Category: Sermons

Sir, we wish to see Jesus

Jeremiah 31:31-34 Hebrews 5:5-10 John 12:20-32 “Sir, we wish to see Jesus”. Imagine the simple request echoing along the corridors of church bureaucracy. It is passed from office to office, from secretary to secretary. It is left on voice-mails, e-mailed through to headquarters, scribbled on post-it notes to type up later. They phone the biblical […]

Two into one?

Ephesians 2:11-22 In the north of England, two great rivers rise. One begins high in north Pennines on Alston Moor, flowing through Haltwhistle and Haydon Bridge to Hexham. The other rises on the Scottish border, and flows through Kielder Forest and Bellingham to Hexham, where the two rivers join. The first river is called the […]

How intelligent is intelligence?

1 Corinthians 1:18-25 In 1953 Francis Crick and James Watson published the double helix structure of DNA, which has been responsible for huge leaps forward in health care and criminal detection. It was not without its controversy as it was based upon unpublished work of Rosalind Franklin without her knowledge or consent, yet they won […]

The perfect pattern

Mark 2:9-15 A number of years ago the young Englishman Justin Rose nearly won the open golf championship just a day or two before his nineteenth birthday. Not only was he the youngest player ever to have reached such a position, but he was still an amateur. Despite his amateur status he became a multi-millionaire […]

The Rainbow

Genesis 9:8-17 Mark 2:9-15 Many years ago, the clown Roly Bain came to this church to perform his presentation of the Christian story using clowning. When he offered prayers, he used a small pot of bubble mixture, and as he blew the bubbles he invited us to look at the bubbles and drew our attention […]


Mark 9:2-13 Transformation and transfiguration are not experiences to be taken lightly or dismissed as religious nonsense. There are events in all our lives which do not have simple explanations; things that happen to us that we don’t entirely comprehend. Sometimes they are good things, unforgettable, life-enhancing moments. Sometimes they are terrifying. Sometimes we take […]

The new teacher

Mark 1:21-28 Former US President Jimmy Carter was on a speaking tour of Japan. He told a little joke and, after the interpreter had finished translating, the room erupted in laughter. Carter was both surprised and pleased. After the speech an old friend of Carter’s who spoke Japanese told him why everyone had laughed so […]


The story of Jonah and the big fish 1 Samuel 3.1-10 Mark 1.14-20 It was December 1996, slightly more than half my lifetime ago, when I attended what the United Reformed Church calls a National Assessment Conference, a major part of the process of discerning a candidate’s call to the ministry. This was long before […]


Jonah 3:1-5, 10 Today we heard part of a mythical tale – the story of Jonah and the big fish. It might be a true story of an historical event, but that isn’t the point. It was included in the Bible because it imparts a strong moral message: hat good will triumph over evil, the […]