Most of us here this morning would agree that Jesus Christ is good. He’s good for our lives. He’s good for our village. He’s good for our nation. He’s worth doing things for. He’s worth giving things up for. He’s somebody really very precious indeed.
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.
Over the past twenty years, the study of “comparative religion” has become a significant enterprise. As more and more religious faiths are represented in Britain in significant numbers, and as communications around the world have opened up, we feel it is important that people have a basic grasp of the religions of the world and how they differ from one another. Most GCSE RE syllabuses now focus on this, and the emphasis is on the various practices, customs and rituals of each religion. Compare, and contrast.
That Bible reading from Jeremiah chapter 18 was a very short one, so we don’t get any sense of where it comes in the book of Jeremiah.
I could have gone to a shelf in the newsagents and brought with me pretty much any half-dozen magazines, and the chances are that on their cover or inside they would have their own version of “Ten ways to be happy”. Whether it be “21 ways to have a celebrity-type romantic relationship”. Or, I think it was Men’s Health on the cover, “30 guaranteed ways to burn fat”. Or whatever it might be. “10 ways to find true and lasting happiness.”
The question we’re thinking through this morning is this: As a church, as a congregation, what are our priorities? What are we here for? What should we look like, as a church, such that if Jesus were to come in and meet us he would say “Yes, that is what I hoped I’d find”?
Over the past few months, we’ve been having a little series of sermons looking at what it is that Christians believe. What’s at the heart of the Christian faith? And we’ve been doing that by looking at, and unpacking, the Nicene Creed, which we read together before that last song. We’ve thought together what it is that we believe about God, the Father, our Lord Jesus Christ his Son, and the Holy Spirit. Last week we thought about our belief in one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. Which brings us this morning to the subject of baptism.
This morning we come to one of those passages in the Bible that I find hard to read. I certainly can’t read it without stopping. The events that are recorded here are the most amazing events in the whole of human history. The love we find here is the deepest in the whole of human history; the injustice we see here is the most perverted in the whole of human history; the cruelty we read of here is the most vicious in the whole of human history. This was no ordinary event. This was a one-of-a-kind, breathtaking, awesome, miraculous event. That is why I can’t read it without pausing. I can’t quite believe it really happened. I can’t read it without worshipping the God we meet here.
So who is Jesus then?
Why did he come?
Why did he die?
What is his relevance for today?
Those are questions we’ve got to be clear on. At least, we’ve got to be clear on the last one haven’t we? We’ve got to know what his relevance is for today. If he’s of no relevance, we shouldn’t waste our time on him. If he’s of great relevance, we’ve got to know what relevance so that we relate to Jesus appropriately.
But how relevant or not he is will depend on the other two questions. Who is he? Why did he come?
I was working for some time on what I would say in the final sermon in the series on Luke 21. A change of circumstances in our church family meant that what I originally planned no longer seemed to be the right sermon for the occasion. So here is what was eventually preached…
I was working for some time on what I would say in the final sermon in the series on Luke 21. A change of circumstances in our church family meant it no longer seemed to me that this was the right sermon for the occasion. As the title indicates – this is a draft. A little rough at the edges, no doubt. But nevertheless, what I was planning to say develops further implications of Luke 21 for life today that people may be interested to chase up at a future date. So draft though it is, never delivered though it was,... here it is for what it’s worth.