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.
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.
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.
Persecution is a reality in the Christian church. We wish it wasn’t, but it is. It’s been so since the time of Christ, and there hasn’t been a century since when his followers have not been persecuted.
As Christians, we are sometimes very reluctant to share our faith with the others.
There are all kinds of reasons for this. Some of them are internal. Maybe we lack confidence. Or maybe it’s inclination we need. Or if it’s not that, maybe we worry how we will be received. What if we share something that is very precious to us, only to find out their friends don’t want to know? Or maybe it’s external. Perhaps we tried to share our faith in the past, and had a bad experience. Perhaps we worry that life might get more difficult for us if we don’t just keep our faith to ourselves.
They call him doubting Thomas.
All because of this story. Jesus had appeared alive to the other disciples. Only Thomas wasn’t in the room at the time. And he found it just too hard to believe.
Personally, I’m rather glad he struggled. It makes the story real.
A sermon from our annual memorial service, held for those who have lost someone they love in recent years or longer ago.
The Christian message is such good news! It offers hope. Not insubstantial hope, no more than wishful thinking that all would be well. But real, solid hope. Actual promises from God that he will not fail to keep.
There is a danger in talking like that. The danger of pretending life is neater than it is. All of us here tonight know that losing someone we love hurts a great deal. Grief is painful and all too real.