that we…

Lent 5 – Giving up murder

  How much more shall the blood of Christ… purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God. [Hebrews 9:11-15] Lent is a pilgrimage to Jerusalem with Jesus. On that journey, in the last few weeks, we have had these confrontations with demons – first Jesus himself, with his temptations by Satan in the wilderness, and showing us in these core responses to the devil in his fast, how we can see through the…

Lent 2 – Battling demons

O woman, great is your faith: be it done for you as you desire! We are now into our second week of Lent, into a kind of wilderness if we are practicing some kind of spiritual discipline.  The fast can make us a little more agitated, and yet if we are motivated by love, by drawing closer to God and to our neighbour in our agitation, we should also be seeing some new life, a…

Lent 1 – Speaking and walking in truth

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. Lent has been a time in the Church year for us to pause and to look up at God but also to examine ourselves to see obstacles to drawing nearer to God and to be aware of signs of new life in us from Him.  It is about growing in love, as Ineke pointed out last week. The…

Ash Wednesday – Where the Wild Things are

“Your Father, who sees in secret, shall reward you openly! “ Today we begin the Church’s season of Spring, the Lengthening of days, the attention to the signs of new life in our midst.  Outside this week there are snow drops, crocuses, daffodils, the magnolia blossoms are ready to explode.  We are to look for a parallel in our own souls: signs of the renewal of love or of the buds of new love ready…

Epiphany 1 – Does it matter what we think?

[This sermon was preached in Arnhem in January 2015.] Be not conformed to this world; but ye transformed by the renewing of your mind Does it really matter what we think? I think we all know the experience of seeing a child puzzling over some matter, anxious.  And then, if the child trusts us, we give the child the courage to explain what is bothering him or her – and if we can answer that…

Christmas – The Word made flesh

“And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” [St John 1:14] On Saturday we had our Crèche service for the children and we went through the story of the incarnation told in children’s songs and in very simple story telling.  We all know it well, it is a story most of us have heard since we were children.  How is this more than a nice story? I’d like us to think about what…