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Showing posts from March, 2010

The uncontrollable tongue!

James 3:1-12
James has already spoken about the tongue 1:19: ‘Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry’ 1:26: ‘Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.’
But now he expands on what he has said.
He starts by talking about teachers, about people who use the tongue to teach of Jesus.
He challenges a church where people were pushing themselves forward to be teachers. Everybody wanted to be up at the front, doing the ‘limelight’ jobs. I don’t think that that is an issue here. In fact I think we have the opposite problem: we actually need more people who are willing to be teachers – teachers of children, teachers in our groups, teachers here in church. We need people who are prepared, before God, to give themselves to this work, and to choose to place themselves under the stricter judgement
But I guess that there is a point: don’t assume that you can become a teac…

An address for the funeral of SAC Luke Southgate, 19th March 2010

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John 15:12-17
Luke was 20. He loved life. We’ve heard that. He was already looking beyond the current conflict to life together with a girl he passionately loved. But he died on active service. He died doing a job that he loved,  doing it with people he deeply cared about. He died doing his duty, serving in the RAF Regiment and serving his country. He died for his friends
That – we heard in our reading - is the definition of love: the giving up of your life for your friends.
We often speak of the courage and the sacrifice of the men and women who serve in our armed forces. It is right to do so. But we also need to speak of the immense sacrifice that is made by the families left behind: of the wives and husbands, mums and dads, the fiancĂ©es, the girlfriends and boyfriends. When they sign up and go off to places of conflict, it is as if you have signed a blank cheque on your heart; you pray that that cheque will never be cashed, but you also know that at any time it could be. Today for y…

The Church, our mother and our family

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John 19:25-27
Mothering Sunday 2010

I recently watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, when Benjamin discovers who his real mother was. Queenie, the woman who brings him up asks him, ‘Did you go to the grave of your mother?’ And Benjamin replies very firmly, ‘You are my mother’.
We’ve all had mothers or mother figures
But I am very aware that this is still a service which can be quite painful: painful for those of us who have lost mothers; painful for those who have longed to be biological mothers – but have not been able to have children, for whatever reason; painful for those who have very difficult memories of their mother.
But this Mothering Sunday service never in fact set out to celebrate motherhood, although it is a good thing to celebrate. It comes from the BCP reading for the Fourth Sunday in Lent, which includes verses from Galatians 4, in which Paul contrasts two mothers: Sara the mother of Isaac, and Hagar the mother of Ishmael, both wives of Abraham. The differenc…