Old High St. Stephen's, Inverness

Welcome to Old High St Stephen's Church, Inverness

Month: August 2015

Jesus and the stranger: a sermon on the Samaritan woman at the well

Scripture Readings: John 4:5-42

In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

We have just listened to a long, even convoluted conversation. But then the best conversations are long and convoluted, as each person tries to understand the other! Jesus and the Samaritan woman he met at the well had a lot to say to each other. And yet this was a conversation which many would have said should never to have taken place.

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Planting a seed- a sermon on some of Jesus' parables of the Kingdom 16 August 2015

Scripture Readings: Matthew 13:24-35

In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

It’s been lovely today to celebrate the Sacrament of Baptism at St Stephen’s, as we brought to the font Noah (who lives in North Kessock) and his cousin Katie (whose dad is with the RAF in England). Baptism is the way we become part of the Church. So when we baptise children, the hope is that one day, somewhere and somehow, they will find their way for themselves into being part of the church, and being followers of Jesus.
This week, children across Scotland will return to school, and next Sunday our Sunday School children will return to St Stephen’s. It’s very difficult to involve children and young people in the church nowadays, for all sorts of reasons. Often, sadly, children and their families do not feel welcome in church. The worship of the church seems boring, the activities on offer don’t compete well with the many other activities open to youngsters today. Above all, we are living in a society which seems to have lost a sense of the sacred, where religion is treated with disdain, or ignored.

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Email from the Moderator on the situation at Calais

The  Moderator of the General Assembly this week wrote to all Ministers of the Church of Scotland, following a statement he and other church leaders had made on the situation at Calais.
Here is the text of the email.

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The end of religion-a sermon on the Parable of the Prodigal Son

Scripture Readings: Romans 3.9-18, 21-24
Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

One of the most controversial issues in theology is the question of whether the writings of St Paul truly reflect the teachings of Jesus. For Jesus, as we meet him in the Gospels, is a man of action- striding out across the country, healing and caring for people, and preaching usually by telling stories. But Paul stands accused of having taken the original, pure good news, and turned it into some kind of metaphysical system. Jesus tells stories- Paul writes about abstractions.
But I think part of the problem is that Paul’s letters are often trying to deal with the questions of his own time. He’s talking about Jesus by through a fog of first century controversy. Yet faced with these problems, Paul asks, ‘What does Jesus Christ mean in this situation?’

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