Sermons & Prayers

Being Saved

There have been books and books written on this- what it is to be saved (including a chapter in my own forthcoming book) – here is the text for the Weem version of the sermon – who knows if the Logierait version will bear any comparison.

The Jailbreak – Lent part 5

This is on Paul and Silas escaping from the Philippine jail – what does jail mean, what did that story mean, and a remarkable and miraculous story from the Church in China.

Friend At Midnight

Sermons have been unwritten and verbal affairs for a while. This one’s a bit more literary (a bit) – on the friend at midnight and thanks as ever to Kenney Bailley’s commentary on Luke’s Gospel, the Parables and Middle-Eastern village life.

Christmas Disturbance – Hogmanay 2023

A last sermon for the year, taking in Ramah, Bethlehem, and difficult stories.

Mary – Advent Number 3

Goodness, this has been a while – here is a sermon, with a few thoughts on Mary, and sensing the awe.

Seeds – 20th August

It’s been a while – a short address on seeds.

Matthew – The Sabbath – 30th July

Thinking through ethics, and what is the good.

Matthew – The Blind Men, The Mute Man, The Harvest

The energy of Jesus’ mission here, the role for the disciples, the way the field belongs to him.  This is on Matthew 9:27-38

Elijah – Part 4

I was surprised at how much of this story is about the reaction of Elisha, going through loss and grief and the possibility of the new.

Elijah – Part 3

Here he is, with everything seemingly undone, meeting God in surprising silence.

Elijah – Part 2 – Contest on Carmel

The trust, the struggle, the gospel moment.

Elijah Part 1 – and also Trinity Sunday

I love the stories of Elijah… here is the provocative story of the widow’s son.

If you love me (Aftermath part 3)

On John 14:15-24 – this is a very rough Monday draft – it will be completely different on Wednesday, and possibly by Sunday look something like this again.

In the Upper Room (Aftermath part 2)

This is on John 14 – processing the aftermath of Easter by thinking about the beforemath.

In the Aftermath…

Of Easter, we look at John 10, the Good Shepherd, and the shepherd psalm which came before it.

Easter – 9th April

Writing this in the depths of  Maundy Thursday, this is where we are headed.

Palm Sunday – 2nd April

Palm Sunday is a Victory Parade – with a donkey. and the Longer Version for Sunday morning.

Overhearing Intimacy – 26th March

This is a reflection on Jesus’ Prayer in John Chapter 17.

The Seed – 12th March

Here’s the Friday version of The seed… a favourite text, deeply significant.

The Anointing – 5th March

This will be the sermon in Logierait – or at least this is the Friday version.  Mary anointing Jesus at Bethany in John 12.

Nehemiah 6 – February 19th 2023

An opening prayer, and we’re there – except we’re not.  On arriving at the destination and discovering there is another summit to be climbed.

Nehemiahs 4 & 5

There is the sabotage, and then there is the internal reform.  Edwin Friedman and Frederick Barth featuring heavily.

Nehemiah 3 – January 29th

The goldsmiths, the perfume makers, the daughters, the dodgy bosses – the story of the building is the story of the builders. And with a opening prayer.

Nehemiah 2 – January 22nd

The risk of it, the energy of it, the boldness, the first move, the journey, the gathering, the decision….

Nehemiah 1 – January 15th

I have an interesting relationship with Nehemiah – some parts I love, some of the later parts are very troubling.  But his is a text for renewal (which includes renewal of buildings – because buildings are walls are not just bricks, they are places of sanctuary), and so this is part 1 – praying the problem, not selling the solution.    Here’s also the opening prayer for Weem.

Advent 4 – December 18th

God’s surprise, it disturbs and topples and makes room for newness.

Advent 3 – December 11th

The great reversals, from generation to generation, with Mary.

Advent 2 – December 4th

Christmas prep with fiery John… the disrupter who believes everyone can change.

Advent 1 – November 27th

Here is a coming to terms with Advent, and why the first Advent readings aren’t very Christmassy.

November 20th

Oh Paul, Paul, Paul – you are still making us think about hard things, saying them in ways which seem more than difficult to put into practice, what are you telling us here?  What are we do to do?  Sermon on 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 (and parts of chapter 6 as well)

November 13th

On the weapons of our warfare, and the spirit powers of conflict.  Based on the armour of God in Ephesians 6.  Sermon is here.

October 30th

Paul being a fool for Christ, and a slightly rejected parent, and how these images can create a more nuanced vision of leadership… 1 Corinthians 4:8-16 is the text, and the sermon is here.

October 16th

Some thoughts on the building metaphor in 1 Corinthians 3…

October 9th

What was it that Paul did in Corinth that enabled people to grow, what was that wholehearted ministry that he completely gave himself to, that somehow seems to complete and full blooded compared to the way in which we too often live. This is on 1 Corinthians 3:1-9.

September 25th

This is us continuing in Corinthians – looking at the word of the cross which destroys all the powers and ranks and privileges of this world, and demands that we walk in our brokenness, and in community where such things count for nothing – because they are nothing; it is the weak and the unknown of the world who become something – this is 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:9.

September 11th

Division and Unity in Corinth – based on 1 Corinthians 1:10-17

September 4th

We begin our series on 1 Corinthians, first of all looking at Call and Gift, Grace and Peace.  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

August 21st

In the dust with Jacob and is it a man, is it God, is it angel, is a mass of bodies, who is speaking and when, and how he is blessed.  There’s also the opening prayer here.

August 7th

Into August and still Grace and Genesis – with this reflection on the tower.

July 24th and 31st – Cain and Abel and Noah

It’s been the curious grace of Genesis this past while – first of all with Cain and Abel and the Babbadook, and then with Noah this coming Sunday – the 31st – a joint service with folks from Strathtay and Logierait and St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.

July 10th – Damascus Road

This is Paul on the Damascus Road in Acts 9 – the sermon which will be preached in Strathtay on 10th July.  The holiday club sermon will be a bit different.

July 3rd – The Psalms (Part 3)

Psalm 48 – on Zion.

June 26th – The Psalms (Part 2)

This is the story of a famous pairing – Psalm 130 and Romans 3.  Forgiveness through the gift of Jesus.

June 19th – Into the Psalms

We’re beginning a three part series in the Psalms – Psalm 107, 130 and 48

So this week it’s Psalm 107 and the story of Hesed

June 12th – Trinity and Pentecost 2

This was at Tenandry, on Romans 8 and St Francis.

June 5th – Pentecost Sunday

On the remarkable sermon of Peter in Acts 2. and yearning for the Holy Spirit, even when we are presbyterians

Sunday 29th May

It’s Christian jail breaks this week – God who loves to break the bars, shatters the stocks, open the locks.

Sunday 15th May

Here it is – a latest draft of this Sunday on Cornelius in Acts 10 and 11 – I love this story, the more I’ve studied it, the more I’ve loved it.  Especially for folks who might not make it on Sunday due to the Etape flying through the Parish.

(Note that this sermon was updated on the morning of the 15th, an earlier version was up prior to that).

Sunday 8th May

Once again, it’s been a while.  Apologies if you’ve been refreshing this page since the 24th March.

This is the forthcoming sermon on Tabitha/Dorcas from Acts 9:36-43 – the only “discipless” in the New Testament.  It will be preached at Strathtay.

Sunday 24th March

Here is the sermon on In Rest You Shall Be Saved

Sunday 13th March

Here is the sermon on Lamentations and the Ukraine.

Sunday 20th February

Goodness, it’s been a while since this has been updated – apologies if you’ve been waiting.

Today’s sermon drew a lot of inspiration from the story of Louie Zamperini, and his prayer for help in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

You can read Louie’s biography by ordering from the Watermill here, or from Eden.

Here’s the opening prayer, the sermon, and the prayer for others which took a nautical theme (inspired by amongst other things the work of the Sailor’s society and the incredible work they do supporting sailors). – Neil

Sunday 30th January

Carrying on our series from Brian McLaren’s naked spirituality

Here is this Sunday on “Thanks”

And here is last Sunday’s sermon which combines the words “O!” and “Here”

Sunday 9th January

Turning the water into wine – the emptiness, the shame, the brilliant wine

And a prayer for the beginning of the year.

Fourth Sunday in Advent – 19th December

The Surprise, The Gift, The Change, The Story – on the brilliance of Mary.

Second and Third Sunday in Advent 2021 – 5th and 12th December

An advent prayer inspired by the story of Elizabeth and Zechariah.

And some thoughts on Zechariah’s struggle to believe and his song.

First Sunday in Advent 2021 – 28th November

On Paul’s (hyper)eager yearning for the Thessalonians and for the return of Christ and the saints…