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Showing posts from November, 2021

A talk for St Andrew's day. John 1.35-42

John 1.35-42 St Andrew, according to tradition, placing the cross on the hill where Kyiv was built. A miniature from the Radziwill manuscript. Thank you for joining us today as we celebrate and honour St Andrew We honour St Andrew as the first follower of Jesus He was the first called (we read that in Matthew and Mark), but our reading today focusses on Andrew as the first who chose to follow Jesus. Andrew was a fisherman. He was also a follower of John the Baptist. But John the Baptist does something remarkable. He points Andrew away from himself and towards Jesus. He sees Jesus coming and he tells Andrew and another disciple, possibly John, ‘Look, here is the Lamb of God’. If you visit the Tretyakov gallery, it is almost impossible to miss Ivanov’s amazing painting of John the Baptist pointing to Jesus. And we are told, “The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.” They are the first to follow Jesus, and it was the beginning of a lifelong journey. Andrew was faith

Be A Lert! Luke 21.25-36

Luke 21.25-36 Be alert! It is going to get rough. Jesus has been visiting the temple in Jerusalem. The temple was the spiritual, political and emotional heart of the Jewish nation. It was the place which set the Jewish people aside from all the other peoples. It was where God had said that his name would dwell.    But now, says Jesus, this temple will be destroyed. Not one stone will be left on another. For the Jew, this was unthinkable, like the end of everything, the end of the world. And so the disciples ask in shock, ‘When will this be, and what sign will we be given that this is about to happen?’ And Jesus tells them that before it happens it is going to get rough. He tells them that there will be wars and rumours of wars, earthquakes, families and plagues. There will be persecution. Jerusalem will be surrounded by armies. This is cataclysmic stuff. Jesus uses apocalyptic language, the picture language that was used by prophesy at the time: signs in the sun, the moon and the sta

Remembrance day 2021. The things that really matter

I read in Voices from the Arctic Convoys , by Peter Brown, the testimony of Austin Byrne. He tells the story of Anderson, a 17-year-old American cabin boy. He was on the Induna, a British steam merchant ship, in convoy PQ-13, which set off from Reykjavik for Murmansk on the 20 March 1942. The ship lost contact with the convoy because of bad weather and was torpedoed on the 30 March 1942. For four days the 41 survivors were in two lifeboats in temperatures of around 20 below and freezing winds. When they were picked up by a Russian minesweeper only 30 of them had survived. Byrne writes, “I was on the bridge [of the Russian minesweeper] when I was called by one of the Russian crew, a lady. She was having difficulty with the cabin boy, […] Anderson. She could not lay him down; he was frozen bent, and I helped her to get his jacket off. I cut it up the back. He was black to way up above the waist, and when she saw this she told me to leave him. .. I saw her eyes …, and they were damp, and

We can rejoice because Jesus wept. John 11.28-44

John 11.28-44 ‘Jesus began to weep’ John 11:35 In the KJV it is just two words ‘Jesus wept’, making it the shortest verse in the bible. Why? Why does he weep? Jesus is clearly not weeping for Lazarus, because he knows that in a few minutes he will raise Lazarus from the dead And Jesus is not weeping for Mary and Martha and the mourners in their grief, because he knows that in a few minutes he will turn that grief into joy If a child comes to you all upset because something has been taken away from them, but you can give them something so much better, then you may feel for them, but rather than weep with them you will wipe their eyes and make them happy again. So why does Jesus weep? 1. Jesus weeps in compassion because he sees what death does He sees the devastation that it causes. Death was never part of God’s plan When God created the world there was no death. At the heart of the garden of Eden there was the tree of life. Death is nothing in itself. It is simply a negation of what i