Walking in the Light of the Lord
This is the first Sunday in Advent. The theme is hope, the text is Isaiah 2:1-5
Watch and wait for Christ’s coming!
Light candles of hope, peace, joy, and love,
remembering the promises of God with prayer.
We light this candle in hope.
The recording of today’s sermon can be watched here: https://youtu.be/o4VtdLpHN6k
out of war’s chaos,
you bring the order of peace.
Renew us in hope,
that we may work toward
Christ’s advent of peace
among all nations.
God of promise, God of hope,
into our darkness come.
Reign of Christ the King Sunday
Colossians 1: 11-20: Paul proclaims the reign of Christ, ruling over all thrones, dominions, and powers.
Luke 23: 33-43: A Reading from Scripture which seems so out of place at this time of the year. Surely, this Gospel reading should be read on Good Friday at Easter and not on the Sunday prior to Advent heralding the approach of Christmas.
This Sunday marks the end of one Liturgical year, before Advent takes over, and the cycle begins again with a new Gospel focus. This last year we have been journeying with Luke, the Physician, as he has taken us through his understanding of the importance of Jesus of Nazareth, who he was, what he taught and what this means for our life today as His followers, or disciples.
Next Sunday is Advent 1 – four Sundays until Christmas – and we will be introduced to the Apostle Matthew and his understanding of who Jesus was, what Jesus taught and what significance and impact this has on us and our world.
On this Christ the King Sunday, we are reminded again that Christ’s kingship does not shy away from the agony of the cross, the vulnerability of the incarnation, the risk and betrayal of human relationships in times of danger and threat. The King whom we worship, the one we call Lord and the Son of God, is the one who knows the troubles and frailties of human life.
Watch the recorded sermon here: https://youtu.be/ZuoX1sT851w
Solid Rock & Shifting Sands
Text: 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17
Both readings today call us to stand firm in the midst of pressure. This is a strong and repeating biblical image.
Floods and earthquakes assail our lives on earth, both literally and figuratively, both individually and corporately - How are our foundations standing up?
Watch the recording of the sermon here: https://youtu.be/YF4Vw4CqWCE
Celebrating All Saints Day (1st November)
1 Timothy 6: 11-16: Timothy is encouraged to hold on to the faith in face of opposition. Paul stresses to Timothy that the main quality in witnessing to the love of the Lord is endurance.
Living Saints Telling Their Stories
All Saints is recognition of the common bond of Christians, both living and dead, and of the common bond of the church here on earth and the church triumphant in heaven.
All of us who are a part of a family of faith can rightly be called saints, because we are those who have continued to be part of, and care for, this family of faith.
The recording of the sermon can be watched here: https://youtu.be/vJmEYBOUw4o.
Lament, repent, hope, respond
Readings: Joel 1:1-7; 11-20 and Joel 2:1-3; 18; 23-32
Today we reflect on readings from the Book of Joel.
Little is know about the prophet Joel, and it is not clear just when he lived. But it seems likely that the book comes from the fifth or fourth century B.C. during the time of the Persian Empire. Joel describes a terrible invasion of locusts and a devastating drought in Palestine. In these events he sees a sign of the coming Day of the Lord, a time when the Lord will punish those who oppose his righteous will. The prophet conveys the Lord’s call to the people to repent, and his promise of restoration and blessing for his people. Noteworthy is the promise that God will send his spirit upon all people, men and women, young and old alike.
Watch the recording of the sermon here: https://youtu.be/n-1zl4IfmDQ
Come, Holy Spirit, create in us holiness,
lift up our lives to thy standard of right;
stir every will to new ventures of faithfulness,
flood the whole church with thy glorious light
I lift up my eyes to the mountains--
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip--
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you--
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm--
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
Watch the recorded sermon here:
Luke 17:11-19: Out in Samaria, out beyond the boundaries of Israel, Jesus meets ten lepers - all outcasts from society. He heals them and is amazed by the gratitude of one.
Sometimes when we are afraid, or hurt we hide hoping we can’t be found. Today we hear of ten men who other people were afraid of – but Jesus wasn’t, and his actions changed their lives.
Watch the recording of this week’s sermon here: https://youtu.be/tuXXEs4dpH0
We sat down and wept!
Lamentations 1:1-6: Lamentations is a book commonly known for sorrow and its ‘lamenting’ of the destruction of Jerusalem. Jeremiah is thought to be the author of the book, expressing his sadness at all that has happened.
Luke 17: 5-10: This is Jesus’ parable of the mustard seed, and an admonition to do what we ought.
How honest can we be with God? How much are we able to expose our inner thoughts and feelings to God and to those around us? I suspect that most of us tend to be rather reserved and say, “God wouldn’t want to know what I really think! God has more to do than listen to my grumbling. There are people worse off than me!”
Guilt harms us and inhibits our faith in God.
Forgiveness is the gift which increases our faith. Forgiveness is given to open the way of life in all its fullness.
It is mine. Whatever has happened in the past is in the past. I lay it down and leave it there, living now and in the future as a forgiven, beloved child of God. Thanks be to God. Amen
The recording of this week’s sermon can be watched here: https://youtu.be/Jr0ocGUi7YA
Somehow, we have to learn to trust the power of the God who is with us rather than trusting our own power. The writer of Lamentations expressed his trust in God this way, “This I call to mind and therefore I have hope…”(3:21)
In times of suffering we call to mind what endures and is everlasting – the basis of our ultimate hope. Can we, with the writer of Lamentations, sing, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (3:22-23)
“Strive for righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.”
(1 Tim 6:11)
Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15
I Timothy 6:6-19
From Psalm 91:
1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
3 For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
4 He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armour and protection.
5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”
The recorded sermon - Taking the long view - can be watched here: https://youtu.be/c0C7KKensgM
Holy and eternal God,
give us such trust in your sure purpose,
that we measure our lives
not by what we have done or failed to do,
but by our faithfulness to you.
Christ’s Love Moves the World to Reconciliation and Unity
Right Rev Hamish Galloway has recently returned from the World Council of Churches’ 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany, an event which committed to providing a safe and healthy space for dialogue between incredibly diverse Christian expressions, but also, in the presence of Jewish, Muslim and Mormon religious leaders, dialogue between religions.
In his sermon today he considers some of the aspects of the Assembly.
You can watch the recording here: https://youtu.be/Z1AeEVh2_QM
“We are one in Christ. The love of Christ moves, reconciles, and unites the world, that is the motto of the Assembly in Karlsruhe. This goes beyond the Church. The whole world is involved, drawn into the love of Christ. A dream. We can give this dream a face on the ground, today.
We celebrate this day today as a celebration of encounter. We meet not so much as hosts and guests, but as friends, as sisters and brothers in the one Lord Jesus Christ. Even if one or the other is foreign and remains foreign, our hearts speak. And they express friendship, and affection and love. We are all fellow citizens of the saints and God’s housemates, united by Christ. This is a foretaste of heaven. Amen.”
Worship Services are held at 10am every Sunday. For those unable to join us in person, a recorded version will be available from 9am each week.