St John & St Mark Church Bury

praying for Beirut

Category: Sermon

Our Tom

Our Tom

We would like Thomas! Today he’d probably be a Church Warden and we’d call him Tom. Only his mother ever called him Thomas. You know where you stand with our Tom. And we shouldn’t be at all surprised at what we see in today’s passage from John. Afterall, Tom is just being a bit more straightforward than all the others.

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Called by name

Called by name

John told stories. Stories about people just like you and me. In the closing chapters of his Gospel, we learn about the risen Christ through three people. Mary Magdalene, Thomas and Peter. They had the same worries, doubts and failings as we do. It’s through these three that we understand the implications for us today on Jesus coming back to life. And how we’re each called into action.

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Orchestration and spontaneity

Orchestration and spontaneity

It would have been very busy that day. Jerusalem packed with pilgrims coming into the city from all over to celebrate the Passover. Inspired by the memory of Moses the atmosphere would be one of excitement and expectation as the pilgrims came together – many, may be, meeting up with friends they had made in previous years…

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Brief Encounter

Brief Encounter

Today’s gospel story is of a brief encounter – an encounter between Jesus and the woman of Samaria at Jacob’s well. And just as for Celia Johnson’s character in the film, it was a turning point in the life of that woman…

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The Enlightened one

The Enlightened one

Although her faith was by no stretch of the imagination complete, just moments after meeting Jesus, she went out and drew people in. “Come and see” she says. And they do…

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Be curious

Be curious

People have always looked up at mountains and hills. Maybe it’s because they are there – you can’t miss them – they stand out. They look strong and majestic. And when you get to go up to the top of the mountain or hill you look again and see for miles – you can see further than from down on the lowland.

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We don’t go alone

We don’t go alone

Can I ask all the men and boys in the congregation to stand up please if you’re able? If you’re 80 years or older then please sit down again. If you’re 69 or younger, then please sit down. That should leave us with men in their seventies… So, can I borrow you up at the front here for a few minutes please?

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We are prepared

We are prepared

Jesus shared this story to give us our own template on how we too can resist temptation. He taught us which tools we can use, the words of God. To be prepared for when it comes our way, when we are vulnerable.

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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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