Politicians don’t like to appear weak. They don’t like to run out of words, lose an argument, appear foolish to other people. If they do, they worry that people will think they are weak leaders. They’d never see their policies through. They’d never keep their promises.
From time to time I put sermons I give up here. Not because I think they are particularly good, even less that they are model sermons. I can't even guarantee that I agree with everything I said then - I am (of course) learning all the time. But someone may be interested.
You can use the filters below to restrict which sermons you see. Sermons will be sorted newest first, which means that they appear in reverse order from that in which they were delivered.
A sermon given at a special celebration service for the 90th birthday of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II
One of my favourite moments is standing at the church door just before a wedding begins. Waiting for the bride. And then she comes. What a privilege to share that moment! Such emotion. Deep excitement. Thrill. The joy of seeing all her friends waiting. But also nerves. The day is finally here. It’s a big step. Tears. Smiles. Wanting to get on with it. Feeling flustered. All at once.
Being religious is a very dangerous way to be.
That’s good news for some. From time to time I get talking to someone who tells me that they enjoy coming to our services even though they’re not very religious. If that’s you, then this is good news. Being religious can be a real stumbling block. A hurdle. And it’s a hurdle you don’t have this morning.
Anxiety is a growing problem in modern Britain. In 2013, 8.2 million people were diagnosed with some sort of serious anxiety problem. In any given week in England, 4.4% of the population experiences anxiety that is serious enough to seek professional help.
How does a person ever become a Christian?
That’s a question you might be asking if you’re here this morning, but you wouldn’t yet call yourself a Christian. You’re interested in the person of Jesus. He’s starting to make sense. But somehow, you’re not convinced. How do things come together enough so that you can take that first step of faith? How do you reach the point where you’re ready to sign up?
Can we be certain what God is like?
I know we can’t know everything about him. God is infinite, and we have tiny minds by comparison. We couldn’t hold it all in our heads, even if it was possible to discover everything about him.
But that’s not what I’m asking. Can we know anything about God with absolute certainty?
There’s no doubting it. Having young children is exhausting. Most parents of young children have a fairly long wish list; but rest is fairly high up the list for most of us.
The promise of rest
The Bible reading we had comes from Matthew chapter 11. If you’ve got the Bible open, just glance to the end of the chapter, the climax the chapter is heading to. Verse 28: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” I defy any new parent to say to me that that is not immensely appealing.
Last Thursday was election day. Here in Kent we only elected the Police Commissioner, but other parts of the country saw local councils and mayors elected.
There are many problems in our country. Always have been. Unemployment. A creaking health service. Education policies. Environmental issues. We’re always on the lookout for someone who can step in and solve our problems. Preferably fix my problems.
If you’ve been with us the past couple of weeks, you’ll know that we’ve been thinking about the theme of persecution.
With a slightly heavy heart, we return to that subject today. I say with a heavy heart, because it’s a risky subject to talk about. If we talk about the possibility that we will be persecuted, there is a danger it generates one of three reactions within us, none of which are welcome. Those are fear, anxiety, and coldness. We might become afraid, we might get worried, or we might lose some of our enthusiasm for the person of Jesus.