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Showing posts from October, 2022

What is a saint? Luke 6.20-31

Luke 6.20-31 Fred and his brother Jimmy were thugs. They ran the local crime syndicate. They dealt in drugs and prostitutes. They intimidated residents, threatened businesses, trafficked, blackmailed and bribed, and they ran protection rackets. They were responsible for several murders, but nobody had ever been able or courageous enough to pin it on them. Fred died and Jimmy went to the vicar. I want you to say that my brother was a saint. No way, said the vicar. Jimmy said, 'If you say my brother was a saint, I'll give £1m to the church". No way, said the vicar. "Well then", said Jimmy, "Let me put it another way. If you don't say that my brother was a saint, we'll return and burn your church down". The day of the funeral arrived. The vicar stood up: "Fred was an evil crook. He was a thug and a wife beater. He dealt in drugs and prostitutes. He was known as a murderer. He blackmailed, trafficked and bribed and he ran protection rackets. Bu

Giving in a difficult time. 2 Corinthians 9.6-15

2 Corinthians 9.6-15 Earlier this year we began a series of three talks on giving. We had had two, and it was in fact Glen who was going to give this third talk. Sadly that was interrupted by a certain event. Well, I planned to give the third talk today. And then further events happened a couple of weeks ago, and I wondered if I should change the readings and theme. Afterall, how can we talk about generosity at a time like this? Some people have very little We need to focus on ourselves We need to survive We need to make sure that we have enough for ourselves and our immediate family But you know that it does not work like that, and often it is when things are most difficult that people can become most generous. Paul writing to the early followers of Jesus in the ancient city of Corinth, tells them of the giving of the Macedonians: “for during a severe ordeal of affliction, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.” (2 Corinth

Giving thanks in a difficult time. Luke 17.11-19

Luke 17.11-19 I am aware that different cultures have different values, but I suspect that for most people from most cultures, ‘Sorry, Please, Thank you’ are among the first words that we were taught Listen to the audio of this sermon They are some of the most important words: I remember one man in my first parish, and in the four years I was there, I don’t think I ever heard him say thank you to anybody. It wound me up! They are important words, but they are also difficult words to say. I’m not talking about saying thank you just from habit (although it is a good habit to get into) but really saying thank you can be one of the most difficult things we do. Because when we say thank you, we are acknowledging our debt to the other person. We are recognising that we did not deserve to receive whatever we received, and that they gave it to us as an act of kindness or mercy. In our reading from Luke 17 we have a story where Jesus does an amazing thing. He heals 10 people of leprosy And yet