Sermon – 26 September 2010

Here’s what I said yesterday in the pulpit…

There’s no getting away from it. Sooner or later we do have to think about hell. That’s the message from this morning’s gospel reading and I don’t think that there is any choice but to deal with it head on and allow ourselves the chance to ask ourselves what we believe about it. [Read more…]

Sermon – All Saints – All Souls

I managed to resist the temptation to preach on the text, “Lazarus, Come Out!” this morning. Instead, here is what I did say:

I want to begin this morning, not with a story, but with a stained glass window.

It isn’t a window in this building. No, it is in the place where I first started in ordained ministry – the St Ninian’s Cathedral in Perth.

It is a building not unlike this one – the style is similar to the style of this one – Victorian Gothic with knobs on. And of course, it is filled with stained glass. Worshipping there, just as it is when we worship here, we are surrounded by the saints. They surround us in the windows to such an extent that we often forget that they are there. Just like here, in Perth, there are saints wherever you look.

Not long after I had been ordained, I took myself on a little walk around the cathedral and I spotted a window which interested me. It was biblical scenes. Saints of yore. In the bottom left, there was the young girl that Jesus raised from the dead. On the right there was another scene which I can’t recall right now. And at the top, there was Lazarus being called out of the tomb by Jesus – the story that I have just read. The thing that made me stop and stare at this window was not the colours. It was not the artistry. It was not the skill of the designer or particularly the theme of the window. No, what made me stop and stare was Lazarus’s moustache. [Read more…]