Thoughts and reflections

Category: Sermons Page 1 of 2

Advent 3 Sunrise

I’m going to start with the sunrise! Yesterday morning was absolutely wonderful. I was just getting up about 7.00am and looked outside to see a warm reddish pink glow on the skyline, so I said how lovely it was and continued with my usual ‘getting up’ arrangements.

By 7.30am I was outside  looking at the sky, touched by pinkness on the edge of high clouds.

All out of darkness we have light!

Read more on Advent 2021...

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

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

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

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

Heroes and Villains – Archangel St Michael

Mural on entrance wall at Rockingham Centre

Dragons at Rockingham Centre, Southwark

Many stories have a hero and a villain.
Some that come to mind are; Superman and Lex Luther , Batman and The Joker, Harry Potter and Voldemort, Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty, Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader,

What happens in these stories; well let’s take Harry Potter, of course…

As he grows up in his school at Hogwarts he discovers the evil truth about Voldemort, that he is trying to overthrow all that is good in the world of wizardry including the head of the school,  Professor Dumbledore.
But Harry Potter is strong and rises up to those who are used by Voldemort to
do his evil works, eventually Harry Potter meets and fights with Voldemort himself.
Harry Potter the hero and Voldemort the villain.

Sherlock Holmes, the series with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman is one of my favourites.
Sherlock who is able to make amazing deductions from clues, is always aware that
Moriarty is a force that is usually present.
And so then to St Michael, we hear in the book of Revelations that Michael and his angels fight the dragon and his angels and that Satan, the dragon is defeated and thrown down.

So St Michael is the hero!!

And then what about his band of angels, read more in Faith Goes Walkabout, sermons.

Rev’d Sue Martin

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

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


Remembrance November 11th 2017

Sunday 11th November St Nicholas Church Gayton

 Remembrance Sunday

Poppy at King’s Cross London

If we do not remember it can happen again

I think myself as lucky for being part of a generation that has not known war close at hand. But I have know the effect on lives of people close to me, through injuries, illness and often very long term effects of all aspects of war.

Many  have experienced war, both in the past and in recent times.

Nowadays we are always reminded about wars in different parts of the world.

Our toll of lives lost across the world goes on, more soldiers and air personnel killed, more people back home  having lost someone very close to them.

But today is about remembering, Remembrance Service, held every November to mark Armistice Day, the marking of the symbolic end of the First World War on November 11th 1918. And special today as we are here on November 11th.

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

The armistice was signed between the Allies and Germany at Rethondes in France for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front. Although hostilities continued in parts of the Russian Empire and in parts of the old Ottaman Empire.

The cruelest of wars which lasted from 1914 – 1918. A war fought in the most abysmal of conditions and with such an enormous waste of life.

If we remember we hope it will not happen again.

If we do not remember it can happen again

More in Sermons 2017

Rev’d Sue Martin

Rocky ground, thorns and good soil

The Parable of the Sower – Rocky ground, thorns and good soil. We all have time with rocky ground, thorns and good soil.

I would like to tell you about my garden.

Living in a new house for nearly a year now, and builders are great but they are not gardeners! The garden is, well let’s say it’s getting there!

On visits and walks in this village and other villages I see gardens of all sorts.

I have a little categorisation going on in my mind about gardens:

There are those where everything seems to remain in neat and tidy order all the time. How does that work? I’m never really sure how that can happen?

And then there are gardens where disorder has taken over completely, it could be in design, or not sure how to make a garden, or that life has become hard and the long worked over garden has just got out of control.

And then there are  gardens where plants are purchased from the garden centre at least twice a year and order is restored, or the gardens where shrubs and everlasting plants are intertwined with gravel paths and maintenance is very low, but the effect is okay, nothing needed to be done.

And finally the garden where children’s games and toys are everywhere, plants are battling with the  Buzz Light Year toy in the shrubs or tennis balls and footballs long ago punctured scattered across the garden. A grass lawn is usually there too, but with patches and areas where too many ball games have even worn down the grass.

The Parable of the Sower is a bit like modern day gardens. Jesus tells the story of how and where God can find his word present and alive. Jesus used parables as a way to explain the unexplainable, to give a picture in people’s minds of how God can be alive in everyone and how sometimes we are all a little deaf to His voice.

Read more in Sermons 2017

Rev’d Sue Martin

PS The swing is very important for daily reflection… and for looking over the hedge!

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén