sermon margery spencer

The shrewd manager

In my former life as a teacher I often encountered pupils who found it difficult to grasp the ideas I was trying to get across.  Notably when I tried to differentiate between diffusion and osmosis. It’s a difficult concept but relax, I am not going to give you a biology lesson. Their responses ranged from “I don’t understand Miss” through, “I don’t get it Miss” to “This is doing my head in Miss”  I know how they felt.

When I first looked at our readings for today, I thought “O Good, the gospel of Luke. It will be a nice parable. But Oh no. A very difficult piece –and when I read the other passages it did not get much better”

I didn’t get it. It was doing my head in.

sermon margery spencer

Possessed by possessions?

My sister was once 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.

I asked my sister what she had taken out with her. Her reply – my glasses and my fags. Things important to her at that moment in time.

sermon margery spencer

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.

Why was Thomas slower than the other disciples to believe? Initially, he was not with the other disciples in the upper room. Perhaps he had taken himself off after the crucifixion, fearful, his expectations shattered, experiencing guilt that Jesus had died alone?

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 margery spencer

Flippin heck – Lazarus and wow moments

I used to play the piano at a nursery school so that the children knew that music didn’t always come from a machine. There was a 3 year old who had major problems who called me Mrs. Piano and he was a gem. 

We had been singing about sailing on the sea and I told the children that I had recently been under the sea in the channel tunnel. They asked me if I saw any fish to which I replied no and my friend asked if I got wet. When I said no he looked at me put his hands on his hips and said “no fish not wet  – Flippin heck!”

For a long time at the nursery and at home any event which caused surprise was known as a “flippin heck” moment.

sermon margery spencer

John the Baptist beheaded

So if it is true that royalty, sex and religion sell newspapers then if there had been a tabloid newspaper in Galilee in the first century, the events we heard about in our Gospel reading would certainly have made the headlines. Even without a newspaper, stories about that birthday party would have spread rapidly throughout the region. It is a sordid, shabby and shameful tale.