What do we hope for in life? (3/03/2019)

When we think about our lives, we hope that our future will be one that takes us forward into growth, change and new opportunities. Much of life is directed towards hope.  I think our Gospel reading this morning, is a story about what we hope for.

A sermon on hope, love, the transfiguration of Christ and the meaning of baptism.  Delivered by Asst Curate Revd Dr Nicky von Fraunhofer at the All age Communion service on Sunday 3rd March 2019 (Sunday next before Lent).

What do we hope for in life ? NvF Sermon 03.03.19

Readings: Exodus 34.29-end; 2 Corinthians 3:12- 4.2; Luke 9 28-36 [37-43a]

We hope for love from God and we hope to share God’s love with each other. And Jesus makes that possible. Jesus is like God’s token of love, for us to hold onto. When we see Jesus on the mountain with Moses and Elijah, what God is showing us, is that we matter so much to God, that God will break through the fabric of the universe, to bring us God’s message of love…..A baptism is declaration and a reminder of this love. 

Baptism, like the transfiguration, brings a bit of heaven to Earth, to remind us what we look forward to and hope for, the gift of love from God, in Christ.

Pewsheet 3rd March 2019

Stormy Waters (24/02/2019)

Stormy Waters – a sermon by Norman Allen CBE, Reader, delivered at the Sung Communion service on Sunday 24th February 2019 (The Second Sunday before Lent).  Based on the Gospel reading:  Luke 8, 22-25

Jesus’s stormy passage recalls another maritime adventure, when the sail training ship Malcolm Miller was crossing the North Sea from Norway.  In a rising gale, she was making more than fifteen knots, with green seas washing the lee deck.  It was exhilarating sailing for the 39 boys, as they learned to trust the ship, and to discover themselves.

We balanced on the foot ropes, leaning over the yard, fighting the heavy canvas, to lash down the gaskets.  We were glad to scramble down to the heaving deck, to receive grins from our watches and the Skipper’s nod of approval.   Galilean fishermen would have been proud of us!

When Jesus’s disciples were afraid that they would die in the storm, He challenged them saying, – “Where is your faith?”  Faith is hard won, – the faith that the disciples discovered at the first Easter and began to preach to many peoples at Pentecost, – it is ours, especially when we risk unpopularity, as we face the storms of life, with hope and faith, – never flinching from speaking truth to power.

Readings:  Genesis 2 4b-9, 15-end, Revelation 4,Luke 8 22-25

Stormy_Waters_Sermon_NA_24.02.19

Pewsheet 24th February 2019

Candlemas (3/02/19)

Reflections on Candlemas by Asst. Hon Curate Revd Dr Nicky von Fraunhofer, delivered at the All-age Communion service on Sunday 3rd February 2019 (Presentation of Christ in the Temple).

Today we remember how baby Jesus is taken by Mary and Joseph to the temple in Jerusalem. We also call today Candlemas because one of the people who meets Jesus in the temple, a Holy Man called Simeon, blesses him and calls him ‘a light for revelation’ to the Gentiles.

Readings:  Malachi 3: 1-5; Heb. 2 14-end; Luke 2: 22-40

All Age Sermon 03.02.19 NvF

Pewsheet 3rd February 2019

Sermon: Water into Wine (20/01/19)

A sermon on Jesus’ turning of water into wine at the wedding in Cana of Gallilee, by Revd William Allberry, former vicar of St Paul’s and visiting preacher.  Delivered at the Sung Communion service on Sunday 20th January 2019 (Third Sunday of Epiphany).

So this ordinary wedding in the village of Cana suddenly becomes a symbol of the new age which is to come. Yes, there was a wedding in the undistinguished little mountain village, where a particular bride and groom entered their life together. But this wedding is a sign that points beyond itself, to the marriage of God with his people that Isaiah was looking for – here the water was transformed into wine, and ordinary lives were transformed by the Spirit.

The signs that Jesus showed weren’t ostentatious, showy signs. John doesn’t say the whole company knew and marvelled. It seems to be saying that for those who saw what happened, a deep meaning was shown. And for us, the sign is that God’s love transforms his people.

Readings:  Isaiah 62:1-5; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11; John 2:1-11

Sermon Epiphany 3(C) 2019 WA

Pewsheet 20th January 2019

Sermon: The Baptism of Christ (13/01/2019)

A sermon on baptism by Asst. Hon Curate Revd Dr Nicky von Fraunhofer, delivered at the Sung Communion service on Sunday 13th January 2019 (The Baptism of Christ).

Baptism is for us a sign of God’s judgement on evil, but also God’s mercy, because through faith, we gain a way back to God. Many religions have a theology of judgement, but Christ is unique in bringing us a theology of forgiveness; a gift we see physically enacted in the sacrament of baptism.

Readings:  Isaiah 43.1-7; Acts 8.14-17; Luke 3.15-17,21-22

NvF 13.01.19 Baptism of Christ

Pewsheet 13th January 2019

Sermon for Epiphany (6/01/19)

A sermon for Epiphany by Asst. Curate Revd Dr Nicky von Fraunhofer, delivered at the All-age Communion service on Sunday 6th January 2019 (The Epiphany).

When you seek something and then find it, it feels precious and important. If you have spent your life planning for a moment in time, then imagine how you feel when it arrives. This is how the scholars feel, when they come to see Jesus. They don’t just jump on camels and gallop five minutes down the road. They use all the skills that have, to navigate their way, taking many months, maybe even years, and most importantly, even though they don’t know where they are going, they travel in faith.

The scholars don’t know this yet, but when they see the sign of the star they respond, travelling in faith, not knowing where the journey will take them.

Reading:  Matthew 2.1-12

Matt 2 1-12 Epiphany All age Sermon NvF 2019

Pewsheet 6th January 2019

Sermon: Lost Child (30/12/2018)

Lost Child: a sermon by Norman Allen CBE, delivered at matins on Sunday 30th December 2018 (First Sunday of Christmas).

Love is not a possession, it is a gift, to be given away, and then miraculously it comes back. So it is, or should be with children; they are gifts to be loved, but not to be confined.  As they grow towards maturity they should be allowed to find their own ways, with parental love and care in support, – benefits to be relayed to the next generation.

Readings:  1 Samuel 2, 18-20, 26; Psalm 184, Colossians 3, 12-17, Luke 2, 41-52

LOST_CHILD_sermon_NA_30.12.18

Pewsheet 30th December 2018

A sermon for Christmas Eve (24/12/18)

A sermon for Christmas Eve by Asst. Curate Revd Dr Nicky von Fraunhofer, delivered at the Midnight Communion service on Monday 24th December 2018.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The Word was with God, in the beginning. (John 1:1-2)

In this inspired, poetic writing, at the start of John’s gospel, a profound theological idea is conveyed to us in a few short phrases. They hide, in their brevity, an astonishing revelation: that a baby born in Bethlehem, is God-made-flesh and come to dwell among us.

‘The Lord will bring you a sign. A young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel’ (Is. 7: 14)

The baby of Bethlehem is sign of Immanuel, God-with-us; God’s spoken word of peace and reconciliation to the world; the restoration of Jerusalem.

‘How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces shalom, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Jerusalem, your God reigns.’ (Is. 52: 7)

May God’s wholeness and reconciling peace with us, as we give thanks for God’s generous Word to the world; given through the baby in Bethlehem, the sign who brings good news, announces salvation and says to Jerusalem, your God reigns.

Readings:  Isaiah 52, 7-10; Hebrews 1 1-4; John 1 1-14

Sermon for Christmas Eve Is 52. 7-10_ Jn 1. 1-14 24.12.2018 NvF

Midnight Communion 2018 Service Booklet 

Sermon at the close of Advent (23/12/2018)

Sermon at the close of Advent, by Asst. Curate Revd Dr Nicky von Fraunhofer, delivered at the Sung Communion service on Sunday 23rd December 2018 (Fourth Sunday of Advent).

….. Advent is a time of anticipation, a time to get ready for God’s promises to be fulfilled. Traditionally, Advent is a season of fasting, like Lent; a time when we clean out and renew our spiritual cupboards. Like Lent, the liturgical colour for Advent is purple, a colour of mourning and reflection, which is replaced in a glorious flash of white at Christmas, when we celebrate the saving light, brought to us by Jesus’ birth.

Readings:  Micah 5 2-5a; Hebrews 10 5-10; Luke 1 39-45 (46-55)

Advent_Sermon_Luke_1_39-45_(46-55)_23.12.18 10am NvF

Pewsheet 23rd December 2018

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