St John & St Mark Church Bury

praying for Beirut

Category: Sermon

St Bartholomew and the PoW

St Bartholomew and the PoW

In a book written some 50 years ago, the Editor quotes a poem written on the wall of a prison cell by an English Prisoner of War. It was written before his execution. In it he unites himself to his suffering Redeemer and prays for his murderers. This poem is all we know of that heroic martyr.

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You gotta have faith(fulness)

You gotta have faith(fulness)

My Mum’s family were very keen on taking and keeping photos. Her Dad wasn’t the greatest photographer though and most of them have the top of the heads chopped off, or half a person to one side, or a finger part-way over the lens. However, these photos were precious and kept in a box rather than thrown away.

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Hebrews to Dominic

Hebrews to Dominic

Faith, says Hebrews, ‘gives substance to our hopes and makes us certain of realities we do not see’. We have not seen Jesus, unless we have had a vision. We have not seen Jesus but at some level, in some way we believe in him and trust in him and see him as our friend and saviour.

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The faith challenge

The faith challenge

Picking up on recent media sound bites, faith seems to getting a much more negative vibe – “We’ve lost faith in the justice system”; “The country has no faith in politicians”.
Closer to home, in relation to Bury FC, “the fans have lost faith in the current owner”. Though the latest chairman statement calls us fans to hang on in there and have faith!

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Possessed by possessions?

Possessed by possessions?

My sister was on a course for very important nurses. She was, at the time, the senior nursing officer for Cambridge and attended the course with matrons from all over the country – a fierce regiment of women. During the night the fire alarms went off and gathered on the lawn of the house were these redoubtable ladies in dressing gowns and hair nets…

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The art of hospitality

The art of hospitality

Can I ask an indelicate question? Who here is in their 80’s? Or 90’s? Anyone older? Today we have that wonderful picture of the 3 visitors who come to bring startling news to Abraham and Sarah. Well, more to Sarah actually. The news is that within a year, the 89 year old Sarah will become pregnant and have that long-awaited, long-promised child.

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What kind of people?

What kind of people?

We’re being asked to choose: What kind of people do you want to be?
“Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength”. Moses says: is this how you want to be known?

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Heaven

Heaven

For the Vicar of Dibley, heaven meant being surrounded by mountains of chocolate. And many think of heaven in terms of food and drink: heavenly food, heavenly wine…

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Paul & Silas – the Soap

Paul & Silas – the Soap

Our reading from Acts tells us that if you’re wanting a quiet life then the very last thing you want to do is to go looking for a prayer meeting…

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The heavens declare

The heavens declare

At our last Sunday@Seven I was given a two minute slot to say something about Psalm 19. Think of it as a speed sermon! The intention is to have an ‘open mic’ section in future Sunday@Seven services for anyone who feels led to share a word or two, either prepared or off the cuff.

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Seeing is believing – or is it?

Seeing is believing – or is it?

Seeing is believing – or is it? Do we believe everything we read in the newspapers or see on television or on film? Not always and rightly so. You only have to see what can be done to a digital photograph using the latest computer technology to know that the old adage “What can’t speak can’t lie” is no longer true.

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Blowing the doors off

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 spikenard. A pint!

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Count the stars

Count the stars

God uses that amazing visual aid. He says to Abram “Look up at the sky and count the stars – if indeed you can count them. So shall your offspring be”. Abram had said look at me… God said look up, look out, look beyond. I’m going to wildly exceed your expectations.

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Blessings and Woes

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. Both lists are a series of bombshells.

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The axe woman cometh

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…

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