Decisions, decisions, decisions

February 4, 2013

St Barnabas and St Michael’s 3rd February 2013

Reading – Genesis 13:1-8

Decisions, decisions, decisions. Our life is full of decisions. Over the past few months I have become profoundly aware that many of us face deep and difficult decisions, sometimes with no easy solution. We face decisions as a church: how to develop an effective work with our young people, how to make best use of the facilities at St Barnabas, how to raise up leaders for the urgent gospel work in these two parishes and beyond. We face decisions on a personal level: where to live, what job to do, how to spend our money.

So how does an ancient book written over the course of many centuries help us in our decision making? Last week I preached a big sermon on a big subject – the theme of covenant which unites the Old Testament and points forward to the New. We sometimes need the big picture of Scripture so we understand just what a mighty, majestic and gracious God we worship. But we also need to be able to connect Scripture to the situations we face, to know how to translate our faith into the nitty-gritty, everyday decisions which are so important, but often so difficult.

Let me start, then, by focusing on one verse from our Old Testament reading this morning, a verse which is perhaps quite easy to overlook: Lot looked up and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, towards Zoar. (Genesis 13:10).

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God of the covenant

January 28, 2013

St Barnabas and St Michael’s 27th January 2013

Readings – Genesis 12:1-9; Luke 1:67-80

It’s always frustrating not having the big picture.

Perhaps you have tried to assemble a piece of furniture and all you have to guide you is a badly printed diagram with a few random letters which allegedly are supposed to tell you which bit of wood goes into which hole.

Or perhaps you’ve found the pieces of a jigsaw all neatly bagged up but with no picture showing how you they all go together.

Or perhaps your teacher has set you a piece of homework and you realise she hasn’t given you enough information to answer the question.

You try for a while to figure it out. You make a few attempts to work out what you’re supposed to do. But in the end you just have to give up. It’s all too difficult.

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Journeying with God 1 – The Big Picture

January 21, 2013

St Barnabas, Jan 20th 2013

Readings – Genesis 11:1-9 (Colossians 3:1-17)

Last week Tim talked about the importance of baptism as the foundation for Christian unity. But he also told us that across the world there are as many as 33,000 Christian denominations – he spelled it out a bit, since while some are orthodox, others are cults, some are catholic and others are protestant. But statistics reveal that among those who call themselves Christian, there are many, many differences, some of them mutually exclusive (that is, you can’t have it both ways and both be called Christian!).

Why so many? And why such fundamental differences? This is the first sermon of a new teaching series called ‘Journeying with God’ in which we’ll be following the story of Abraham. But the story starts here in Genesis 11, many years before Abraham was born.

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