How can I be worthy enough for God? Matthew 22.1-14

Matthew 22.1-14 ‘Those invited were not worthy?’ What does it mean to be worthy – to be worthy of God? There is the L'Oréal advert: ‘Because you are worth it’ The reason why that catches is because many of us do not think that we are worth it – worth anything. We try to make ourselves worthy. I was hearing a chaplain speak about the people she works with at Cambridge University. She said, there were so many people she met – from college principals, to professors, to students (and college chaplains!) – who had a sense of imposter syndrome: there was that feeling that I’m not really worthy to be here.   So what does it mean to be worthy of God – of God’s love, of God’s invitation? I mean this is a big thing. The King sends out invitations to the guests to come to the wedding of his son. God sends out invitations to his guests to come to the wedding of his Son. It is an astonishing invitation. It is an invitation to spend time with God, to share his joy in the wedd

The Great Confession. Matthew 16.13-20

Matthew 16:13-20 Jesus asks the disciples, who do you say I am? Simon Peter answers, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God’. This is the great confession. The Confession of St. Peter. Alexey Pismenny ,  2009-2011 It is interesting to see how the disciples have grown in their understanding of who Christ is. In Matthew 8, there is a storm at sea. Jesus is asleep in the boat. The disciples wake him up, and he calms the storm. And they ask, ‘Who is this man? Even the winds and waves obey him’. In Matthew 14, the disciples are again in a boat. There is another storm. Jesus comes to them walking on water. This is the story you may have heard a couple of weeks ago when Peter gets out of the boat and walks on the water. But when Jesus gets into the boat, the wind and waves become calm. And the disciples now say, ‘Truly you are the Son of God’. In the Old Testament, Israel is described as a son of God. Israel can call on God as Father David is described as a son of God. David can cal

The kiss, the mantle of love and the cup of life. A final sermon at St Andrew's Moscow. Colossians 3.12-17

Colossians 3.12-17 ‘Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts’ (v15) Link to the audio of this sermon I think we need to hear that! I spent most of the time yesterday writing this talk feeling very chewed up – we simply did not know how things would work out. I was not even sure whether we would be meeting this morning.  [Saturday June 24: Prigozhin and the Wagner group mutinied and marched on Moscow]   But we need peace. Peace in our relationships: which is what this passage is about (“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body”. Colossians 3:15) and peace in ourselves. So I’d like to leave you with four instructions! They come from Colossians 3.12-17, and they are instructions that will lead us in the way of peace Remember that you are chosen, holy and beloved “As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved” (Colossians 3.12) This really is the starting point of everything When Jesus was baptised, a voice was heard coming

Desiring mercy not sacrifice. Matthew 9.9-13

Matthew 9.9-13,18-26   Jesus says, 'Go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice'.   The Pharisees are criticising Jesus because he has called Matthew, a tax collector, to come and be one of his disciples – and no doubt Matthew has invited all his friends, his mates, to come and meet Jesus, and now Jesus is eating with ‘tax collectors and sinners’.   This was not respectable company. Tax collectors were collaborators with the Roman occupying forces. They had sold out whatever faith they had, and broken the law of God for power and wealth. There are many stories of how they abused their power and exploited people. And they are put here together with 'sinners', which usually refers to prostitutes. This was not respectable company. Today it would be as if Jesus was calling a known paedophile to follow him and was associating with drug pushers and gangsters.   It is not that Jesus condones the sort of tax collection that was going on

Thirsting for God. John 7.37-39

  John 7.37-39 Today we hear a wonderful invitation. Listen to the audio of the sermon here Jesus says, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink’. Jesus is talking to people who live in a dry land. There was little water, much of the time the earth was barren; but when the rains came the world exploded into life. Jesus was at the feast of the tabernacles, of the booths. This was a festival, held every year, when the people of Israel remembered how, about 1300 years earlier, God had led them out of Egypt to the Promised land, through the wilderness. It was a desert land. There were times when they had no water. On at least two occasions the people are very scared. They begin to complain. They accuse Moses, who had brought them out of Egypt, of bringing them into the desert so that they will die. And Moses cries out to God. And God tells Moses to take his staff and to strike a rock, and miraculously water pours out of the rock. The New Tes

What is the glory of God? John 17.1-11

John 17:1-11 Madonna, the mega star, was being interviewed. They asked her if she prayed. She said that she did. She said that before she went on stage, she gathered her crew around her and she prayed, ‘God, make them love me’. I speak of Madonna, but I suspect that that is a prayer that each of us might want to pray. In John 17 we are shown Jesus at prayer. At first glance it might look like Jesus is praying what Madonna prayed, only bigger. Not ‘make them love me’, but ‘glorify me’! Is Jesus praying, Glorify me: let me be a star, let me be there in the headlights, let them love me and praise me, let them say their great big ‘ ура ’ about me? But as we read through this prayer, we begin to realise that true glory is so much more.   1.       When Jesus prays ‘Glorify your son’, he is praying for that his Father will complete his work in Jesus, will make him perfect, through the cross. Jesus has already lived a perfect, authentic life: a life that was driven by love of G