Carlyle Marney was one of the great preachers in the Southern states of America during the time after the Second World War. He was a mentor and role model to many ministers. One of the stories attributed to the rich legacy he left behind took place on a seminary campus where he was invited to be the speaker for a distinguished lectureship. One of the students asked, “Dr. Marney let us hear you say a word or two about the meaning of the resurrection.” It was a fair question and an appropriate one from a future preacher to one who was already a great practitioner of the art of preaching. However the young students were taken aback by Marney’s response. Dr. Marney replied, “I will not discuss that with people like you.” Continue reading
Tell me – how many cheers do you give today. And that the answer to that depends on whither you greet this morning with unalloyed joy or with mixed feelings. Certainly Christ greeted the Jerusalem crowd with the latter. As a result, our lesson this morning speak volumes for many of us here – many also who are just out there – many who have mixed feelings about entering. Continue reading
Great story and a reminder that life goes on… literally!
I walked into the grocery store not particularly interested in buying groceries. I wasn’t hungry. The pain of losing my husband of 37 years, Rudy, was still too raw and this grocery store held so many sweet memories.
Rudy often came with me and almost every time he’d pretend to go off and look for something special. I knew what he was up to. I’d always spot him walking down the aisle with the three yellow roses in his hands. Rudy knew I loved yellow roses.
With a heart filled with grief, I only wanted to buy my few items and leave, but even grocery shopping was different since Rudy had passed on. Shopping for one took time, a little more thought than it had for two. Standing by the meat, I searched for the perfect small steak and remembered how Rudy had loved his steak.
Suddenly a woman came…
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It is tempting to say that Easter gets earlier every year! Needless
to say the idea that this season could be any earlier this year is, of
course, nonsense. Nevertheless, this expresses the sense that the
pivotal event of our Lord passion and resurrection rushes upon us
without time for proper preparation. The outcome can often be
that Easter is just another holiday without spiritual meaning, depth
What’s to be done? Well, during worship on these Lenten
Sunday’s we are preparing ourselves by hearing the story of
Christ’s journey to the cross and the empty tomb. This is only
natural since Lent is indeed a time for stories. It’s the time when
we think about the story of the Israelites escaping from slavery in
Egypt, miraculously crossing the Red Sea, struggling through the
wilderness for forty years, and, at last, entering the promised land.
It is also the time to tell and retell the stories of the struggles and
miracles of the early church.
And all of this is hugely important since we all have stories to tell:
stories about who we are, where we come from and where we
hope to go in life. We all have stories of our travelling in faith.
Why not join us then this Lent time for worship? For then you will
be part of truly saying to the world ‘This is our communal;
story’: the story of the Israelites, the story of Jesus and the story
of our church family’s ‘journey of faith’. Moreover you will be
affirming and finding meaning in your own story – your unique
story – your story of one loved by God shown in the Easter of
I don’t know about you – but I do feel the telly is rubbish at the moment! It was therefore a delight a few weeks back to watch a programme that truly engaged me for a whole two hours. It was about the annual competition
held by the metropolitan opera in New York to find the best young singers in the United States. As you can imagine this is a highly prestigious award and competition is fierce. The programme picked up when the finalists
from across the states meet up in the vast opera house itself and prepare for their trial debut on stage.
Well, needless to say, there are many tears and tribulations on the way until the few awards are dished out a fortnight later at the end of a gala evening. However, one singer stood out. Continue reading