Old High St. Stephen's, Inverness

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Month: December 2017

No room at the inn?- Sermon for Christmas Eve 2017

Scripture Reading: Luke 2.1-7

No room at the inn?

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

‘…there was no room for them to stay in the inn’.

Those last words of our Bible reading tonight are terrible words. There is no room for a woman, who has travelled a long way, and who is about to give birth. No room for her faithful husband, who has come all from Nazareth with her, because the Emperor Augustus demanded it. No room for the child who is born, not even a place to lay him- just an animal feeding trough.

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The Word is not a Book- reflection for Service of Lessons and Carols, 24 December 2017

The Prologue to John’s Gospel is one of my favourite Bible passages. Normally, it’s the stories I enjoy most. But this most mysterious of passages is the one which puts the stories into context. For this is how we make sense of the Christmas story, how we make sense of all the stories of the Bible, how we make sense of Christ:

‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God’.

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Praising with Mary: Sermon for the Third Sunday of Advent 17 December 2017

Scripture Reading: Luke 1:26-55

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

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She has been called Queen of Heaven, Mother of the Church, Madonna. Her image has appeared on some of the most sublime art ever created- but she has also been the inspiration of some terrible kitsch. She has been regarded by some as a model of womanhood and the perfection of motherhood. But she’s also been seen as been seen as a damaging role model for women. There are Christians who have made her the object of devotion: she has inspired popular prayers and beautiful music. And then there are Christians who just seem to ignore her. She is the Mary, and today we can’t ignore her. Because it’s soon going to be Christmas.

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The Baptist’s Cry: Sermon for the Second Sunday of Advent, 10 December 2017

Scripture Readings: Isaiah 40.1-11

Mark 1:1-8

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

This is the Good News about Jesus Christ, the Son of God (Mark 1.1)

And so begins the Gospel of Mark, the Gospel with which we will largely be living with in the coming Christian year. Mark is thought by the scholars to be the earliest Gospel written. It is certainly the shortest. And Mark is always direct and to the point. His style is vigorous, almost breathless, as he tells the story of Christ without very much in the way of elaboration.

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