Sermon preached on 29 January 2012

Here’s Sunday’s sermon. Quite a tricky gospel reading all about casting out a demon.

I do like being in a congregation where you can speak from the pulpit about exorcising the demons of the Bible and commanding them to be quiet, as Jesus did with demons. In some places, if you preached a sermon like this one, the Jenny Geddes’s of this world would be sharpening up their stools.

I did enjoy preaching this one. I did keep them hanging on to the end for a laugh, but it was worth waiting for.

Fifteen or so years ago, I was in training to become a priest. Now, there was much that was poor about my training and much that I disliked. It was one of the least creative times in my life and quite certainly, I think, the most unhappy period of time I’ve ever known.

However, sometimes I have to remind myself that there were some good things that happened to me during that time. There were new experiences that I had. There were new things that I learned. The fact that it was largely despite rather than because of those attempting to form me as a priest is something that I’ll probably never let go of. However, even then, some things that they asked me to do were good. [Read more…]


Here is last Sunday's sermon, which one or two people have been asking for.

The Gospel reading that I have just read contains within it something of a conundrum. There is a hidden puzzle in it. An embedded surprise.

We are reading just at the start of Mark’s gospel – the first of the gospels to be composed. And within the first 30 verses of the start of the gospel, there is just a glimpse of a character who might surprise us. Yet she is important for she appears in all three of the synoptic gospels – Matthew, Mark and Luke all agree that she existed.

Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew. And someone is in bed with a fever. He hears about her and goes up and takes her hand and heals her. And up she pops and gets on with keeping house and serving the men.

The person we have met, is clearly attested. It is [Read more…]