Sermon – the parable of the sower


The church is completely obsessed with one topic.

Whenever you go to church meetings there is one thing that dominates everything and has done so for at least the last 15 or 20 years.

We talk about it endlessly. Whether it is local regional chapters, diocesan synod, General Synod or even the meetings of the Anglican Communion such as the Lambeth Conference which gathers all the bishops of the communion together every 10 years, there is sure to be this one item on the agenda.

Reports are written.

Debates are had.

Motions are passed.

Decisions are made.

All in relation to this topic which has seemed to dominate absolutely everything we do.

People (by which I mean me) are bored to the back teeth of hearing about it and yet still we go over and over it all again at every meeting.

Bishops and archbishops make statements about it. And our concern is matched by similar conversations in other denominations.

Who would like to hazard a guess at what that topic is?

Is it wonga?

Is it assisted dying that Lord Carey has been highlighting rather unhelpfully this weekend?

Is it sex in general and homosexuality in particular?

Well, [Read more…]

Missional – Your Time Has Come

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

I hereby announce an international competition to rid the ears of the godly of a peculiar modern ugliness. Everywhere I go (and I’ve recently been engaged on a quest to go just about everywhere) I’m hearing the word MISSIONAL used in church circles. It seems to me that this is a modern phenomenon and one from which we need to be freed.

How long, oh Lord, how long? How long will you let your church think it can succeed in bringing your love to the world whilst it mangles English grammar?

Is it not enough that we have kidnapped the word INTENTIONAL and used it for our own devices and desires. It was clearly a sin for whoever first added those two little letters to have created such a hybrid monster. Greater though was the sin of those who GIFTED it from one Christian community to another.

No, no, and a thousand times no. Missional will not do.

Yet the trouble is, what should we use instead? Is there a simple word or very short phrase that is more acceptable to holy earlugs than missional?

I declare a competition to find something else. Bring out your simplicity. Wash your spotless grammatical linen in public. Wear your loveliest past participles on your sleeve. Offer up your adjectives. Pour a gentle libation of adverbs before the altar of the Lord.

Please, please. Offer an alternative.

Suggestions welcome in the comments below.

A crown of laurel to the winner.