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

Posted in Epiphany, Faith goes walkabout, Sermons, theological, Uncategorized | Comments Off on In the beginning…

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

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Year of the Parcel 2020

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

 

Posted in Advent, Christmas | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Advent 4 Mary and Elizabeth

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

Posted in Advent, Christmas, Faith goes walkabout | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Shepherds, Sheep and Angels

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

Posted in Advent, Faith goes walkabout, Sermons | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Christ the King The Sunday before Advent

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

Posted in Faith goes walkabout, Holy Land, pilgrimage, Sermons | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Caesarea Philippi

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

Posted in Faith goes walkabout, Sermons | Tagged , | Comments Off on On the Right Road

Zindzi Mandela

I only met Zindzi Mandela once,and in that few hours could feel the depth of love and emotion that she felt for her family and the cause of the Mandela Legacy Foundation. Her parents Nelson and Winnie Mandela were an enormous force in the anti apartheid movement in South Africa and Zindzi followed in her parents footsteps to lead, to make changes and to ensure all South Africans have a chance in life.

It was enormously sad that Zindzi , so full of life, died on Monday 13th July 2020 at the age of 59. Called away far too soon and she will be missed enormously by her family, supporters and by the wider world, where she was continuing to make a difference through determination and love.

Many projects are underway through Zindzi,  an anti- apartheid protester from an early age, and her ability to engage and make things work, like her father, Nelson who said ”

It always seems impossible until it’s done” – Nelson Mandela.

In 2018 we met Zindzi Mandela at South Africa House, Trafalgar Square, London at the publication of her book with her great grandchildren.  What a special day and invited through our work based organisation Books Go Walkabout,  and one which I will remember as a great honour.

“Grandad Mandela “by Zazi, Ziweli and Zindzi Mandela, with illustrations by Sean Qualls, published by Frances Lincoln Books

Rest in peace Zindzi and rise in glory.

Rev’d Sue Martin

Posted in Faith and business, Faith goes walkabout | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Zindzi Mandela

An invisibility cloak! Pentecost

Pentecost, rushing winds, tongues of fire, speaking in different tongues, but how else does the Holy Spirit work?  Where is this Holy Spirit?

It can be rather like an invisibility cloak, you know the one that Harry Potter uses to get about and see things when others can’t see him? Through our own invisibility cloak, of the Holy Spirit,  we can see a world that is beautiful, full of God’s love and in which we can take a real place.  So long as we let the Holy Spirit surround us and come within us we can see a world that is full of richness in spirit and in love.

Without it we see a world full of fear, greed and looking only after our own selves.

How many times  in this lockdown have people shown little acts of kindness, not the great big things but the odd word in the street, across the road, a phone call, a card through the post, collecting the shopping for others, and the list goes on. In our own village in Norfolk, a new group helps others who have to stay at home and are vulnerable. Truly a good thing to do.

Pope Francis in his recent address says Vene, Spirito Santo, Come Holy Spirit.

 

Read more in Sermons 2020…

Rev’d Sue Martin

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on An invisibility cloak! Pentecost

VE Day 8th May 2020

VE Day 2020

The silence that says it all…

The lives lost, the lives changed, the lives that would never be the same again.

Seventy-five years on we remain united in isolation, glorious in survival, and thankful for all that we have received.

Because of bravery, courage, determination and spirit we can go forward with joy in our hearts.

Father, we give thanks, we hold honour and strength in our hearts and we let the Holy Spirit work within us to show that same love for each other and our world.

Rev’d Sue Martin

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on VE Day 8th May 2020