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Sermons

Seeking the lost

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Luke 15:1-10
(15-9-13)

As usual the religious people in the time of Jesus are annoyed by His mixing with the wrong sort of people “sinners”. Jesus responds with three stories (we’re only looking at two today) about things that are lost and then get found. They are all well over the top stories which seem to be about people who are not quite reacting normally. We’re meant to look at the people in them, question their actions and then realize that in fact they are stories that question our own actions.

All of these exaggerated stories make the same point and they only really make sense to a hearer who is aware of how valuable they are to God.

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Cost of Discipleship

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Luke 14:25-33
(8-9-13)

This is one of those weeks when every vicar will have looked at the set Gospel reading and then quickly glanced to see if any of the other readings would do instead! It is Jesus telling people what being a disciple involves and how hard it will be. The beginning of this passage is very daunting and scares many people off. It might help if it is put into context first:

Jesus has just left the Pharisee’s house and is being followed by great crowds. Why? Well its not really because they want to hear about spiritual things, more because it’s kind of parade where they hope see Jesus perform miracles or feed the hungry. Some hoping it’s a march, Jews versus Romans, peasants versus power, Jesus versus the establishment.

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Unlikely Heroes

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Jeremiah 1:4-10 & Luke 13:10-17
(25-8-13)

A Rabbi, a Vicar and a Methodist minister went fishing and patiently sat on the river bank waiting for a bite. After a few hours the Rabbi stood up and said, "I don't think we are to get anywhere here - I'm going to cross the river and try up stream". The Methodist minister said the nearest bridge was 3 miles away. "No problem" replied the Rabbi who knelt down and prayed, then stood up and walked across the water! The Vicar started packing away his fishing equipment, then he knelt down said a quick prayer and walked across the river to join the Rabbi. The Methodist minister thought 'if they can do it so can I'. He knelt down and said a prayer, stood up and walked to the river bank, took one step out into the river and vanished beneath the surface. The Vicar turned to the Rabbi "Do you think we should have told him about the stepping stones"?

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Cloud of Witnesses

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Hebrews 11:29-12:2
(18-8-13)

A little boy went into a shop advertising “Puppies for sale”. The owner showed him five adorable little puppies. How much are they he asked. £50 the man replied.

Reaching into his pocket the little boy pulled out some loose change and counted it. £1.47p. “I’m afraid I can’t sell you one for £1.47p” said the man, “you’ll have to save your money and come back next time we have more puppies for sale”.

The pet shop owner’s wife appeared with another puppy from the back of the shop. It was smaller than the others and had bad leg. It couldn’t stand up properly and it limped. The little boy asked what was wrong with it. The man told him that the vet had examined it and discovered that it didn’t have a hip socket. It would always limp and always be lame.

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Journey of Faith

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Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16
(11-8-13)

It’s not often that we get to talk about ‘Hebrews’ so here’s some context. Not known who wrote it but it’s thought to be written AD70 just after the Romans have destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem. This was in response to various Jewish factions who’d risen up against the Romans. Hebrews is written to the Jews who had become Christians and needed strengthening and encouraging. At this time of political and religious crisis, they could neither identify with Rome and its civic rituals nor with Jerusalem and its sacrificial worship.

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