Jesus wept: waiting on Jesus

Cave At Sundown
She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.” Jesus Weeps When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. Whe...

A power of prayer in the face of adversity

Prayer: Photo by Jeremy Yap on Unsplash
Mark 14:22-42 The Institution of the Lord’s Supper 22 While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 23 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. 24 He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” Peter’s Denial Foretold 26 When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olive...

Understanding loss through Job

Job has suffered great tragedy in losing most of his family, all his possessions, and been struck with ‘loathsome sores’ from head to toe. Initially he is very angry, and some of his friends try to tell him that if he was more godly, he would be content with his lot and feel blessed by God. In short, ‘you brought it upon yourself Job’. Thankfully, his friends are proved wrong. God does indeed challenge Job about whether his anger is indeed justified, but He does this in the context that God has the world in His hands, and we can trust our lives to Him even when we can’t understan...

Belonging to the family of God

Most of our new Testament readings at Evensong tend to come from Paul’s letters, and anyone who has read aloud from the lectern will confirm have very long and convoluted Paul sentences can be. His arguments and reasoning can be equally hard to follow at times. So, it’s refreshing to read instead from one of John’s letters. While the grammar and sentences may be easier to follow, the amount of detail and the depth of his discussion do, I think, give us just as much to fathom as we find in Paul’s letters. While each sentence could provide sufficient material itself for a sermon, I’m go...

How well do we listen to God?

How well do we listen to God? Do we listen when what he says fits in with our own longings? Do we listen when we think what we hear Is what we think is right? Do we listen just when its convenient - or do we even bother to listen? When we pray, most of us spend most of the time telling God all the problems he already knows more about than we do, and more than often we continue by suggesting how we’d like to see them fixed. We all know what it’s like when someone is talking to us and doesn’t give us space to join in and create a conversation. I just wonder sometimes how God feels when...

Healing through faith

Jesus heals
We ‭have three main characters in the Gospel story of Jesus healing the Centurion slave: namely the Centurion and Jesus, who are present, and the slave, who doesn’t make an appearance, but who is saved from death by Jesus healing powers. What we know about each of these people? We know from reading the Gospel stories that Jesus healed many people physically during his time on earth. It’s also clear that the news of Jesus healing powers spread rapidly as he passed through different regions, healing among the crowds as he went. And obviously the Centurion had heard these stories. Rememb...

Together we belong – together we are strong

One of the songs sung by the military wives led by Gareth Malone is titled “Stronger Together”. It says “together we are stronger we can overcome. Together we belong together we are strong”, and it makes a reference to the voices above the noise which are full of life and full of hope. To me those voices echo voice of the Holy Spirit supporting and leading on through the challenges of this life to overcome the powers of evil and hold fast to the love of God. In recent months, we’ve seen examples of this through the coming together of Mancunians and of Londoners where those of different ...

Banquet for all?

Banquets: course after course of good food. Canapés, soups, fresh fish, steaks, lightly cooked fresh vegetables, new potatoes, dauphinoise potatoes, French fries, pavlovas, mousses, tarts, ice cream, sorbet soft and hard cheeses, cheese biscuits, grapes - all accompanied by good wine and finished off with a cup of freshly ground coffee. All of the above? Picture that against a background of light background music, surrounded by good company and conversation - and all the time in the world to relax and talk. Well, if that’s what it’s like on Earth, I can promise you God’s banquet will be...

Patience is a virtue, virtue is a grace

    Many of us grew up being reminded of the old adage “Patience is a virtue, virtue is a grace”. Patience is one of the 9 fruits of the spirit listed by Paul in his letter to the Galatians. But for me certainly, it’s one of the hardest to attain. Often there is no other way forward than to be patient. We may find ways round this. A young relative of mine recently wrote to me listing several methods of distraction which she has found to fill her time as she waited for her first baby to be born. So much in life are out of our control. We have to wait in traffic jams, at c...