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Sermon Years

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Sermon Notes

Robin has written a series of sermon notes which are linked to worship services and other special occasions.

This page lists the notes from 2019 with notes from other years available via the links on the right. To read any of the notes in full simply click on the dates below:

Service Sermon Introduction
5th May You haven't seen someone for a while. They have changed a bit. You un-expectantly bump into them, and you need a second look to recognise who it is and then you say, you haven't changed a bit.
21st April The friends of Jesus did not make the connection. In spite of all that Jesus had said, they believed, that they would find Jesus body in the tomb. They were there to embalm his body. Nothing more. And remember, the disciples, well, they were a 'no show'! They had not even bothered to come to the tomb. Women's work? Maybe. I want to suggest, that there was no expectation, among the women, or the disciples, of resurrection. Even at this point, so late in the story. Their understanding was, Jesus is dead. Fact.
14th April Under pressure we can say things we later regret. The emotion of the moment takes over, and all our rational thinking processes just go out the window. We look back and we wonder, why did we react in the way we did. That heated meeting, the moment someone 'pushes our buttons' and before we know it, we have said what we promised yourselves, no matter the provocation, we would not say.
7th April For the church of Scotland, the next era, is going to be one of significant change. At this year's General Assembly a new radical action plan will be debated. At presbytery, there are conversations taking place about the creation of a Presbytery of Fife, bringing the three presbyteries of Dunfermline, St Andrews and Kirkcaldy together. And Kirkcaldy presbytery is in the midst of restructuring its own Presbytery plan, that will have direct implications for every charge in the Presbytery, including Bennochy. When so many ministers are soon to retire, where should the ministries of the church be placed, and what are the suitable, 'fit for purpose' buildings, that will take forward the mission of the church. Bennochy will not be immune to these changes, and nor should we.
31st March On Wednesday past, Louisa and I were in North primary doing some RME with p6. Each session we have been looking at a parable, and also a famous person. Wednesday's parable was the Good Samaritan, and we were getting the children to think about the 'unexpected helper', and how Jesus listeners would have been surprised and indeed shocked, that it was the Samaritan who helped the injured man. These were two nations who hated each other. That of course was the whole point of the story. In conversation, one of the girls said, 'don't judge a book by its cover'. It is not what is on the outside that is important.
24th March There are bible passages ,which at first glance, are ones I don't really want to preach on. In looking at 1st Corinthian chapter 10, that's today's reading on the lectionary, even with a second glance, some of it makes me feel slightly uncomfortable. It is not that there are not truths in the passage, there are, it is how to relate them to the world around us, and not the world around it author, two thousand years ago. The title is about worshiping idols, but we don't actually get that far. We could talk about idols. There are always things that get in the way of our relationship with God. We can describe them as idols. For another day.
10th March In the mid 1990’s the movie Devil’s Advocate was released starring Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino. Keanu plays Kevin Lomax, a happily married and very successful lawyer in America’s South. Down in the South he’s a man of integrity who’s focussed on what’s important in life. Then he’s offered a job in the Big Apple, New York, with a worldwide law firm. Kevin and his wife move to New York, only to find Kevin being seduced by the atmosphere of greed, sex and power that surrounds the firm, and more particularly its owner, John Milton, played by Al Pacino.
3rd March When does the ordinary become extra ordinary? When does it 'flip', from that we can understand, to that which is beyond our understanding. What is the moment, when, something that is very much part of this world, moves to something 'beyond' it?
24th February Jesus was a better fisherman than the fishermen! He knew where the fish were. Just go out a bit more and lower down your nets. That is where you will find them. So many fish, the nets nearly break and the boat nearly sinks. Or did Jesus just get lucky? As I said a few weeks ago, what better way to impress a fishermen, than a net full of fish! Now he is at it again! You would think that experienced fishermen would be able to cope with a storm, or at the very least, see it coming and stay at home. Who seems to cope best out on the lake? It is not the fishermen. It is Jesus.
17th February I remember reading a book that brought together some of the great sermons of Martin Luther King. There was a moment, when this book, that was very influential for me. There are collections of poems, essays and greatest hits albums. People bring together what they believe to be, the best bits of an artist's work. I wonder if something similar happened in the gospel accounts of Jesus. I am certain that not every word he spoke, or every miracle he performed, every conversation, discussion, debate and argument he had, was recorded, and those things that were written down, were written down for a reason. For a purpose. When you read the gospels, you find a significant portion of them, is about the last week of his life.
3rd February Can I come into your boat? What's that you say? Can I use your boat? I want to speak to the crowd. Is that OK?

I fancy , and it is pure speculation on my part, that Jesus and Peter, one of the many fishermen on the shores of Lake Galilee, had met before. This was not the request of a stranger. You see, the crowd were pushing in on all sides. At this particular gig, there was not much crowd control. Jesus needed space, and what better vantage point on a lake side, than a floating pulpit!

27th January One of the things we can say about the writers of the New Testament, people like Matthew, is this; they knew how to use their theological heritage. Matthew in particular, uses every opportunity to use the ancient scriptures, what we call the Old Testament, as evidence of what was happening in the life of Jesus. He is saying to his readers, it was all meant to be. And as his readers were primarily Jewish, that was hugely important.
20th January I wasn't around in 1955. But I have got the song book somewhere in the house. My mother was there at the Kelvin hall in Glasgow. Maybe some of you, or someone you know of, was there that evening to hear Billy Graham. It was part of what was known as the Tell Scotland moment, led by Revd. Tom Allan, a minister in Glasgow, first at North Kelvinside church and then at the Tron. It was the beginning of the era of the great mass crusades, led by people like Billy Graham, at a time when the great preachers of the day, at least this is what I have been told, could attract large crowds and fill churches. It was a different era. Did you know that there is a Scottish preachers hall of fame? I am not sure how you get on it! I had a look, and no, my name is not there!
13th January I wonder what was going on in the church in Corinth? And have you ever wondered, why did Paul bother to write all these letters, that take up so much room in the New testament? Think of how much shorter the New Testament would have been, if Paul had not written to the churches. 1st Kirkcaldy, chapter 4, verse 6, says.... If Paul was writing today to the churches in Kirkcaldy, what would he say? Well, I will leave to answer that.
6th January Did you notice what I did? Did you notice, that even though Christmas has passed, we still sang a Christmas carol, 'As with gladness men of old'. You might be thinking, has the story not finished? Is that not old news? Should we not be moving on to the next chapter of the story?

Click here to read sermon notes from 2018 ...