A sermon on the opportunity of Advent for renewal (9/12/2018)

A sermon by Revd William Allberry on the opportunity presented by Advent to be open to the constant renewal that God offers.  Delivered at the Sung Communion service on Sunday 9th December 2018 (Second Sunday of Advent).

A sermon on Advent 2 (C) Sun 9 Dec 2018

Readings:  Malachi 3.1-4, Philippians 1.3-11, Luke 3.1-6

There’s an old Persian proverb which says, ‘A place where the sun always shines is a desert’.  We might add to that from the experience of Christian faith, and say that a faith which only survives in the sunshine of certainty, never having to experience the darkness of doubt, is no true faith.  A strong faith withstands doubt; but there’s more to it than just that: the doubt makes the faith stronger, more real.

Advent is for us a season of darkness, a season of cold, but this event that it leads to really does represent the salvation of the world.  Advent shows us that God does come to answer our doubts and uncertainties.

Pewsheet 9th December 2018

Sermon: Reflections on calamity and natural disaster (18/11/2018)

A sermon by Rev Peter Kettle, delivered at the Sung Communion service on Sunday 18th November 2018 (Second Sunday before Advent).

Readings:  Daniel 12.1-3; Hebrews 10.11-14 (15-18) 19-25; Mark 13.1-8

Sermon Rev Peter Kettle 18 November 2018

It is a reality that we can grasp now: because of Christ’s sacrifice, and in lovely words: ‘let us make our approach in sincerity of heart and full assurance of faith…. see how each of us may best arouse others to love and active goodness … encouraging one another‘ – a prescription for a good life if ever there was one. But then, in the final words of our reading this morning, its relationship with the other two readings is made clear: we should do all this ‘all the more because you see the Day drawing near.’

For us, ministering to them or to any who are going through a time of tribulation, the words of the Epistle to the Hebrews will be our guide, ‘encouraging one another to love and active goodness’ knowing that our day may still yet be to come. And on that day, may we be as faithful and resolute, in the knowledge that our deliverance is promised by God, through Jesus Christ.

Pewsheet 18th November 2018

Sermon for Remembrance Sunday (11/11/2018)

A sermon for Remembrance Sunday by Asst. Hon. Curate Rev Dr Nicky von Fraunhofer. Delivered at the Sung Communion service on Sunday 11th November 2018 (Remembrance Sunday).

The symbolic choice of a two-minute silence to recall so many hours, months and years of suffering contains within it a curious paradox. We hold a moment of silence when all goes still, to mark many previous times of chaos and confusion, where nothing could be fully anticipated or planned for. In a painful irony, we now know that the choice to wait until the 11th hour of the 11th day to call a halt to the 14-18 war, despite terms having been agreed at 5 am, caused many extra lives to be lost. No doubt people wished to impose an orderly end to such a devastating conflict, but it was a costly decision which sadly includes a man on our own War Memorial – 2nd Lt Noel Everard, of the Royal Field Artillery, who died on Armistice day, aged only 19.

Today, as we remember those who gave their lives for a future they would never know, and as we give thanks for all they achieved, let us consider how we might use our freedom wisely, respond to God’s call and work towards a better future, one that reflects God’s kingdom and brings in God’s reign of love, mercy and justice, for all. Because I suggest to you, that is a peace worth fighting, or even dying for.

Readings:  Jonah 3.1-5, Hebrews 9.24-28, Mark 1.14-20

Sermon for Remembrance Sunday NvF

Pewsheet 11th November 2018

Sermon: Blind Bartimaeus (28/10/2018)

Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me! 

A sermon based on the story from the Gospel of Mark concerning the healing of a blind beggar called Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus. Delivered by Rev William Allberry at the Sung Communion service on Sunday 28th October 2018 (The Last Sunday after Trinity).

Blind Bartimaeus – St Paul, Wimbledon Park – 28 October 2018

The good news is that there is no situation in life that’s so bad that someone can’t help us with it, that someone can’t help us to overcome it, or to bear it with a hope and a strength that transforms it, and us, completely. And where we don’t know who to go to, we can go to God, and find the help we need. God doesn’t always answer our prayers in the way we have in mind, but God does answer them in a way that’s appropriate; God always gives us what we need, and God always gives us strength to bear what we must bear. ‘Come unto me all who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door shall be opened to you. Ask – and you shall receive.’ These are the promises Jesus made, promises that he kept time and time again, promises that are still valid.

We must learn from blind Bartimaeus that we never need to be afraid to ask for help. We never need to be afraid to turn to our friends and neighbours and share our needs; we must never be afraid to turn to God, who’ll show us where to find help. We must never be afraid to ask, and after asking, follow Jesus, that perfect high priest, on the way.

Readings: Jeremiah 31:7-9; Hebrews 7:23-28; Mark 10:46-52

Pewsheet 28th October 2018

Thoughts on the canonisation of Archbishop Oscar Romero (14/10/2018)

Our Gospel passage from Mark asks the question, ‘What must I do, to inherit eternal life?’ Of course, at one level, the answer is simple; salvation is a gift of grace, which does not need earning. But in his response, Jesus implies that those with faith know that the things of the world will count for less than our love for God.

Oscar Romero spoke directly to people, from the heart. He once said: ‘What an honour to think that all of you before me are Christ! Even the humblest peasant, maybe pondering there next to a radio, you are Christ!’ (13 January 1980). And, ‘Christ is the homily that keeps explaining to us that God is love… Christ is God’s homily preaching to you’ (27.10.80). (https://www.catholicireland.net/oscar-romero-the-preacher/ accessed 12.10.18)

What did Romero do, ‘to inherit eternal life’? He followed his faith and continued to proclaim the Gospel, where ever it took him, even at the cost of his own life.

A sermon to mark the canonisation of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador by Pope Francis in Rome today.  Delivered by Rev Dr Nicky von Fraunhofer, Asst. Curate, at the Sung Communion service at St Paul’s on Sunday 14th October 2018 (Twentieth Sunday after Trinity).

Readings: Job 23 1-9, 16, 17; Heb 4 12-16; Mark 10 17-31

Archbishop Oscar Romero Mark 10 17-31 NvF Trinity 20.docx

Pewsheet 14th October 2018

A sermon for Harvest Sunday (7/10/2018)

‘No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate one and love the other or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and mammon (wealth). Therefore, I tell you do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear.’  (From the Gospel reading: Matthew 6. 25-33)

The passage tells us not to worry about mammon, because the heart cannot serve two masters, and therefore do not worry about our lives and what we need to survive, because in lean years and years of plenty, what really matters is the kingdom of God.

A sermon for Harvest Sunday by Rev Dr Nicky von Fraunhofer, Asst. Curate, delivered at the All-age service at St Paul’s on Sunday 7th October 2018 (Harvest Festival, Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity).

Readings:  Joel 2: 21-27; Timothy 6: 6-10; Matthew 6: 25-33

Harvest 07.10.18 NvF Matthew 6 25-33

Pewsheet 7th October 2018

On Our Side (30/09/2018)

If the Lord had not been on our side, – then our enemies would have swallowed us alive!  So let us continue to pray and to act together for the needs of God’s Creation and all those who wish to live in harmony in His Earthly Kingdom.  Amen.

On Our Side.  A sermon by Norman Allen, delivered at matins on Sunday 30th September 2018 (Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity).

Readings: Psalm 124; Esther 7, 1-6, 9/10, 9, 20-22; James 5, 13-20; Mark 9, 38-50.

On Our Side

Pewsheet 30th September 2018

Value, hierarchy and worth in God’s kingdom (23/09/2018)

Modern society is obsessed by appearance, possessions, achievement and status, as if all our worth only comes from what we do, or what we have, rather than who we are, as people. It’s a constant pressure and in the end, if left unchecked, it’s a pressure that undermines our confidence and our belief in ourselves and those around us.

But Jesus tells us to reject the values of the world and be confident of our place in God’s kingdom, because there is no hierarchy of value in God’s eyes.

A sermon by Rev Dr Nicky von Fraunhofer, Asst. Curate, delivered at the Sung Communion service at St Paul’s on Sunday 23rd September 2018 (Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity).

Based on the Gospel reading:  Mark 9: 30-37

Sermon Mk 9 30-37 NvF 18.09.18

Pewsheet 23rd September 2018

 

A sermon on baptism as a symbol of ‘washing our hearts’

In our service today, we have two baptisms. Like Jesus, we are baptised with water. In baptism, we receive a symbolic ‘washing of our hearts’. God cares about what goes on inside us, and God knows that we cannot wash our own hearts. So, when we are baptised, God ‘washes our hearts’ with the Holy Spirit, through our faith in Jesus, to make us right with God and bring us into the family of God.

A sermon on baptism and the ‘washing of our hearts’, by Asst. Curate Rev Dr Nicky von Fraunhofer.  Delivered at the All-age Communion service on Sunday 2nd September 2018 (Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity).

Based on readings:  Mark 7.1-8,14,15,21-23; Song of Solomon 2.8-13; James 1 17-27.

Mark 7 1-23 NvF All Age