sermons by ian banks

Blowing the doors off

Fragrance has deep significance for us. It’s supposed to be one of the best memory triggers. Even years on, a certain aroma can take us back to a particular time and place.

Our Gospel reading tells us about Mary, washing the feet of Jesus with a pint of pure nard – or spikenard in some translations.

I’ll use the word spikenard otherwise I know I’ll end up saying ‘lard’ instead of ‘nard’. A pint of lard on Jesus brings an entirely different picture – and smell – to mind…

nigel silvester sermon

Blessings and Woes

The Beatitudes in Matthew are essentially attached to what you might call inner, spiritual qualities – things like meekness, righteousness and mercy.

In Luke they are attached to external, physical conditions of poverty and suffering.

But one thing is clear. Both lists are a series of bombshells – statements which blow apart the standard worldly values. Standard values which have for millennia been accepted as the normal aspirations of human life.

sermons by ian banks

The axe woman cometh

My wife has a thing about trees – and not in a good way if you’re a tree. When I said I was talking about trees today she said “Shall I chop one down and you can use it as a visual aid?”

You see she has both means and motive. According to her, there are too many trees, they’re too tall and they grow too close to houses. If they fall down then they’ll damage the roof and even if they don’t then the roots must be undermining the foundations.

Trees are ok – as long as they are small, in pots and answer to the name of ‘bonsai’.

sermon margery spencer

Turning points

I don’t know if you have made any new year resolutions? I haven’t.

From past experience, intentions to eat more healthily, take more exercise and, in the past, to stop smoking would all be consigned to the rubbish bin by January 4th.

The beginning of a New Year has never proved a turning point in my life. But turning points there have been and sometimes when I was least expecting them.

sermon ralph mallinson

Journeys – Epiphany 2019

In the words of our Bishop in the January issue of the CRUX magazine, I’d like to challenge us at this Epiphany-tide, and the start of a New Year, to take the story of the Magi as a metaphor for our own journey with God. 

We may feel that we have arrived with our faith exactly where we planned it to be.  But I suspect that, for the vast majority of us, God has some further steps he would urge us to take.

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