On the mountain with the transfigured Jesus, and Moses and Elijah, God speaks to three disciples, Peter, James and John. Then Jesus tells them to 'get up, and don't be afraid!' Is that our response when we encounter God?
Where do you end up when you start pulling on the thread of an idea or an issue? Where does something really start? Today we consider some threads that Jesus unravels for us in the Sermon on the Mount.
The beatitudes... that list of the blessed that we would never want to join; the poor in spirit, the meek and those who mourn. So where is the blessing? And why is this teaching so central to Jesus' message?
Repent means 'to see things in a new way, as they really are'. So when Jesus asks some fishermen to follow him he is helping them to repent, to see the kingdom of God which is close by. Following Jesus is an invitation to live into that new way of being.
Words matter, especially when we are talking about God. The prologue of John's Gospel paints an amazing picture of Christ, who was there at the beginning of all things but who chose to become like us. Christmas... in just one sentence.
Welcome to Advent, to the waiting season, where the light prepares and the angels stir and the stars shift and the word begins to put on flesh, waiting to move among us…
But that’s not quite what we are presented with in our readings from scripture this morning... or is it?
Wellbeing matters to Jesus. We explore the story of Jairus and the bleeding woman to discover how Jesus is interested in much more than physical healing, but also our mental and spiritual health, as individuals and as communities.
Revelation 21 paints a beautiful vision of a new world. A world of peace and harmony. A world as it was meant to be, where God and people live together and all suffering and pain is ended. But is it all just a fantasy?
Jephthah made a promise, a promise that was ill-conceived and cost him and his daughter dearly. And we still make the same kind of promises for the same kinds of reasons... our own greed, our own ambition, our own insecurities.
When the people returned from exile they rebuilt... but things were not the same as they had been. A new community needed new foundations, just like the new Temple would. Some of the people who remembered how things had been before wept while those who didn't remember shouted for joy. Such is the way of change.
At the end of John's Gospel, Jesus' reinstatement and renewal of Peter after he had denied even knowing Jesus 3 times is a painful conversation, but a conversation full of hope for all of us. Jesus' instructions to Peter; feed my lambs, tend my sheep, feed my sheep, and the renewal of the invitation to 'follow me', are a manifesto for the church and for each and every one of us.
After a long and unsuccessful night fishing a man on the shore suggests the disciples throw their nets out the other side. It turns out the man is Jesus, but he's different. He's changed. What would our equivalent be? Where might we try something different? Where might we cast our nets? And where do we still meet the Risen Christ in our lives?
Philia, the love between friends. As we continue our journey through Lent Yvonne Hamilton helps us to reflect on what it means to love our friends by reflecting on how the friends of the paralysed man act in their quest to help their friend see Jesus.
Susan Brown, Moderator of The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, is this week's guest preacher. In the first week of Lent she considers the temptations Jesus faced in the wilderness, the same temptations we still face today.
We continue from where we left off last week... in John 7:32-52. Jesus tells the crowd that they can drink from him and never be thirsty again. But what is he talking about? And why don't some of them believe him?