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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 2017 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
4th June We can all be tired. It is part of life, but there is a huge difference between tiredness, as a result of something we choose to do. Say, a day in the garden, a tour of the shops (would not be my choice!), a long walk or watching the grand children. At the end of the day, we might flop into our chair and say I'm jiggered, but we can still say, we have had a good day.
28th May There had been plans since before the Second World War for a motorway network in the United Kingdom. Lord Montagu formed a company to build a 'motorway like road' from London to Birmingham in 1923; however it was a further 26 years before the Special Roads Act, 1949 was passed, which allowed for the construction of roads limited to specific vehicle classifications, and the 1950s when the country's first motorways were given the government go-ahead.
7th May We have all been there. Our loyalty is challenged and we feel ... Well how do we feel? Years of service to the company is quickly dismissed. You are no longer required. You are not even allowed to go and clear your desk or say farewell to colleagues. You are out the door. What was a central part of your life is gone. In its place, an empty space. A vacuum. When we meet someone for the first time, what do we ask? Their name, where they come from and what they do. You no longer 'do' anything.
23rd April Did you know that the results are out? Have you read them? I am not talking about, Strictly come preaching (that would be a good watch?), or Master chef (how many food programs can there be?), Anne likes the great pottery throw down. I am not talking about referendums or election results. Plenty of them to look forward to. No, I am talking about the results of the 2016 Scottish church census. This statistical exercise is carried out about every 5 years. I know you can make statistics say what you want.
16th April "It's finished!" That is what Jesus said. The work of God is now complete. There is nothing else to be done. In the big picture of God's work of salvation, the words of Jesus are true. If we take an eternal perspective, then the work of God was indeed fulfilled on the cross, in the death of Jesus. The cross has foreshadowed everything, from the creation of the world, the promise of a saviour and into all eternity. In this act, we need to believe that Easter was part of God's plan and not just a random act that took place in Jerusalem in Roman times.
9th April What would get you passionate enough to join others in public protest, celebration or just to stand in solidarity with others. Sometimes the closest we get is sitting in our living rooms, watching the TV and wondering what got these people out onto the streets. What motivated them. What affected their lives so much, that they left the comfort of their homes and took to the streets. There will be times when our minds tell us something is not right, in our community and maybe we should be doing something about it, but it goes no further. We hope others will take up the fight, on our behalf, against the injustice, the exploitation or the violence. But, maybe, just maybe, there will be something, driven by our heart and not just our mind, that says, we cannot leave this to others. We need to occupy the street. We need to stand in solidarity with the crowd, in spite of what others might think. The public square can be a very risky place, especially in other countries where our freedoms cannot be taken for granted.
26th March If you want to be noticed, arrive at a meeting late and make a big show of it. Lots of apologies, eye contact and make your way to the seat that causes most disruption, often right at the front. Sorry, sorry, sorry I am late. You have made your point. Everyone knows you have arrived. Some people just love to be the centre of attention. For them, no slipping in the back, quietly and unnoticed. If you are going to do something, everyone else might as well know all about it.
19th March A good writer of history writes for their audience. I am not suggesting for a moment, they write just what people want to hear. That would be far too predictable and too narrow. It is more than that. The author needs to make connections with their readers, so that their words make some kind of sense. This involves an understanding of what is important to people, their history, where they have come from and their hopes for the future. The story they weave, must interconnect with the stories of their readers. A good story is one you cannot put down. A good story is one where you end up not being able to distinguish between the written word and the story of the reader. They become one. That is what makes any written word come alive.
12th March I want you to imagine that you are in Galilee. You are on a windswept hillside near a little fishing town called Capernaum. You look out. The Sea of Galilee glistens blue below, reflecting a clear midday sky. A small group of disciples circles a young man who appears to be about thirty. He is sitting, as rabbis in this time and culture normally do. You, are part of a huge crowd that extends beyond the inner circle of disciples. You are there because you are more than curious about what he is about to say. There is a sense of excitement and expectation in the air. Is this the day many people have been waiting for. Was he going to say something, to change the world?
5th March If you have been at the receiving end of a difficult question, you will know exactly how the disciples of Jesus might have felt. The question you knew would come up at the job interview or exam, but you still struggled to know what the right answer was. What answer they were they looking for. That question asked by a grandchild, and you do not know what the answer is, and till you can get to "Google", you say, go and ask your mum or dad. You are expected to know, because you are a grown up. As a minster, you watch Pointless or any other quiz program, and you are expected to get the religious questions right. After all, as a grown up, you are the expert.
26th February The bible raises a lot of issues that are easier just to ignore or set aside. Let's not talk about them. One of them is about the afterlife. How would you describe heaven and hell. What is your mental image of the place that exists after death. If I gave you a piece of paper, what would you draw?
5th February Donald Trump is not small, in any way, but he is becoming a bit of a 'Zacchaeus figure'. Zacchaeus was not a well liked man, and for good reason. He was the chief tax collector in Jericho. It was a border town so would have had a customs station. It was wealthy. It was a fertile area of Judea, so tax income would have been extensive.. It seemed to be the practice that as well as collecting the taxes owed, the tax collector could take a sizable cut for himself. It was a bit like buying your patch from the Roman officials or, even Zacchaeus himself, as the chief tax collector. Being told how much you had to collect, and then on top of that, you were 'free' to collect your 'salary'. The Romans weren't concerned, as long as they got their money. It was a system open to abuse. Under Roman occupation, it would have been difficult, to take to the streets to protest, against the action of such tax collectors, as Zacchaeus. It did come to mind that one of Jesus disciples, Matthew, was a tax collector. I wonder how ethical he was?
29th January There is a problem with the familiar. It is too well known. We don't read or listen with the same intensity, as we do when it is something new. The familiar is not so exciting. What can we learn from something we have heard before? Having said that, I wonder if you are you like me, you know you have seen this film loads of times, but you still come across bits you have either forgotten, not noticed or you can't even remember the end of the story! Any good story is multilayered, so maybe it should not comes as a total surprise to us, that even the familiar has much to teach us.
22nd January I wonder if we miss the miracle in the ordinary. Those moments of life where something graps your attention, takes your breath away. No law of nature is broken, but there is something in that life event that we set apart from the every day, and we call it miraculous. I hope you would agree that life itself is a miracle. We live within the laws of nature, yet, think about how our bodies function, evolve and adapt. Is that not miraculous?
8th January What would an 'Isaiah 61' year look like? The prophet gives us a great vision of hope. If you are poor in spirit, what would Good news sound like to you? If you are broken hearted, anxious, worried, what would healing feel like, to you? If you are captive, trapped by your own demons, whatever they might be, what would it feel like to be released from that burden? To walk through an unlocked door. If you are mourning a great loss, what would it be to be comforted. Joy and gladness instead of grief. A song of praise instead of sorrow. What would that song sound like, to you?

Click here to read sermon notes from 2016 ...