Advent

Four weeks of preparation and getting ready! That’s a long time even for those, like me who are not that organised, all those endless jobs that need doing before Christmas are sitting in my lists, staring at me every day!

I met with a friend this week who has everything done and finished, just waiting now for Christmas to arrive! At first that seems wonderful but what would Christmas be like if we had it all completed before we had even started?

So, I give myself permission to remain unorganised, have many jobs left to do, and presents to wrap. But in the midst of that I hope to meet friends along the way to share time with, to see sparkling lights brightening the dark skies, to think of just how lucky we are and to find a time each day to thank God for the arrival of his son Jesus into the world over 2000 years ago.

A prayer…

Slow down Advent, and take time to look inwards at our hopes and fears, to look outwards at a world in need of hope and to look Godward confidant in his love and committment to the world.

Amen

Rev’d Sue Martin

Read more at Faith goesWalkabout advent 

 

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Remembrance 2018 – 100 Years

Poppies made by the Girl Guides,Gayton

One hundred years ago the Armistice was signed between the Allies of World War 1 and the German Empire. The cessation of hostilities took effect at 11.00 am on 11th November 1918.

This year marks the centenary and Remembrance Day is commemorated across the UK.

In our Benefice on Norfolk, we held two main services with packed churches and two minutes silence at 11.00am. Even the traffic stopped on the road for us this year. In the evening  two large bonfires were held and again huge numbers of people gathered to watch and the church bells rang out at 6.50pm to join in across the UK.

This was followed by singing the old songs and enjoying a glass of wine and some cakes and listening to stores of people from our village who went to war and never returned.

The first verse of the poem by Rupert Brooke, written in 1914, is a reminder of that time and the young men who gave their lives in the trenches in France and Belgium.

If I should die, think only this of me:

That there’s some corner of a foreign field

That is forever England. There shall be

In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;

A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,

Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,

A body of England’s breathing English air,

Washed by rivers, blest by suns of home.

 

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,

A pulse in the eternal mind, no less

Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;

Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;

And laughter, learnt if friends; and gentleness,

In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

Rupert Brooke 1914

Rev’d Sue Martin

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The Bread of Life

 

What does it mean I am the bread of life?  John 6:24-35

Jesus had left the disciples behind for a while and they had found him on the other side of the lake, Lake Galilee is very large so it would have taken some time to have found him.

You know those times when you just fancy a few minutes on your own to have a coffee or to have time with your thoughts, and then someone comes along and finds you.

And then what do they do, they invariably ask you a question.

The disciples did the same with Jesus, “When did you come here?”

Jesus had just performed the miracle of making the five loaves and two fishes  feed a crowd of five thousand.

Presumably he had slipped away when the disciples were busy handing out the food, everyone was hungry.

Jesus doesn’t answer directly to the question from the disciples, that was not the important question. The answer that Jesus gave was about bread, but not just the bread that we eat with fish, but about the bread of life…

Read more on Sermons 2017-2018

Rev’d Sue Martin

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The Boys in the Cave in Northern Thailand

The picture of boys in India praying for boys in the cave. 


This is a story that went straight to people’s hearts, the successsful rescue was everybody’s hope. What does it tell us…

There is the respect for human life.

There is the willing of nations and ordinary people for a successful rescue.

There are the rescuers with their expertise and determination that this is just their job. But one of them lost his life.

The parents who laid no blame on anyone

The boys who showed such courage and strength.

The coach who had led them into the cave and it had all gone horribly wrong.

Read more in Sermons 2018

Rev’d Sue Martin

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Who Touched me?

The Woman who touched Jesus, Healing of the Woman with a Haemorrhage.  Mark 5: 21-end  

Who touched me?

In a crowd of people, Jesus asks who touched my clothes?

Have you ever been in a crowd of people, with people getting far too close, squashing in from all directions, crowds can be very unsettling anyway.

The disciples said to Jesus, “You see the crowd pressing in on you, how can you say, who touched me?”

How often do we sense that feeling of connectedness? But do ever do anything about it? Not that we ever have the power to perform such miracles. But every day occurrences leave us with a chance to make a difference.

Extract from Sermon on 1st July.

Rev’d Sue Martin

 

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Anniversary of Ordination

I was ordained priest 9 years ago on 4th July 2009 at Norwich Cathedral. My first celebration of the Eucharist was at All Saint’s Church Ashwicken. Today, 9 years later I celebrated Eucharist on 1st July 2018, at All Saint’s Church with a wonderful group of people. Amazing!!

Time for a celebration drink and prayers for all the blessings received and the places I have been in the last 9 years.

And the journey and adventure just keeps on going…

Rev’d Sue Martin

Diocese of Norwich

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Pentecost, Holy Spirit and Emails

How to stay in touch, by email or the Holy Spirit!  

Let’s imagine for a moment…

Email from office@heaven.central.

To Peter and  disciples, Please all meet together on Sunday in Jerusalem at the Feast of Weeks. There will be people from many different countries speaking in many languages. More information to follow.

Email from peter@fishermen.galilee Many thanks but can you give more info please about where, when and what. We have been in upstairs rooms for quite a while now.

Email from office@heaven.central All will be revealed when you get there. No need for further info,if you really feel in need then visit

www.howtomakecontactwiththeHolySpirit,com

Email from peter@fishermen.galilee  can’t get a signal or WiFi at the moment. Help!

Email from office@heaven.central  Hi Peter, expect to be truly amazed. You are about to start something so huge.

Email from peter@fishermen.galilee  More info needed asap. Tried the website www.howtomakecontactwiththeholyspirit.com but couldn’t access the right pages. Please send password straight away. I have my iPad ready.

Email from office@heaven.central  Hi Peter, new password sent over, only active for an hour, need to change asap. But too late now as the Holy Spirit is on his way. Check out stuff for 3000 baptisms.

Read more on Sermons 2018

Rev’d Sue Martin

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Thomas the disciple and Paddington the Bear

 

 

Some time ago the film Paddington Bear 2 came out. If, like me you are fan of Paddington, you will know the story and the character of Paddington Bear.

Michael Bond was the author of the Paddington Bear stories, apart from Paddington 2 as he died last year.

I was very fortunate to have gone to his Memorial service at St Paul’s Cathedral. It was amazing and many famous people spoke of Michael Bond and also of his most loved character, Paddington.

Preaching at St Paul’s, the Precentor of St Paul’s, Canon Michael Hampel suggested that Paddington’s story was a “kind of parable…. The wisdom of the world is turned on its head and a refugee bear who is accident prone and clearly very different from everyone else around him came to exemplify a very different kind of wisdom. It’s one that says being different is ok: that being cast adrift in the world requires the human response of rescue and that accidents happen, because we are all human.”

Some phrases in there…

A kind of parable,

The wisdom of the world is turned on its head

A refugee bear… is clearly very different from everyone else

Exemplifies a different kind of wisdom

Being cast adrift requires a human response

And accidents happen because we are all human (although Paddington was actually a bear!)

Thomas and the disciples were all human, so like us believing without seeing is often hard.

Read more  in Sermons on Faith Goes Walkabout

Rev’d Sue Martin

 

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Happy Easter

What is Easter all about? Why do we have so much chocolate?

 CBBC explains the history of Easter, eggs and chocolate. 

 A weekend of wet weather in the UK could certainly turn us all into eating chocolate.

But the real Easter message is about Jesus, risen from the dead, alive and with us, here, now and forever.

The cross that we wear and the cross that he bore gives us the light to walk out into the world and proclaim him Lord, It takes away the power of darkness, it takes away the things that we do wrong and leads us in to an eternal life.

It is a love proclaimed, God who sent his only Son to be with us to show his love for all his people.

We are  lucky indeed

Rev’d Sue Martin

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Good Friday

The image is of the foot of the cross in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, which was built over the site of the crucifixion and Golgotha. We visited the church on our pilgrimage in 2015 and a fellow pilgrim took the photo of me, I was unaware at the time.

Arriving at Good Friday, the story of Jesus takes its inevitable twist into suffering and the passion of our Lord.

If we had been there would we have acted any different to the crowd? Maybe at best we would have walked away.

We know that Jesus was left by his disciples and followers as they hid from the soldiers and the baying crowds. But what would we have done?

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died.
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were an offering far too small; Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.
Isaac Watts(1674-1748)

Golgotha

Rev’d Sue Martin

 

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