Sermon for Sunday, 3rd July 2016 (Sixth Sunday after Trinity/Ordinary 14)

    “Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals.” Luke 10:4

    Jesus doesn’t make it easy, does he? He warns his disciples that they are going out like lambs in the midst of wolves and then he says “no” to three things that might have made it easier for them to go go on their journeys.

    “Carry no purse,” says Jesus. Having no money would have been a challenge, even in Jesus’ time. If one remained in one’s home area, it would have been easier; there would be family members, friends, upon whose hospitality one …

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Sermons

Sermon for Sunday, 3rd July 2016 (Sixth Sunday after Trinity/Ordinary 14)

"Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals." Luke 10:4 Jesus doesn't make it easy, does he? He warns his disciples that ...

Sermon for Sunday, 26th June 2016 (Fifth Sunday after Trinity/Ordinary 13)

"Go and proclaim the kingdom of God." Luke 9:60 Four places in the Gospel reading help us to think about Jesus ...

Sermon for Sunday, 19th June 2016 (Fourth Sunday after Trinity/Ordinary 12)

"Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you." Luke 8:39 The  word "mind" appears in saint ...

Sermon for Sunday, 12th June 2016 (Third Sunday after Trinity/Ordinary 11)

"Your faith has saved you; go in peace." Luke 7:50 Is our faith like the faith of the woman? Is it practical? ...

Sermon for Sunday, 5th June 2016 (Second Sunday after Trinity/Ordinary 10)

"This word about him spread throughout Judea and all the surrounding country" Luke 7:17 Five verbs from the reading from Saint Luke ...

Sermon for Sunday, 29th May 2016 (First Sunday after Trinity/Ordinary 9)

"‘I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith." Luke 7:9 The story of the healing of the ...

Sermon for Sunday, 22nd May 2016 (Trinity Sunday)

"I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now." John 16:12 The word "light" provides ...

Sermon for the Day of Pentecost, 15th May 2016

"When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place" Acts 2:1 The reading from the Acts ...

Sermon for Sunday, 8th May 2016 (Seventh Sunday of Easter)

"I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one" John 17:23 Jesus speaks of unity in Saint ...

Sermon for Sunday, 1st May 2016 (Sixth Sunday of Easter)

"Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid." John 14:27 An advocate, a teacher and ...

Sermon for Sunday, 24th April 2016 (Fifth Sunday of Easter)

"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" John 13:35 The letters ...

Sermon for Good Shepherd Sunday, 17th April 2016 (Fourth Sunday of Easter)

"My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27 Four verbs used by Jesus in the ...

Personal Columns

In memory of Ellen Miriam

B.A (Bachelor of Arts), M.B. (Bachelor in Medicine), B.Ch. (Bachelor in Surgery) and B.A.O. (Bachelor in Obstetrics). It was commencements day for the graduating students of Trinity College, Dublin’s medical school last Friday. The graduation ceremony was a fine affair, conducted in Latin as is the tradition of the university. There was a reception afterwards and a grand dinner in the Shelbourne Hotel in the evening. Standing with our daughter Miriam as photographs were taken, thoughts wandered to my grandfather and his mother Ellen Miriam, whose middle name we only discovered …

Ireland

Floral ballots

Visiting Glasnevin Cemetery, it was apparent from the abundance of flowers on his grave that Michael Collins was significantly more popular with visitors than Eamon de Valera, perhaps a case of principle triumphing over political intrigue, more likely a case that youthful film star looks having greater appeal than images of an old and frail man. Collins chose to support the 1921 Treaty with Britain; de Valera chose to oppose it. Collins died in an ambush in August 1922 at the age of 31; de Valera completed his final term as president in …

Spirituality

Some Somme thoughts

Being born in 1960 and growing up in the English West Country, stories of the Second World War were still fresh, veterans were all around, my own grandfather had been a London fireman during the Blitz. To a schoolboy, there was some sense in the war fought between 1939 and 1945, it was against the aggression of Adolf Hitler and his allies, it was against the great evils he threatened to bring upon the whole world. The Second World War made sense, insofar as any war made sense.

The First …

Ministry

Clerical errors

The Mothers Union notes, carefully typed for inclusion in the parish magazine and handed to me on Sunday,  were nowhere to be found. Having dissuaded people from entrusting me with money, perhaps there is now a need to similarly discourage thoughts of handing the rector a piece of paper with the expectation it might reach its intended recipient.

The problem with the money began in the 1980s. £5 was not a lot of money, but it was enough to go out; it was enough to by a few groceries; it was enough to …

Cross Channel

The long road to Brexit

The long road to Brexit began on 12th May 1994, the day that John Smith, the leader of the British Labour Party, died from a heart attack. The grammar school educated, Scottish Presbyterian, Queen’s Counsel was a man of integrity, respected as much by his opponents as by his own party. The Labour Party had lost four successive general elections, but had slowly rebuilt its support after the nadir of 1983. A week before Smith’s death, the Labour Party had enjoyed great success in local government elections, the governing Conservative …

International

Beyond all doubt

I like first class cricket, the sort that is played in matches lasting four or five days – it has a reassuring certainty, when there are results, they are results that are beyond question. Sometimes the requirement of absolute certainty creates scenarios that would be considered bizarre in other sports.

If, in the first innings, one team has scored 50 runs and the other team has scored 500; and then, in the second innings, the first team has scored 50 runs for the loss of nine wickets and is 400 runs beyond with …

Church of Ireland Comment

Collects and chants

The Sixth Sunday after Trinity, in the strangely eccentric Anglican calendar, next Sunday is the sixth Sunday after Trinity Sunday, a day which falls one week after the Day of Pentecost, which is seven weeks after Easter. Rough calculation would suggest it will be fourteen weeks since this year’s very early Easter.

The Sixth Sunday after Trinity was the first Sunday after I arrived in Ireland to spend the summer of 1982 in Co Down. Going along to the parish church on a July evening, the hymn board hanging on …

Writing

The Passenger

Reaching for his phone, he switched off the alarm. It surely could not be seven already. A friend’s birthday the previous day had meant a night out and a late return, maybe it had been after three. Those with Monday to Friday jobs could now sleep until lunchtime; he needed to be in work by half past eight.

Going to the kitchen, he met his mother, already busy with the day’s tasks. A stern look told him that it was wiser not to complain about the pounding in his head …

Notice Board

Rector’s letter – July 2016

Camping holidays or lives possessed? It seems an odd question, I’ll explain.

Recently in church, we read the story from Saint Luke Chapter 8 of the man possessed by a demon that called itself “Legion.” When reading that story, there is a temptation to think, “that was interesting, but it has nothing to do with me.” But if we look again at the story, we see that the spirit that possesses the man is destroying the man’s life,  Saint Luke Chapter 8 Verse 27 tells us, “For a long time he had worn …

Pop thinking

Imaginary lives

Rod Stewart is playing in Kilkenny tonight. His song “Maggie May” always evokes a moment sat in a Torquay café in September 1975.

It was late September and we were definitely back at school and the song caused a fourteen year old sitting with his five pence cup of coffee to ponder what it might be like simply to not return to school. What sort of world was inhabited by the character, presumably in his late teens, where the start of term might be missed because of a relationship with an older woman?…