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It is hard to follow Jesus. Luke 9.51-62

Luke 9:51-62 We are called to follow Jesus But that is not easy. Jesus went to the cross, and if we follow Jesus we will have to walk the way of the cross, before we come to the resurrection. We are told in Luke 9.51 that Jesus set his face to Jerusalem Earlier in Luke 9, when Jesus is transfigured, he spoke with Moses and Elijah about ‘his departure, his Exodus’, which will happen in Jerusalem And now – and this is a turning point in Luke’s gospel - he sets his face to Jerusalem. He set his face – it is a great phrase – it is about being single minded, focussed and determined - to go to Jerusalem where he knows that he will be crucified. It is hard to follow Jesus It is hard when there is rejection . The disciples go to the Samaritan village, and they are rejected. We are told it is because Jesus was headed to Jerusalem, which – for the Samaritans – was the loathed capital of the people who were their enemies. But that was only the first taste of rejection for Christ’s sake for the

Look up and look forward. The comforting work of the Holy Spirit. John 16.12-15

John 16.12-15 There are two ways that the Holy Spirit will guide us into all the truth He will declare ‘the things that are to come’ – he will help us to look forward. ‘He will glorify me,’ says Jesus, because ‘he will take what is mine and declare it to you’ – he will help us to look up Click here for audio of the sermon Life is difficult. Many people are feeling insecure or simply sad. Companies are closing. People are losing their jobs. Friends continue to leave. And that is nothing in comparison to what others are going through. And for Christians life can get very difficult. In some places people are suffering and dying for their faith. Last Sunday a gunman went into a Catholic Church in Owo, Nigeria, and gunned down 50 members of the congregation. Jesus, at the beginning of John 16 has told his followers that it will be hard – really hard. They will be persecuted by people who think that by killing them they are doing God’s will, or – if they don’t believe in God – that by killin

The Holy Spirit. John 14.8-17

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John 14.8-17 Today we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit The audio of the sermon can be found here Jesus says, ‘I will ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate … This is the Spirit of Truth’ (John 14.15-17) And we read about the coming of the Holy Spirit on the followers of Jesus 1. The Holy Spirit creates a community – the community of God’s people ‘I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate’ (v15) We tend to think of the promise of the Holy Spirit as something that is uniquely personal, but we forget that Jesus is talking to his disciples, to his people, to the community gathered around him, ‘to his own’ (John 13:1) on that last evening before he is arrested and crucified. He is talking to the people who he has brought together, who have put their trust in him, and allowed him to wash their feet And he is saying to them, to the community, ‘If you – if y’all (to use the Americanism) – love me, y’all will keep my commandments, I will ask the Father

on Unity and Glory. John 17.20-26

John 17.20-26 Jesus prayer is that we would be one Three times he prays that in this short passage V21:That they may all be one V22: That they may be one, as we are one V23: That they may become completely one Click here for audio of this talk There is a tremendous privilege of being part of a church like St Andrew’s. We are people who have been gathered together from many countries: Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Cameroon, Holland, Peru, Vietnam, Russia, US, UK, Syria, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Ethiopia, France, Madagascar. We have little in common: we come from different backgrounds, experiences and traditions. We’ve been brought up in different ways, according to different traditions, with different tastes. We have had different educational opportunities. Some are wealthy and some are poor. We have very different political views. We eat different kinds of food – some bland, some spicy. And so what unites us? Not our form of service or style of music. It is very English,

How God reveals Himself to us. John 14.22-29

John 14.22-29 How will God reveal himself to us? A link to the audio of the talk One of the disciples has just asked Jesus the question. Will he do wonderful mighty acts of power and make everything in life go well or easy for his followers? Will he make them the victorious and successful of the world? No. If anything Jesus says the opposite: that his followers will be the poor, hated, despised and rejected of this world But God will reveal himself to his people, to those who love him, and who desire to keep his word, in a deeply personal way. 1. God will live with us. “My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them’ (v23) Earlier in this chapter, Jesus has said to his followers that he is going to the Father to prepare a home for them. Now he says that he will come to them and make his home with them. Imagine that there is a knock on your door. Some guests are coming not just to stay with you, but to live with you. That might sound a bit scary. Wil

Love one another

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John 13.31-35 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” [The sermon can be found at 24:40] Love one another It is a very simple command. Only three words. A very young child can learn it And it is said that the Apostle John, at the very end of his life, had only one sermon. He would stand in front of the assembly, of the people of God, and say, Love one another But it is almost impossible to do! It is not a command to serve one another There is that command i

Easter Sunday in Moscow 2022. Luke 24:1-12

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My Easter sermon today is very simple Jesus Christ has risen from the dead and he is with us. This has been an awful Lent As far as any Lenten discipline is concerned this year, I have been utterly rubbish. But then I think this year, as I have said before, the wilderness has come to us. We had so much going for us as a church Glen who was settling in and becoming a brilliant colleague, an ordinand in training, we were live streaming Morning Prayer daily, we had a good confirmation group, the youth group, almost 3000 followers on facebook, a new third service, and plans to develop a ministry of reconciliation And overnight it was all gone And at a personal level, for many people, it has been a rubbish Lent: people have lost friends, jobs, livelihoods, homes and dreams. Families have been separated. There is the loss of self integrity as we become like the three monkeys. There has been so much fear. Two different people from different countries have come and asked me the same question,