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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 2018 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
8th April The painting is the The Incredulity of St Thomas (1601-2), by Caravaggio. I was wondering, what is the painter trying to communicate? After all, every picture tells a story. It says to me, Thomas needs to investigate Christ’s wounds, literally, to see if they are real. Notice, the finger of Thomas is right inside the body of Christ. I'm not sure we would all want to go there! But we have a natural instinct to find out, for ourselves, what is true. This picture says to me, Thomas does not want a second hand faith.
1st April We all like a good story. Even if it is a story where we know the ending. There are films, that I have watched over and over again, but I will still watch them. There are bits I will have missed, but I will still watch it to the end, even though I know what happens. I do this because, for me, it is a good story. I want you to tell the person next to you, your favourite film and one sentence why you like it so much. PAUSE. I suspect, even though you have seen it many times. Next time it is on the TV, you might still watch it.
18th March "She's got a big heart'. Kind, caring. Treats people in the way they should be treated. 'There's a man after my own heart.' I can agree with him. He is doing what I would do. The heart has always been seen as something special. In the ancient Near East it was believed that the heart was the seat, it was the very centre of emotion, will and it was where decisions were made. Aristotle identified the heart as the most important organ of the body. For him, it was the seat of intelligence, emotion, and sensation.
11th March Italian policeman Mauro Prosperi was 39 when he took part in the Marathon des Sables in 1994. This is a 155 mile race across the Moroccan Sahara desert. Why do people do such things? Anyway, a violent sandstorm, lasting 8 hours, caused him to get lost in the desert. Amazingly, he survived 9 days, by drinking bat's blood and his own urine, and by eating lizards and snakes that he caught. He was eventually found by one of the local Berber communities who fed and watered him and helped him get home. It was only then that he realised that he had crossed into Algeria, and was 181 miles off course.
4th March He was angry. Boy was he angry. Change that. He was furious. 'How dare you. How dare you act in such a way as this. In this building of all places. Do you not know where you are?' It must have been quite a sight. This man of God, who was building up a bit of a reputation for himself, venting his anger, in such a visible way, in the temple precinct.
25th February I wonder if you are fan of the Mission Impossible films? "Your mission, if you should decide to accept it...". Mission is a word we hear a lot about in the church. We talk about the mission of the church. The truth is, there is no such thing as the mission of the church. We are called to participate in the mission of God. To meet God where he is, and then to join in with what he is already doing. And that is what makes it Mission, possible.
18th February We could have a debate how 'natural', natural disasters actually are. Are they caused by something inherent in creation itself or are they "man made". In other words , if they are naturally an inbuilt part of creation, it would not matter what we did, these events would still happen. I suspect the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Volcanic plates that causes earthquakes and tsunamis have always happened and always will. Parts of the world are physically unstable. But drilling into the world most remote corners and finding plastics, has not. There are certainly things we need to take responsibility for. I raise this, not to debate the issues of climate change, but to introduce a story. This story is couched, not in terms of a natural disaster, but one brought upon the world, directly by the hand of God. In the language of the ancient world, what God had made was no longer seen as good. It is full of violence and corruption and required to be cleansed.
4th February 'I can only live where there is light, but I die if the light shines on me.' What am I? I am a shadow. We all cast shadows, but only if there is light. I am not a scientist, but it seems to me, the shadow itself, is neither light nor dark. It is an area of contrast. Only visible, because the light shines on other objects. Otherwise, they would never be seen.
28th January All of us have been involved in uncomfortable conversations. Places we rather not be. I hate to mention Donald Trump, but I will, he seems a master of generating multiple uncomfortable conversations that did not previously exist. They are all of his own making. Actually, we have all been there. Something we should not have said, or even tweeted, maybe, that leads to heated debate, an argument, and we wonder how did I ever get myself into this situation. Then there is poor old Mr Bolton. I think he is still head of UKIP. It was not something he said, but what his former girlfriend tweeted. He is now embroiled in multiple uncomfortable conversations.
7th January They had waited a long time for this moment. It seemed as if it would never come. It is hard to wait with a heavy weight of expectation on your shoulders for an event that would change history. I am not talking about Raith Rovers winning the league cup in 1994, or even Andy Murray winning Wimbledon in 2013, Britain's first win in the men's singles since Fred Perry's win, in 1936.

Click here to read sermon notes from 2017 ...