St John & St Mark Church Bury

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Category: Sermon

Sit somewhere different

Sit somewhere different

He walked down one of the narrow streets then hesitated a moment before entering the potter’s shed. First, he was hit by the smell of wet clay. Then the sound of the wheel turning. He saw the bowl of water, the liquid clay on the hands…

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In the beginning

In the beginning

Here are the opening verses of Genesis… ‘First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don’t see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss. God spoke: “Light!” And light appeared’.

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A well-watered garden

A well-watered garden

The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. The Lord will guide… but often he’ll do that through you and me. We’re the ones who act as signposts for others.

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Carrying hopes and dreams

Carrying hopes and dreams

We are the inheritors of the salvation Simeon proclaimed. We are carrying hopes and dreams of a time when God’s kingdom will fully come and God’s will be fully done, on earth as it is in heaven.

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Ecclesia

Ecclesia

This is challenging stuff. It is clear that ticking-over is not an option. To achieve the Vision we do need to change gear from just maintaining what we have and to move into mission mode. That means we need to do more than turn up for worship on a Sunday…

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Stop and Listen

Stop and Listen

Moses was 80 years old. He’d been tending someone else’s flock for 40 years. One day, he was out with the sheep, probably thinking about his pension plan, when he took a different path – and from there he saw a bush that was burning. His life completely changed direction…

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Identifying

Identifying

Old Trafford has a number of places of worship. Our banns were heard at St Hilda’s, Old Trafford. But far and away the largest place of worship has thousands of adherents. Every Saturday, or thereabouts, they gather to chant devotion to their god. At times they will invite the leader of the worship, dressed in black, to improve his eyesight. They cheer whenever the team in red puts the ball into the net…

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Wade in the water

Wade in the water

It’s often said that history is written by the victors. But what must it feel like to be defeated in war? Ashamed, frightened, disorientated, demoralized, physically hurt, mentally traumatized, angry at those who promised that you would be victorious, relieved the fighting is over, struggling to survive, cold, hungry…??

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Christmas Star

Christmas Star

We learn that each of us has something to offer in service to progress God’s kingdom. It may not be immediately apparent; it may be hidden beneath the surface; but there will be something to offer in each one of us.

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The body language of God

The body language of God

As the Word made flesh and dwelling among us, Jesus physically demonstrated the continuity of God, his unchanging love and mercy that we can always count upon. But he also showed us the God of surprises too. He changed what we thought about God and challenged the pre-conceived ideas that he came across. In physical, bodily form – as the body language of God – Jesus re-imagined God for us.

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Delicate but tenacious

Delicate but tenacious

What a lovely idyllic picture we have in our reading from Isaiah today. Woody Allen once said of this vision: “The wolf shall lie down with the lamb. But the lamb won’t get much sleep!”

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Christ the King

Christ the King

Jesus the king wore a crown of thorns; his throne was a cross; his royal banner a scribbled sign. This is the gospel image of royalty; the king and a criminal going together into paradise. This is the king we believe in; the king we celebrate and whose values we are pledged to live by.

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Frisky and frolicking

Frisky and frolicking

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centred; Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway.

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Act justly, love mercy, walk humbly

Act justly, love mercy, walk humbly

Shortly after the destruction, the cathedral stonemason noticed that two of the charred medieval roof timbers had fallen in the shape of a cross. He set them up in the ruins, on an altar of rubble, with the moving words ‘Father Forgive’ inscribed on the Sanctuary wall…

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For all the Saints

For all the Saints

The grace of God shows its full colours in the glory that is at work in all of God’s people who are called to be saints. That grace which is at work in you, the saints of God who are in Bury.

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