Sermon for Trinity Sunday, 31st May 2015

    “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” John 3:16

    Trinity Sunday, that day in the year when we reflect upon the doctrine of God being three persons and one God, that Sunday when we might become lost in the history of the early church and its wranglings over how God should be defined in words; Trinity Sunday, and we have a Gospel reading that cuts through all the debates, all …

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Sermons

Sermon for Trinity Sunday, 31st May 2015

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may ...

Sermon for the Day of Pentecost, 24th May 2015

" . . . suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind" Acts 2:2 In ...

Sermon for Sunday, 17th May 2015 (Acts 1:15-26)

"It is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time" Acts 1:21 Matthias was ...

Sermon for Sunday, 17th May 2015 (Easter 7)

"All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them." John 17:10 The Gospel reading, Saint ...

Sermon for Sunday, 10th May 2015 (Easter 6)

"I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father." ...

Sermon for Sunday, 3rd May 2015 (Easter 5)

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower" John 15:1 What can we learn from Jesus when he ...

Sermon for Good Shepherd Sunday, 26th April 2015

"I am the good shepherd" John 10:11 We can use the word "sheep" as an acrostic as we think about Jesus' ...

Sermon for Sunday, 19th April 2015 (Easter 3)

"Jesus himself stood among them" Luke 24:36 Three words beginning with "w" capture a sense of the Gospel reading. In Saint ...

Sermon for Sunday, 12th April 2015 (Easter 2)

"Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe" John 20:29 Saint John tells of the Risen ...

Sermon for Easter 2015

"Early on the first day of the week . . ." John 20:1 The word "Easter" provides us with an acrostic ...

Sermon for Palm Sunday, 2015

"Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields." ...

Holy Week Sermons, 2015 (Good Friday): Five Objects – A Spear

"one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out." John 19:34 Our ...

Personal Columns

Rolling stock

The sound of a southbound train seems louder in the stillness of the night. In the daylight hours, its passing would hardly have been noticed, but in the quiet darkness, it seems intrusive, demanding attention. Where would it be going? To the Spanish border and then on to Barcelona? A locomotive pulling a line of wagons, a cargo capacity equivalent to dozens of lorries. From whence had it come? From Perpignan or maybe just through Perpignan, perhaps its station of origin was hundreds of kilometres north, perhaps even across the …

Ireland

Losing a past

His young bride died on Monday, suddenly and unexpectedly, in a Dublin hospital, at the age of 92. It was February that I last saw her, content in residential care with a pile of novels and her copy of the Irish Times; each Monday evening an old friend still called and they played Scrabble and shared a bottle of wine. The hour spent with her had been filled with laughter as we recalled stories he had told. His fund of stories had been boundless and only when he died in 2004 …

Spirituality

Good Friday, 2015

Weary after a long day, refuge is taken in familiar words.

Back in 1990, a beautiful little book came out Praying with the English Poets. One of the most memorable poems in the collection is John Donne’s Good Friday 1613. Riding Westward.

Engaged in the worldly occupation of riding west on a Good Friday, Donne’s soul is carried towards the east. He seeks a vision of that Friday afternoon and prays that God will restore His image in him.

‘€œLet mans Soule be a Spheare, and then, in this,
The …

Ministry

An elixir of memory

Ireland’s first university was founded in 1311 at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, it never flourished but its historical existence prompts reflection on how things were done in medieval times. Sitting at a meeting of the chapter of the cathedral seven centuries later, the speaker asks for a few moments to set up a laptop in order to give a Powerpoint presentation. What did we do in the past? What happened in medieval times? Particularly in universities, what happened in medieval times? In times when writing materials were expensive, (and …

Cross Channel

Lessons of interesting times

The House of Commons returned today after the General Election. With an overall majority and a Right-wing agitating for change, the Conservative government may lead a British exit from Europe, perhaps forgetting what it was that created the European project in the first place. There are “interesting times” ahead.

A childhood memory remains vivid. A handful of coins was strewn along the country lane, distant from the nearest houses, presumably fallen from the pocket of some passing cyclist. There were seven shillings in total, (decimalisation was not to happen until …

International

Theory unshaped by reality

In the long ago days of being an undergraduate, in the months following Mrs Thatcher’s first general election victory, there were friends who mocked the degree for which I was studying. “How can you have a bachelor of science degree in economics?” Those who studied mathematics or physics or chemistry or biology hadn’t much regard for the idea that economics might be scientific. The usual riposte was that without economics, there would be no resources for their sciences. It wasn’t as though economics hadn’t a basis in experimental methods: the monetarist policies …

Church of Ireland Comment

Silly bishops

In Left-wing circles in college days in London there was a story that, in 1917, the Russian bishops were discussing the colours to be used in the celebration of Easter when the revolutionaries burst through the doors. The story probably had not a shred of historical truth, but it encapsulated people’s  attitude towards the church, that there was a revolution at the door and the church was concerned only with its own liturgical arrangements; that it was irrelevant.

Whether there is any basis in truth for the story of 1917, …

Writing

Four and four and one make ten

RTE Radio’s annual short story competition closes this week. Expanding a piece written last year, this is this year’s entry. This is the only place it will appear!

The cottage’s garden gate opened directly onto a road where a vehicle might legally travel at a hundred kilometres an hour, and some did. Sitting among other buildings on a rise in the ground at a bend in the road, it might be easy to drive the route without ever noticing the cottage was there. If one drove at a speed approaching …

Notice Board

Rector’s Letter, June 2015

In 2012 we went to France at the end of April for our post-Easter break, in 2013 we went to England at the end of April, then last year we discovered that the rugby European cup final would be in Wales in late May, so we took our break later and found our way to the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, after visiting various family members in the previous week. In 2015, it was planned that the final would be in Milan in the great San Siro stadium. We worked out that …

Pop thinking

Real music

Serendipity? Is that the word for it? An accidental, but fortunate discovery. Serendipitous.

One of the Christmas presents to the good lady of the house was a pair of tickets for Duke Special, an artist whose work she has enjoyed for some years. The concert was in Dublin’s Vicar Street, maybe eighty miles from home, but on a Saturday evening in May it was not a too forbidding prospect. The drive last night was easy, there was even free on street parking within yards of the doorway of Vicar Street.…