Archive for the “Sermons” Category

I’ve just watched David Miliband’s speech launching his bid to be Labour leader.  He seems like a good guy.  He said all the right things.  Hope, justice, equality…  But I wasn’t inspired.

Sometimes inspiration is as much how you say it as what you say.

I’m sitting thinking about a sermon for Sunday.  It’s Pentecost, one of those Sundays which is hugely important to the church.  It’s also one of those festivals which comes around every year and has had every angle of it preached on over the years.

I want to say the right things… but I also want people to be inspired.

So, in my usual Monday practice I went looking for inspiration in my usual places.

I found it on Roddy Hamilton’s site:

When those who trust love no longer wait for someone else to fix the problem of the church,

when faith is too important to hand it over to leaders to sort out,

when justice leaves behind those who think she is but a subset of the church’s work rather than the whole thing,

when followers give up on those who procrastinate about inclusion,

when diversity becomes an invite to a table of bread broken safely among people wearing their hidden truths across their foreheads,

when communion is a feast served by non-ordained women, children and men who know heaven won’t implode in doing so,

when the doctrine makers use marker pens to write ‘sorry’ over half their words,

when creeds are written in questions rather than in statements,

when dandelions become the plant of choice breaking out just where the ground has been cleansed against it,

then it is Pentecost.

Hope, justice, equality… but sometimes how you say it is just as important.

Thanks for inspiring me Roddy.

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Whether you are a creator or curator of worship there are always times when the blank screen seems to stay blank longer than you would like.  Words don’t come.

I find that those weeks are the ones where I haven’t had the time to read enough, to talk enough or to think and pray enough.  Most weeks there are places I go looking for inspiration.  Places where I know I might find that one line, one thought, one fragment of something which will ignite my imagination.

People create worship in lots of different ways.  I like to begin at the beginning and at the end.  I think a Call to Worship and a Benediction set a tone and a context that help me to fill in the part in the middle.  But before I put pen to paper or press a key I visit some places…


Roddy posts a ‘Chocolate Teapot’ most weeks.  These are his first reactions to the text for the week.  A thought, or at least the start of one…  He also frequently posts fantastic prayers which I find help me with those beginnings and endings

Laughing Bird

A great lectionary resource.  I head straight for the commission and benediction section.  Again, just a few words can crystalise a theme.

Disclosing New Worlds

Lawrence Moore’s great commentary blog.  Unfortunately, but understandably, it is difficult to keep up this kind of in-depth stuff each week but check the archive for some brilliant stuff.

Lectionary Liturgies

Great liturgies based on the Revised Common Lectionary.

The Text This Week

The one stop shop for all your worship needs.  Loads of links to all kinds of places.

So, where do you go for inspiration?

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Last year I preached a sermon on ‘waiting’.  It’s one of the most listened to and so I thought, given it’s Advent, I’d make it easier to find.

Let me know what you think…

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted a sermon for lots of reasons, mostly not being around much over the summer but today I preached at Lanark Greyfriars on the theme of ‘Courage for Community’ from today’s lectionary reading from Esther.

As usual, your thoughts, comments and suggestions (constructive please).

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jesus_cheI’m working on a sermon for Sunday.  A couple of things have been swirling around my brain for a while.

The first is Shane Claiborne’s ‘Jesus for President’ stuff where he talks about the revolutionary kingdom.  The subversion of the Gospel of the Caesars and Mark’s mocking of Caesar in the way he depicts the Crucifixion as a coronation.

The video I posted of Rob Bell sharing his thoughts on the Good News echo these thoughts.

So that’s where Sunday’s sermon is going.  The kingdom of God is a subversive revolution.

I remember the fuss about this picture of Jesus depicted as Che Guevara, the revolutionary who was a key player in the Cuban revolution.  People were genuinely outraged.  I hope it was because they wouldn’t associate Jesus with violent revolution but I have more than a sneaking suspicion that people just don’t see Jesus in the revolutionary role.

So, what do you think?  was Jesus ‘meek and mild’?  Or is there more to this Gospel than that?  Is the Gospel political?  Is it a call to subversive living?

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Last week’s sermon focused on John 15: 9-17 and used some material from the excellent OneKirk worship material and from the equally excellent Lawrence Moore’s blog, Disclosing New Worlds.  As always, youth thoughts and comments are wel,comed.

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This is Sunday’s sermon, based on Luke 24: 13-35, looks at the encounter between two of Jesus’ followers and a stranger they meet on the way to Emmaus.

The story about the monastery comes from alt.spirit at metro.m3: Alternative Urban Spirituality which is well worth getting your hands on!

Let me know what you think!  Please!!!

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