Posts

How can wealthy people escape hell? Luke 16.17-31

Image
Luke 16.17-31 Last week we looked at the very difficult passage from the beginning of Luke 16. It was difficult because it is hard to understand   This week it is also a difficult passage from Luke 16 – not because it is difficult to understand, but because it is extremely challenging. And it is a bit scary.   It is a story about wealth, about hell and heaven and it is a story about how we can begin to change.   It is a story about wealth. Jesus has been speaking in the previous verses about how you cannot serve two masters. You will be split in two. Story of the Admiral getting into a launch. He had one foot on the launch, one foot on the jetty, when a sudden wave pushed the boat away from the jetty. Something had to give, and he ended up in the water. Jesus says 'You cannot serve two masters, you cannot serve both God and wealth'. And then we are told, ‘The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this, and they ridiculed him’.   And so Jesus tells

On the death of Queen Elizabeth.

Image
For many of us these last few days have been a bit unreal and quite difficult. Listen to this sermon here It is easy to feel a bit lost We have lost our Queen, who – for those for whom she has been Queen - is the only monarch who we have known. She has given us a sense of stability in a constantly changing world, and of course a remarkable example of faith in God in both the and difficult times. We are usually allowed to play out our own dramas and crises within the privacy of our own families. She was never given the luxury of doing that. And she has been an example of self sacrificial love and service, of dedication, commitment and duty. She has hardly put a foot wrong. At the age of 90 she was still working a 40 hour week. And she has done it for 70 years. The fact that she was appointing a new Prime Minister last Tuesday is quite remarkable. Some of you here, I know, have met her, have been introduced to her – when she came here to St Andrew’s. That is one up on me. Alison and myse

The everything cost. Luke 14.25-33

Image
Luke 14.25-33 This is a difficult passage. A large crowd of people are starting to travel with Jesus. But there is a big difference between travelling with Jesus and being a disciple of Jesus Listen to the audio of this sermon And Jesus says that to be his disciple, we need to have made the decision to give up everything for him - Our families, our possessions, even our very lives Jesus is pretty clear: ‘Whoever does not hate .. even life itself cannot be my disciple’ (v26) ‘Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple’ (v27) ‘None of you can become my disciples if you do not give up all your possessions’ (v33) It is not just here. In Luke 12 Jesus speaks about how he will bring division to families: father against son, mother against daughter. In Luke 18 a rich young ruler comes to Jesus and asks him what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus tells him, ‘Sell all your possessions and give to the poor and come and follow me’. And we are told that t

Good news for boring, dull, plain and unimportant people. Luke 14.7-14

Image
Luke 14.1,7-14 One of the big themes of Luke’s gospel is that in the Kingdom of God the exalted will be humbled and the humble will be exalted Listen to the audio of the sermon here Mary praises God when she is told that she is to be the mother of Jesus: She speaks as if the Kingdom of God has already come on earth. ‘He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly’ (Luke 51.2) At the beginning of his ministry Jesus proclaims his manifesto: he has come for the poor, the captive, the blind and the oppressed (Luke 4.18f) Later Jesus says, ‘Woe to you who are rich, who are full, who laugh now’ and ‘Blessed are you who are poor, who are hungry, who weep now’ (Luke 6.20ff). On several occasions he says how in the Kingdom of heaven, the order of this world will be transformed, turned upside down. ‘The first will be last and the last will be first’ And he tells his disciples that the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven will not be the person who lords it over others,

Should a Christian keep the Sabbath? Luke 13.10-17

Image
Luke 13.10-17 We are very quick to turn what is meant to be a blessing into a curse. Click here to listen to the audio of the talk That is what happened with the Sabbath The Sabbath was the seventh day of the week in the Jewish calendar. According to Genesis, God created the world in six days and he rests on the seventh. So he blessed the seventh day and made it holy. For the Jewish people, the Sabbath – the day of rest (Sabbat means rest) – was/is Saturday. Although according to the Hebrew calendar, the day began/begins on the evening of the preceding day, so the Sabbath began at 6pm on Friday and finished at 6pm on Saturday. And one of the ten commandments is about observing the Sabbath: Exodus 20.8-11 Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work. 10 But the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your town

See clearly and judge rightly. Luke 12.49-56

Luke 12.49-56 Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem – his 'exodus', death on cross Click to listen to this sermon here There is an urgency about his teaching He is teaching about the kingdom of God. He is calling people to repentance and to live as citizens of the coming Kingdom And in particular, in Luke 12, he is calling people to see clearly and to judge rightly. The chapter begins and ends with Jesus warning the people against hypocrisy. ‘Krites’ literally means ‘judgement’, and ‘hypokrites’ means ‘judgement over’. In Luke 12.2, he says to the crowd, ‘Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, that is, their hypocrisy’. Beware of their teaching – of the judgements that they make And here in 12.56 he accuses the crowd of hypocrisy, of being able to make judgements about things like the wind, but not seeing deeper. Jesus has not just come to bring fuzzy, spiritual feelings, or to give advice about how we can live more successful or fulfilling lives. He has not come to simply bring comf