Easter 3: Ghosts, visions, apparitions, and spooks

The ancient world knew all about ghosts, visions, apparitions, and spooks. Amen. Luke 24:36b-48 “Searching” is the word used to describe what happens to many of us when someone we love has died. For example, there you are, in Tesco buying cakes for the after funeral tea, when you see him – or her. Just glimpses in the crowd, but … Read More

Easter 2: Peace be with you

When suddenly he was there in the midst of them; “Peace be with you,” he said. Amen. John 20:19-31 Peace be with you, a phrase we use very often in church, both in the liturgy and as a general greeting, just as Jesus used it in the upper room. During the pandemic we have needed the Peace of Christ in … Read More

“The Lord is Risen!” “He is Risen indeed!”

“The Lord is Risen.” “He is Risen indeed.” Amen. How many of us, I wonder, having listened to our Bible readings in the past, said our prayers and believed we had cracked it, this business of being a Christian. Then, out of the blue, wham, COVID happened, it knocked us so hard to the ground that we really needed Jesus … Read More

Lent 5: Not for after dinner conversation?

We all know there are three things that cannot be talked about. You know them, don’t you? Religion, sex, and politics. But have we got it wrong? We do talk about those things. We just do it really badly. There is, however, something we don’t talk about. Death. Yes, we acknowledge death when it happens but for the most part we don’t talk about death with any real depth or substance, and certainly no enthusiasm. We don’t deal with it. We deny it. We ignore it. We avoid it. No one wants to die.

Lent 4: Happy Mothering Sunday

Happy Mothering Sunday. Amen.
Whatever the circumstances or makeup of our own family there is one certainty, we all have or had a mother. It may not always be the one who gave birth to you, an adopted mother or care giver all have the same role to play in our lives.
As I wrote about in early February, the foundations of our language and relationships begin even before we are born. I wonder what your mother was like. Mine was loving, generous but demanding. What was Mary like? I think we can learn a great deal about her mothering skills from what we read throughout the gospels.

It was business as usual

It was business as usual.
He was speaking of the temple of his body. The religious people that day just didn’t get it. They didn’t understand that he was talking about the temple of his body because they were about business as usual. It was business as usual that day when Jesus showed up at the temple. Animals were being bought and sold. Coins were being changed. All the usual people had their usual places and usual roles.

Lent 2: “If any want to become my followers…”

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Just imagine, it’s several years after Jesus’ death and resurrection. The disciples are together. They are talking about the good old days, laughing, teasing, and reminiscing the way friends who have shared a life changing experience often do. Then one of them looks at Peter and says, “Hey Satan, tell us about the day you rebuked Jesus!” Another joins in, “Yeah, how’d that work out for you?” Another, “What were you thinking about, Peter?” Peter replies, “You know I just didn’t like the whole suffering and dying thing. I didn’t get it. That’s not what I signed up for. That’s not who I thought the Messiah would be.” The others become quiet. They recall that day like it was yesterday. They begin to realize that Peter didn’t say anything they weren’t already thinking.

Lent 1: The Milestones in Life


The Milestones in Life.
At some point we all leave home. It is something we do throughout our lives. Over and over we leave home. We’ve all done it. We leave home physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We leave those places that are familiar, comfortable, and predictable. Sometimes we can’t wait to leave. We’re ready to go. Other times we would rather not leave. Sometimes we choose to leave. Other times the circumstances of life ‘push us out the door’. Regardless of how or why it happens, leaving home is a part of life. It happens in lots of different ways and times.

Ash Wednesday 2021: God’s approval is our greatest treasure

Bloch-Sermon On The Mount

Jesus told the crowd, who were gathered to hear his sermon on the mount, that they should avoid showing off their devotion. After hearing his words read in church today, we are marked with ashes, and then we walk out bearing the sign of the cross on our foreheads. If that isn’t a public display of religiousness, what is?

The Transfiguration of our Lord.

The Transfiguration of our Lord. Mark 9: 2-9
It was in 1922, when George Leigh (Maloree) Mallory answered the question “why do you want to climb Everest?” he first coined that famous quote, “Because it’s there.” He went on to say it’s very existance was a challenge, and in 1924 the same mountain cost him his life. In the 1980s Sir Edmund Hillary, tongue in cheek, said that “it’s also very important to get down”.

‘And the Word became flesh and lived among us.’

“And the Word became flesh.”
When we are babies we are not born with language, we have no words, they have to be learned and that process begins before birth. The baby hears the mother’s voice and becomes familiar with it and any others’ close enough to be heard. After birth the child will gradually become familiar with the most used words, come to know mamma or dada and that both belong to their parents or care givers. The next stage is the pointing game and the child discovers names, of things and people and so language develops over time. The Word for us in the beginning then is a name or identity.
“And the Word became flesh”

Candlemas: Lord, now let your servant depart in peace

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Lord, now let your servant depart in peace.
Luke 2:29
Candlemas, a day in the liturgical year when traditionally, bees wax candles are blessed, lit and brought into the church. It is also the last day of the Christmas and Epiphany season. It’s a pivotal point that marks a final look back to the incarnation of Christ and a look forward to Lent, Easter, and his crucifixion, resurrection and ascension.

Epiphany 3: “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage feast of the Lamb”

“Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage feast of the Lamb” “These are true words of God” Words from The Revelation to John.

Over many years the main area of Malcolm’s business was Wedding Photography and often I would tag along, as I would say ‘to look after his equipment’, but in truth it was because I am a sucker to a wedding. The excitement of the family, the fabulous outfits and the obvious love of the couple for each other. Now of course I have the additional pleasure of being the one who ties the knot and it is a real privelage to do it.

Epiphany 2: “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

“Speak, for your servant is listening.”
Words from the Book of Samuel. Amen.

More years ago than I care to remember I was shown the Chinese Character for listening. We were told that it contains five symbols, Ear: what we use to listen (hear), King: pay attention as if the speaker were a king (obey), Ten and Eye: observant as if we have ten pairs of eyes (heed), One: listen with individual attention (attend to), and Heart: listen also with your heart (harken). Basically to give your undivided attention. This really struck a chord with me and I have found it to be a great tool in life.

Baptism of Christ 2021

“You are my son, the beloved; in you I am well pleased”.
Mark 1 4-11

Have you ever had one of those days when wanted to repeat the day again? A day when you wanted to start over again? There are so many things personally I wish I could go back and do differently.

Epiphany 2021: In the time of King Herod

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising and have come to pay him homage.’ When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; Matthew 2: 1-3

Glory to God in the highest heaven

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“Glory to God in the highest heaven”
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those he favours.”
Lk2:14. Amen.

2020-12-27 SMM East Window detailGosh, all that planning, shopping, wrapping of presents, not to mention the cooking and it is over so soon. I trust it was all you had hoped for under the circumstances. Using the first part of Luke’s description of the Shepherds’ encounter with the Heavenly host, we are left knowing that God in Jesus became one of us so that we might become like him, a child of God. Good news indeed.

Merry Christmas!

December magazine header

Merry Christmas!
May I speak in the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

“He’s behind you.” Oh no he isn’t! Oh yes he is! The villan of the piece is always behind you. Here we are in the midst of what would have been Panto season, it’s Christmas Day and the only day off the performers would usually get.

Advent 4: My Soul Doth Magnify The Lord

Annunciation window

‘My Soul Doth Magnify The Lord’
Annunciation windowI have a confession to make, sometimes and especially at Evensong when I am tired, I gaze up at the window in the Lady Chapel of Mary and the Angel. Mary’s words are written underneath “My Soul Doth Magnify the Lord” and they often cause me to reflect. Could I as a young teen ever have said yes to that?

Advent 3: He grew up strong in spirit…

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He grew up strong in spirit… A gift for Zechariah and Elizabeth in their old age. John the Baptist, who’s candle we light today was a prophet, perhaps the greatest of them all. John encouraged all those who came to hear his message, that the Messiah was coming soon. He used scripture to announce the greatest gift the world would … Read More