Water – Life Giving

Source of River Jordan

Source of the River Jordan Caesarea Philippi

I received a leaflet this week with my Church Times, called Water; The Truth from WaterAid. On the front cover was a picture of a child full of smiles under a shower tap and  breaking news, that for the first time in history 9 out of 10 people in the world have clean water!

How astonishing that is and we give thanks to all those who have made that possible.

I live in a country where the thought of not having clean water to drink is impossible. But not everywhere in the world has this necessity. Good news indeed that 9 out of 10m people now have clean water.

The image is of the spring of the River Jordan, where water flows effervescently and pure. Water is life giving, but so much more than that. It is the sign for us all that we need to be given that spirit from God, through Jesus. That life-giving water. When we thirst for something and are not sure what we need, it is that need  to be quenched and full of God’s word and support.

Jesus is living water for a thirsty world.

More in Sermon for 1st Sunday in Lent 2021

Rev’d Sue Martin

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The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful.

We have good news! Jesus came to dwell among us.

We have good news! The vaccine is a great success and we are leaders in the world, ready to roll out worldwide.

So let us not be glum! Let us not be dreary! Where is the goodness in being despondent?

Easier said than done, I know.

But this week, so many of us, including myself have had the vaccine . That is truly remarkable and will lead to us getting back together at some stage. Wave if you have had the vaccine! Send a wave through chat if you can! And for those who haven’t yet, it is really getting through to everyone now. How amazing is that!

That is good news and beautiful too.

So let’s get the bad news out of the way and then I can talk about the good news of Jesus coming to dwell with us.

Read more on Sermons 2021

Rev’d Sue Martin

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Strange Times but a sign of hope!

We live in strange times. Somewhat of an understatement I know. Times are difficult, unpredictable, sometimes we are in the doldrums and it is like we are becalmed in a vast ocean Other times we are bashed about like the disciples in the boat in a storm on Lake Galilee.

I was thinking that it reminds me of a film called The Life of Pi, which I am sure some of you will have seen. Briefly, a boy is travelling with his family and their entire zoo, including a tiger, on a boat, which is caught in a storm. The boy is saved and also the tiger and they share a journey across the oceans in a small boat. At one point they are becalmed. They keep their distance from each other. The boy is frightened of the tiger with his very sharp teeth and claws. The tiger is frightened of the boy and his ability to use things like wood and sails to threaten him. After a long, long time they drift to an island in the tropics and the tiger walks away, leaving the boy alone.

We are definitely becalmed somewhere, fortunately  in our own homes, and we are frightened of the virus with its spike proteins, maybe and I am guessing here, the virus is frightened of us and our ability to use vaccinations against it.( I don’t think the virus has any emotions though so don’t quote me!!

We are in a period of time which is called, ‘waiting’! We are waiting for the vaccination, unless we have already had it, we are waiting for the curve in the graph to be right down and we are waiting to be told that life can go back to some kind of normal.

What a strange time indeed. Never saw this one coming!!

But this week a real sign of hope The US inauguration for Joe Biden President of the United States and Kamala Harris as Vice President. What a joy to hear in his speech that he refers to his Christian faith at least 10 times. He referred to St Augustine who wrote that a people is a multitude defined by their common objects of their love. He said that the work and prayers of centuries have brought them to this day. And that the American story is a story of hope and not fear. Plus so much more…

This is the right time for a US president with such a dedicated faith who is able to proclaim that love.

Rev’d Sue Martin

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In the beginning…

Source of River Jordan

Source of the River Jordan Caesarea Philippi

In the beginning …

We start the Year of 2021, The Year of New Beginnings. Our readings today in Genesis 11:1-20 and Mark 1: 1-13 are all about beginnings; the beginning of the world, the beginning of Jesus ministry and his baptism.

Chance for a new start for us all in 2021, what shall we do? Do you know I really think this is time for change, change for the better, let’s move forward to a different way of worshipping and looking after God’s world. It certainly is time we should .

Our planet is in trouble, that’s God creation we heard about in Genesis.

Our church is in trouble, that’s God’s church, not enough money, not reaching enough people.

Our neighbours are in trouble, that’s God’s people, both locally and across the world, they need our support.

So let’s make a change in our lives. As we sit back in our homes whilst we can’t go out. Take the time to  think about what changes we would like to see and if we keep trying, they will be possible.

So goodbye 2020 The Year of the Parcel and Welcome 2021 The Year of New Beginnings

Read more on Sermons 2021 

Rev’d Sue Martin

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The Year of the Parcel 2020

 

There is something in me that doesn’t want to mark 2020 as the Covid Year. It feels like it would have won and I am too positive a person to let that happen.

As yet another brown parcel arrived on the doorstep I knew what last year heralded for me… parcels, gifts, packages, usually ordered by myself, but that didn’t matter when they arrived on the doorstep by the kind delivery person taking a photos of the doorstep. I always wave and say thank you as they rush off to their next delivery.

2020 The Year of the Parcel!

Epiphany is about gifts, being given such a present of Jesus,  that we are full of awe and wonder. We move on from Christmas. We move on with the light of the world. We know many don’t have that joy and move on to more disruptions, tweets, news broadcasts and the endless ‘bad news’ that seems to win audiences.

I suspect the Year of the Parcel will carry on, in fact it may be a life changer. Even the smallest things can arrive in a brown parcel, but they can be just what you need!

In the midst of this pandemic we can all receive a gift, whether wrapped up in brown paper or knowing that the light of the world came among us, let’s journey on into Epiphany beating this virus and knowing that gifts are the way forward!!

Rev’d Sue Martin

 

 

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Advent 4 Mary and Elizabeth

The light shines in the darknessDoes this seem a particularly dark and gloomy time of year? Or is it just me?

More than ever  we need the light of the world to come among us. If He could also stop all the messages about Covid and let us reflect on what is important at Christmas, that would be wonderful too.

On the last Sunday before Advent, in our readings, Angel Gabriel visits Mary in Nazareth and following her news, Mary travels a considerable distance to see her cousin Elizabeth, also expecting her first child.

A real sign of hope when it was so needed.

Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months and returned home to her parents and her betrothed husband Joseph. Such courage and real strength.

This Christmas, 2020, we can still hope, we can light the candles, we can decorate the tree and know that whatever happens God loves us forever.

Read more in Sermons 2020

 

Rev’d Sue Martin

 

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Shepherds, Sheep and Angels

Shepherds, Sheep and Angels,

Advent 3

Isaiah 7: 1-7
Matthew 1:18-25

 

 

 

 

 

Image from Christmas Journeys

Advent is the season we are well into now and looking forward to Christmas, only 12 days to go! Still time to do all those unimaginable jobs that need to be done, or if you are anything like me, still time to make the mince pies and finish the shopping.

But let’s first of all slow down the advent season and take a little time to look inwards and at our hopes and fears for the years ahead,to look outwards at a world in need of hope, both in this country and abroad and to look towards God for his direction and love.

Even in the midst of this pandemic there are signs of joy as the Advent third candle is lit.

Rev’d Sue Martin

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Christ the King The Sunday before Advent

…the Sunday before Advent.

We are at the end of the church year! Like the calendar year of 2020, what a year!! Most people will be pleased to see this year behind us.

Christ the King is the last Sunday before Advent and as we reflect on his kingdom, what does it mean for us?

Is it…  The living of a good life.

 

Serving others and our community, sharing in love and friendship, knowing God as the true and  living God.

Is this where we can start to get close to the  kingdom of God.

Is it for us to find, and for us to be part of?

The good thing  is that every day we can help others.

We can stop for a minute and help.

We can show someone  love and friendship.

More thoughts on Sermons 2020…

Rev’d Sue Martin

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Caesarea Philippi

‘On this rock, I will build my church’  Matthew 16,v 17.

Caesarea Philippi is a peaceful place; it is the source of the River Jordan and the rushing streams are clear and pure as they descend from the rocks. It is a true joy to put your hand in this water and feel so refreshed. It is close to the Golan Heights and Syria and not far from the Sea of Galilee.

This beautiful place has springs which are invitingly clear with clean water rushing through toward the Jordan. The old cave and temples of ancient pagan worshippers was the site where Jesus came with his disciples as a turning point in Jesus ministry. He was heading to Jerusalem and Jesus needed to know that his disciples were with him. He asked Peter there if he would look after his church.

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church.

And we have our own life plans, not known to us until we have walked some of that journey. Day by day they become clear and as we all journey along that path we know that Jesus and God are with us, before us, behind us, at our side and above us, carrying us when we need that help.

And so on our journeys let us use the gifts that God has given us.

Read more in Sermons 2020

Rev’d Sue Martin

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On the Right Road

Travelling in my car with  a very smart Sat-Nav on Friday to my office outside Cambridge, I started thinking about life’s journeys and seeing them is a similar way to any journey using Sat-Nav and changing direction.

We set out on one route, the route that is planned and we are going along nicely and then!! The whole thing is re calibrated and the next thing you know you are changing direction, going a different way. New roads and paths ahead, new view outside the window, could be lots of traffic on a fast road or no traffic on a country lane. Either way you are heading to the same destination.

Sometimes I can see the big picture and sometimes I can only see the road directly around me.

I am comforted in knowing the exact time of my arrival, and where the road works will slow me down. But what if I go off route!! Much re calibration takes place and eventually it finds me again and sets me on the right road.

Does that sound familiar?

Our life journeys have several twists and turns, much re calibration and setting back on the right path again. Other things happen. and events further down the road, not related to us at the time,  have an impact on our journey.

But we are all gathered up, re calibrated and put on the right road.

A slightly deeper theological reflection on Sermons 2020

Rev’d Sue Martin

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