Text: Psalm 16
th April, 2021) is a time of thankfulness (for the life of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh), and of hopefulness (as Covid restrictions are further eased tomorrow).
But what about happiness? Has anyone ever discovered, or will anyone ever discover, the secret of real and lasting happiness?
I want to introduce you to someone who has discovered the secret of happiness.
Happy, though in danger, v1
v1 – ‘Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge.’…
Text; 1 Samuel 28:3-25
‘Strange but true’
The Bible contains a number of ‘strange but true’ stories:
A talking donkey (who talks more sense than its master, Num 22).
A message in the stars (that leads a bunch of pagan astrologers to Israel’s new-born King, Mt 2).
A mountain-top meeting between Jesus and Moses and Elijah, both of whom had departed this life hundreds of years earlier (the Transfiguration, Mt 17; Mk 9; Lk 9).
1 Samuel 28 relates another of these ‘one-off’ incidents.…
Text: 1 Samuel 16:1-22
There is a habit, in the Old Testament, of individuals ascribing a name to God that describes something that he has done, or something he has revealed about himself.
I think it the first instance of this is Hagar, who in Gen 16:13 names him as ‘The God who sees me’.
Elsewhere, God is name as the Lord
Let’s take a similar approach with our Bible passage this morning. …
“I’ve finally worked out why Christmas is so popular,” announced the sceptic to the preacher, at the end of a carol service.
“It’s because Christmas is all about a baby. And a baby threatens no one.”
Try telling that to King Herod!
A man wracked with insecurity. On hearing from the Magi that a new king had been born, he made up his mind to eliminate the threat.
Joseph, however, was warned by an angel. …
Jesus Christ ‘ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.’
Acts 1:1-11; 2:32-36
We have lots of ways of preparing for and celebrating Christmas and Easter.
But what about Christ’s ascension? For many of us, May 21
st 2020 (Ascension Day) probably passed virtually unnoticed.
And yet the ascension is of huge significance. It is just as important, in its own way, as the birth, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus.…
So many voices seem to clamour for our attention these days:
TV, radio, mobile phone.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.
Youtube, Google, Alexa.
Educators, politicians, influencers.
Parents, friends, colleagues
But there are three voices that must not be drowned out by all this noise. These voices are ancient, and yet timeless. They speak to us eloquently, instructively, harmoniously.
Together, they witness to the most important thing in the world: the knowledge of God.
Each of them can be heard in this, perhaps the most wonderful of all the psalms.…
Text: Psalm 13
Ever experienced an unresponsive landlord, lover, parent? Here, the psalmist is confronting an (apparently) unresponsive God!
1. Protest, vv1-2
A threefold problem: circumstantial (enemy), personal (troubled thoughts), spiritual (God has gone AWOL).
How do you feel about that?
happy with God all the time?
never known God on intimate terms?
used to low expectations?
David was ‘a man after God’s own heart’ (1 Sam 13:14; Acts 13:22).
Marghanita Laski: ‘What I envy most about you Christians is your forgiveness; I have nobody to forgive me.’ …
Bible reading: Psa 50:7-12
[Note: this sermon was live-streamed from Holy Trinity Church, Norwich, on the morning of Sunday 22 March 2020. This was Mothering Sunday, and also the first Sunday on which our church (and many others) did not meet for public worship because of the increasing threat posed by the Corona Virus (Covid-19) pandemic.]
The world is a very different place today than it was even a week ago. From lockdowns and school closures to travel restrictions and self-isolation the impact on us all is enormous. …
Text: Luke 7:18-35.
1. Who is Jesus?
John was puzzled by Jesus’ ministry. If Jesus was truly the Messiah, and if he came to bring release to the captives, Lk 4:18, then why was he, John, languishing in jail? More importantly, if Jesus was the Messiah, why wasn’t he going about his ministry as John had expected, Lk 3:16-17?
Doubt and uncertainty seem to be leading characteristics for many spiritual leaders, as with Moses, Num 11:10-15; Elijah, 1 Kin 19; Jeremiah, 20:7-9,14-18. …
‘Just happened to’ visit some friends of my parents, which led to my becoming of follower of Jesus.
‘Just happened to’ see a job advert for nursing assistant, which led to a life-long career in nursing.
‘Just happened to’ attend a Christian w/e at which I was introduced to the young woman who was to become my wife.
Here, we find that ‘minor’ occurrences can have far-reaching effects.
The ‘problem’ of answered prayer
God answered Isaac’s prayer (after 20 years!),…