Pre-lent

Quinquagesima – Love be our aim

See, we are going up to Jerusalem. Happy Valentines Day! This morning, by happy coincidence with the Church calendar readings, we have that exalted reading about love in 1 Corinthians 13 – a passage often read at weddings.  I will speak about this a little later, but first let us remember the context today in the Church year.  Wednesday this week is Ash Wednesday and we will enter the season of Lent – it is…

Sexagesima – Bearing Fruit

1. Four types of soil We are approaching Lent, a time when many of us take up a Lenten discipline. One thing we may consider is reading God’s Word more regularly. Today’s readings are about how to bear fruit from hearing God’s Word. Jesus’s parable of the sower is a famous one. And we don’t even have to do the interpretation ourselves! Immediately after telling the parable, Jesus already explains its meaning to his disciples.…

Septuagesima – How do we change?

To watch to this Gospel and Sermon on YouTube please click here. You go into the vineyard too…St Matthew 20:4 Today we are making a shift in our church year.  We are turning our minds from Christmas and Epiphany to the even more radical (if there could be!) aspects of Jesus’ life and ministry – his journey to Jerusalem: he will confront demons, he will confront the religious authorities, he will encounter the power of…

Sexagesima – Seeds among thorns

The Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” ———— It is hard for us not be drawn out of ourselves and reminded of the beauty of Creation over the past couple weeks as Spring comes upon us. Last week we were reminded in our reading of…

Septuagesima – Order out of Chaos

The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. [Genesis 1:2-4] What a glorious couple of days we’ve been having with the weather.  When we walk around outside, we have a sense of the immense potential of Creation that is on the verge of…

Quinquagesima – Lent is growing in Love

I am sure you have already spotted the Easter eggs which are already for sale. But before we rush off to buy Easter eggs, today the Church invites us to ponder on the period to prepare us for Easter: Lent. This Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, will mark the beginning of Lent.  What is the purpose of Lent? If one word could summarise living LENT it would be growing in LOVE.  Lent comes originally from ‘lengthen’ –…

Septuagesima – Obtaining the Prize

Obtaining the prize! In his letter to the Corinthians St. Paul gives us an analogy between Christians and athletes both wanting to obtain a prize. To St. Paul living at that time in the east of the Mediterranean, his world although part of the Roman empire would have been culturally Greek. To St. Paul writing this in his letter to the Corinthians  the Greek athletes and their competition in the Gymnasiums might be the analogy…

Quinquagesima – We go up to Jerusalem

Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem. On Wednesday of this week, the Church proclaims, as it has from earliest of times, a forty day fast.  It is not something you must do, but something that has been found to be helpful to do, and to do together.  We do this to prepare ourselves to more fully understand, in a way that changes our hearts, Jesus’ Passion and Death and his Resurrection. ———— I don’t…

Sexagesima – The good soil

By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return. Genesis 3:19 Spring is coming – the sure signs are there, the song birds again singing in the new day, the sound of geese returning day and night, snow drops and the first crocuses already blooming in our garden, and a sure…

Septuagesima – Not labouring in vain

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run, that you may obtain it! Epiphany season has ended for us and we begin today with the shift in direction.  Epiphany was about revealing who God is in Jesus Christ.  And now we begin to shift our focus to the actions of God in Jesus Christ to save us, our salvation in Christ.  We are…