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Preaching at GMC 29.12.13. Sermon

Sermon 29.12.13 GMC The last time I preached here on the second Sunday on Advent, we talked about seeing or experiencing the Kingdom of God arriving in great power.Well, I guess you might agree that this is pretty much what happened to the people in Bethlehem on that first Christmas.If we look at the accounts from Matthew and Luke, we might well agree that the Kingdom of God had just hit the town and people of Bethlehem square in the face.A group of Shepherds, minding their own business had had their lives turned upside down.Suddenly they are given a place at the top table at Jesus’ birth!And then they get a visit from a diplomatic mission from somewhere near Babylon probably.These VIP visitors bring a selection of gifts to a young teenage couple who have recently given birth to their first child, in less than palatial surroundings.Quite literally, the world will not be the same again because God has arrived… albeit in a manger.What happens next of cour…

Preaching at GMC 29.12.13

Today is the first Sunday of Christmas in the Christian Calendar.  It was my pleasure to be preaching again at GMC today where I spoke about the cost of discipleship.  The readings from the Lectionary spoke of the massacre of the innocents, a sermon topic I have not heard abut before.  We included a dialogue piece and the congregation were included in the delivery of prayers for others, with 13 voices from around the Church providing a different verse.

For my sermon I painted an alternative picture of the first Christmas, on of risk and inclusion by the Bethlehem community, a welcome that was to prove costly with Herod's maniacal response.

I linked this to the cost of discipleship and next weeks service which will be the annual covenant service.

During the sermon I spoke at some length off notes, talking about living conditions in 1st century Bethlehem.

I felt inspired during the service, that despite a challenging word, that the Spirit was with me.

The comments received afterw…
I had the pleasure of preaching at GMC today, for the second Sunday in Advent.  The church was filled with 24 Christmas Trees for the Tree Festival.  Worship was fantastic,  with some really good and uplifting songs, a mix of contemporary and traditional.  The theme for my sermon was Looking for God today with a reflection on Mark V 1-10, the story of Jesus' transfiguration, and considering its relevance for us today in the Advent season when we are preparing for the coming of Jesus. We considered ways that God makes himself present today in peoples lives.  And our challenge was to be ready for Jesus at any time.

 In the prayers of intercession we remembered South Africa coming to terms with the loss of Nelson Mandela this week, the churches in North Korea under threat of persecution, the political leadership of this country, on the day when they have been awarded a disgusting pay award whilst the rest of the country is struggling to make ends meet.

The church was approximately ha…