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Showing posts from April, 2023

Don't get stuck in your faith. Luke 24.13-35

Luke 24.13-35 Today we meet two people who go on a journey A physical journey from Jerusalem to Emmaus, but also another kind of journey At the beginning , when Jesus, who had risen from the dead, meets the two disciples, they do not recognise him. He asks them what they are discussing, and we are told, ‘They stood still, looking sad’. But then, as they continue with their journey , and as Jesus explains the bible to them, we are told that ‘their hearts burnt within [them]’. I love that. I hope you have experienced something like that – it does not necessarily need to be things about God – but when what you are hearing makes such sense, clarifies so many confusions, and brings you such joy – that you are alive, you are on fire. Your heart is burning within you. And then when they come to the end of their journey , and they invite the stranger in, and he breaks bread – they recognise that it is Jesus. Forgive me for making Luke say something that he is not saying, but that I t

The glory of the resurrection. Matthew 28.1-10

Matthew 28.1-10 This morning we are looking at Matthew 28, and the account of the resurrection of Jesus Matthew specifically mentions two women who come to the tomb, and he names them: Mary Magdalene and ‘the other’ Mary (not Mary the mother of Jesus, but Mary the mother of James and Joseph). The audio of this sermon can be found here That is very Matthew: Matthew likes his ‘twos’. He mentions two blind men who Jesus heals (twice); he mentions two demoniacs from whom Jesus casts out demons. And now he mentions two women who come to the tomb. And the reason is that you need two witnesses in a Jewish court if your evidence is to be counted as valid So Matthew is putting forward Mary Magdalene and the other Mary. They are his witnesses However, there were other women who came with them to the tomb. Mark mentions Salome; Luke mentions Joanna and ‘other women’ And so in our icon (a 16 th Century icon from the Pskov region), I think you can count 5 women looking down at the tomb

When there seems no way out. A talk for Good Friday 2023

(This sermon is based on an idea in an online sermon, 'A Tale of Two Trees' by Robert Gelinas  in Preaching Today) Today we remember the day when not just one, but two people hung on a tree The first is Jesus, and we will come to him in a moment The second was Judas, who – possibly on Good Friday, maybe on the Saturday - hung himself. The audio of the sermon can be found here. Judas had betrayed Jesus It could have been that he had been disappointed with Jesus Politically disappointed: he may have thought that Jesus was going to lead the revolution against the Roman authorities, and nothing happened. Or it could be that he felt let down by Jesus. We are told that a woman, possibly Mary the sister of Lazarus, pours an eye-wateringly expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet Matthew tells us that the disciples were angry when they saw it: ‘why didn’t they sell the perfume and give the money to the poor, rather than waste it’. And Matthew tells us that it is immediately afte