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Showing posts from May, 2023

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

Four promises from John 14.15-21

John 14.15-21 I hate preaching from John and I love preaching from John! I hate preaching from John because there is so much here and some of it is very complicated.  But I love preaching from John because there is so much here, and there are always new truths to discover. John’s gospel is like a mine – the deeper you dig, the larger and the more precious are the jewels that you draw up.  Today is no different. Although I fear that we are not going to dig very deep. We are simply scraping over the topsoil.  Audio of the talk In John chapters 13-17, Jesus is speaking to his disciples. It is his last night with them. These are his final words. That very evening he will be betrayed by Judas and arrested. That very night he will be tried and sentenced. The following day, at about 9am, he will be nailed to a cross and at about 3pm he will die.  Jesus knows that his followers will be crushed. He knows that they will be lost and broken, feel abandoned and utterly hopeless. He knows that they

Service and leadership. Luke 22.24-30

Luke 22.24-30 King Charles III said, at the beginning of the coronation service yesterday. ‘In his name and after his example, I come not to be served but to serve’. The audio of this talk can be found here It is the first time that those words have been put in the coronation service. Possibly that is due to the very real way that his mother understood her calling to leadership – as sacrificial service to God and to the peoples for whom he had given her responsibility; and also to a movement of the Spirit which is reminding the Church, and especially church leaders, that we are not here to be served by people, but to serve the people. Of course, we often use the language of serving others, especially in the church, as a sham, a god-speak way for ruling over others. ‘I am your servant’ means ‘do what I say’.   That is not something new. That desire to Lord it over others is the way of the world in which we live. In our reading, the disciples are arguing – again. ‘A dispute