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Showing posts from December, 2010

The Visited Planet

A sermon for December 24, 2010Listen, I want to tell you a story.I don’t think it is factual, but it might be true. It begins as all good stories do: “once upon a time…” Back in the olden days, good stories began with “it came to pass in those days…” That’s the old fashioned way of saying “once upon a time.” Anyway, I have a story to tell you, about angels and stars and a baby. It is the same story you hear every time this year, with all the same characters and the same plot. But first I want to tell it from a very different point of view, so come with me as we zoom out from the manger, out farther, and farther from the stable, over the city of Bethlehem, high into the dark night sky, and beyond, beyond time and space and geography into a dimension that we call heaven.Now, listen. I want to tell you a story:Once upon a time a very young angel was being shown round the splendours and glories of the universes by a senior and experienced angel. To tell the truth, the little angel was beg…

Love, Death and Resurrection

Today, on a wintry Saturday, we buried Helen Snow, who died just before her 94th birthday. By all accounts she was the kindest and most loving woman you could ever hope to meet. I've been reading Tom Long's book Accompany Them With Singing, and thinking a lot about the Christian funeral. It seems to me that at a funeral, we need to try to accomplish an awful lot in a very short time: we want to remember, to mourn, to give thanks. And as pastors, we want to somehow capture a handful of hope and pass it gently into the laps of those weeping people on the front row. We try to do that with our words as well as our deeds.1st Corinthians 13: 4-8a, 134 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. 13 And now faith,…