LIVING THE STORY
25 December 2021 Christmas Day
Isaiah 9:2-7 Luke 2:1-20
Video available on YouTube
Christmas - the festival of the Nativity, the birth of Jesus, Immanuel, God with us. We pull together stories from two quite different gospels to make this Christmas story.
It’s one we love and want to continue to tell and yet.
24 December 2021 Christmas Eve
Isaiah 52:7-10 John 1:1-14
Video available on YouTube
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,
who brings good news.” (Is 52:7)
We could do with some good news. We want the sentinels on the walls of Jerusalem to sing out when they see the messenger coming with news of a victory won or a new king born.
WAITING WITH EXPECTATION
19 December 2021 Advent 4
Micah 5:2-5a Luke 1:39-45
Video available on YouTube
Today we’ve this wonderful gospel story of Mary and Elizabeth. Joyfully, gladly, wonderfully coming together to awhi one another, in nurture, support and care. One thinking it would never happen, one not quite sure how it did, both are pregnant.
12 December 2021 Advent 3
Philippians 4:4-7 Luke 3:7-18
Joy is today’s advent theme. Joy. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.”
Paul writes about joy, gentleness, prayer, peace. It all sounds very soothing.
The kind of feelings we long for after the anxiety and disruption of our year.
A HOME FOR ALL: RENEWING THE OIKOS OF GOD
Cate Thorn and Anton Spelman
12 September 2021 Ordinary 24 / Season of Creation
This week we continue the theme a Home for All: Renewing the Oikos of God. Last week we looked to our own experience of home, themes emerged of being home to self, then to others, then to the world, first being then doing and also of home as belonging, of welcome and hospitality.
LET'S TALK ABOUT MARY AND EVE
15 August 2021 Feast of St Mary, the Mother of Jesus
Galatians 4:4-7 Luke 1:46-55
Video available on YouTube
Today we’re marking the feast of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The Roman Catholic Church marks “the solemnity of the Assumption.” A doctrine the post-Reformation Church of England “never formally accepted … one of the major divides with Rome. The feast “disappeared from Anglican worship in 1549 … only partially to return in some twentieth century Anglican calendars”.
8 August 2021 Ordinary 19
Ephesians 4:24-5:2 John 6:35, 41-51
When Lisa Carrington won her 5th Gold medal on Thursday she was described as kiwi, New Zealander and most successful Olympian of all time. The adjectives we heard less were Maori, woman, from Aotearoa.
1 August 2021 Ordinary 18
Ephesians 4:1-16 John 6:24-35
I want to begin by thanking you for the sabbatical time I’ve had the privilege to enjoy. In some industries, like the church, sabbatical time’s normative, but it’s not a normal to all. I’ve come to appreciate the value of such time.
ST THOMAS AND THE WAY
4 July 2021 St Thomas' Day
Acts 1:12-14 John 14:1-7
St Thomas the apostle was loyal, he was brave, he was a person full of questions, he wasn’t afraid to challenge and test ideas.
Thomas was committed to the community of followers of Jesus and cared about them.
GOD IN RELATIONSHIP
30 May 2021 Trinity Sunday
Isaiah 6:1-8 John 3:1-17
We can have words, analogies, images and icons of the trinity but they fall short of an adequate explanation, description or image purely because the Triune God is mystery. God is undivided and diverse.
23 May 2021 The Day of Pentecost
Acts 2:1-21 John 15:26-27, 16:4b-15
Jerusalem should be the most peaceful city on earth. Jerusalem, sacred to people of Jewish faith, the location of the Temple, the heart of Judaism. Jerusalem, sacred to people of Christian faith, the location of the death and resurrection of Jesus.
16 May 2021 Easter 7
1 John 5:9-15 John 17:6-19
In the liturgical calendar we are in the liminal space between Ascension and Pentecost. The Oxford dictionary defines Liminal as relating to a transitional of initial stage of a process or occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold..
9 May 2021 Easter 6
Acts 10:44-48 John 15:9-17
Yesterday we held a Parish retreat day, on the feast day of Julian of Norwich. In the last year, in the Covid-19 year, there has been a resurgence of interest in Julian. Julian was one of the leading women in English writing, in theology, and also in spiritual and pastoral care of a community in chaos.
SYMBOLS OF REMEMBERING -
THE CROSS AND THE POPPY
25 April 2021 Easter 4
Some time ago I found myself in southern Thessaly on my way to visit the Monasteries of Meteora – those remarkable monasteries that have settled themselves into the tops of spectacular rocks that soar to the heavens.
AN EMBODIED FAITH
18 April 2021 Easter 3
Acts 3:12-19 Luke 24:36-48
The Easter season seems to demand some mental gymnastics from us. We have a mixture of feelings I think as we embrace the mystery of the resurrected Christ. Especially when we get to the nuts and bolts readings of last week and this.
SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER
11 April 2021 Easter 2
Acts 4:32-35 John 20:19-31
Our community has been busy since Palm Sunday, setting up the labyrinth, washing hands on Maundy Thursday, and gathering on Good Friday, celebrating Holy Saturday at sunset culminating with Easter Day.
BREAKING THE SILENCE
4 April 2021 Easter Day
Isaiah 25:6-9 Mark 16-1:8
Any writer of novels or scripts for film will tell you how important endings are. And we the readers or viewers would agree. In the old days of one episode a week TV the ending had to make you want to come back for more next week.
JUDAS AND PILATE ARE INCLUDED
2 April 2021 Good Friday
Today we enter the second day of our three day Passion ritual. Last night after ritual of washing and stripping church of decoration we left in silence into the night - into the darkness of Judas’ betrayal.
1 April 2021 Maundy Thursday
In this season ripe with ritual action the scriptures we read are likely familiar to us. Heard or read over and again we can be lulled by their familiarity. Then sometimes something new, something you’ve not noticed before pops.
21 March 2021 Feats of the Annunciation
Unless you are of Roman Catholic upbringing you will probably have been surprised to hear the gospel reading we just heard read in the middle of Lent!
ICONS AND SERPENTS
14 March 2021 Lent 4
Numbers 24:4-9 John 3:14-21
Here we are in this religious space, this holy set apart place of St Matthew-in-the City. If we’d been able to keep to the plans made for Lent we’d be talking about art in the form of icons after church today.
REPENTANCE AND TRANSPARENCY
28 February 2021 Lent 2
Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16 Mark 8:31-38
Here we are a quarter past Lent, as someone quipped online this week – I did the maths we’re 10 days into Lent, so it works!!
21 February 2021 Lent 1
Genesis 9:8-17 Mark 1:9-15
There is a pre recorded video version of this sermon going to be playing in the online worship of some of the churches in our international network today.
WHERE MEMORY FAILS THE FAITH OF THE COMMUNITY IS THREATENED
7 February 2021 Ordinary 5
Isaiah 40:21-31 Mark 1:29-39
“Where memory fails the faith of the community is threatened.”
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning?” (Is 40:21)
WHAT HOLDS US BACK?
31 January 2021 Epiphany 4
Helder Camera. The desert is fertile. p 14 Mark 1:21-28
I once read a book that began its opening chapter with a rape scene. It was awful but I stop reading till I found out what happened to the both the victim and the perpetrator.
THIRD SUNDAY OF EPIPHANY
24 January 2021 Epiphany 3
So here we are, at the beginning of another year, the beginning of a new presidency for the United States and here I am beginning my first sermon at St Matthews!
COME AND SEE; GO BACK AND LISTEN
17 January 2021 Epiphany 2
1 Samuel 3:1-10 John 1:43-51
Come and see Philip said to Nathanael.
Go back and listen Eli said to Samuel.
Samuel heard a voice calling, he thought it was his teacher Eli, a logical conclusion.