The Christmas story.

When you think of Jesus at Christmas, what image come to mind?  The truth is that we are surrounded by images at this time of year. Card shops, retail outlets of all sorts, social media posts bombard us with images of a stable, a star, 3 Kings etc that the image of the baby in the manger (somehow spotlessly clean!) alongside a surprisingly alert Mary and a deferential Joseph hovering in the background, that some of this has somehow become embedded in what we think of as a traditional Christmas.  We have seen this morning a lovely presentation of that story by members of the Junior Church, thank you to all involved.   Of course, there is still discussion about whether the stable really was a stable, and whether there was an innkeeper at all. It seems that Luke may have actually meant the upper room in a house, so no room in the inn, becomes no room upstairs so the baby was put on the ledge between upstairs and downstairs (where the animals were kept).  The animals exuded heat which help

Inclusion; Like Christmas. is it too costly?

Well I wonder how expensive your Christmas has been?   It’s been almost impossible to not be affected by the huge retail event that is Christmas here in the West.   A few weeks ago my wife and I were talking about being involved with events or ideas and the need for people to “buy in” to the event. It got me thinking about the term “buy in”.   This term itself concerns an acceptance of cost. That cost may be in financial terms, in time or in energy.   So I would like to you to think about how much you really buy in to this event we call Christmas. What does it mean to you and how much are you willing to pay?   For most people, Christmas starts well before Advent; probably around the beginning of November once the Retail sector has stopped flogging monster costumes and huge black spiders for Halloween.   Media outlets bombard us with pictures of Christmas, there are 24 hour Christmas Movie Channels, the advent of the long awaited John Lewis TV advert, and this year

The fallacy of fascism

This sermon was delivered at Welling Methodist Church on 15 Sept 2019 where I was invited to preach as my second cousin is a steward there: I have recently joined the facebook page promoting Welling and t seems there is quite a sense of community here. It is nice to see the positive posts amid all the news relating to much darker themes.   An American President overseeing the removal of children from their parents – openly encouraging racial hatred and claiming to be like the King of Israel. A Brazilian Premier playing power games whilst the Amazon burns.   A Prime Minister at war with parliament, backing the voices of separation Against that background, the lectionary provides us today with readings from the book of Jeremiah and the Gospel of Luke – the Gospel writer who espouses the cause of the outcast. Jeremiah is essentially a book of poetry written for the Jews who were in exile.   The language is almost apocalyptic in nature. We have a dialogue