Registered Charity Number 1151418
Recently we have been thinking a lot about not being insulated from the realities of the world in our life of discipleship. As Christians, we are indisputably called to be open, sensitive to the world. We are called to love the world, and to struggle with and on behalf of those who do not have a voice, or who do not have their freedom. And we know this because of Isaiah 58. Isaiah, the prophet writing hundreds of years before Christ’s birth, speaks words of such importance that really they should be one of the key texts that every Christians holds dear and knows in their heart. Just as when someone says Psalm 23 you think ‘The Lord is my Shepherd, so when someone says Isaiah 58, we should know exactly what these words are. Because they cut to heart of the Christian faith, to the heart of human dignity, to the heart of God’s intentions. They remind us that people are not free. They remind us that people around the world suffer because of the plastic we use or the journeys we make. This isn’t actually the Old Testament reading for this morning – it was set for Ash Wednesday – but it is so important, I wanted us all to hear these words again this morning. Because we are embarking upon our season of Lent, and these words present us with a question: our Lentern discipline, whatever it might be, is it actually going to do anything? Lent is not, New Years’ Resolution Take 2. Isaiah makes us ask, with our Lentern discipline: Is it going to bring ourselves so much closer to God that our priorities and desires align with His? Is it going to help build the Kingdom of God? Because my friends, the Kingdom of God is love and mercy and justice and peace. And if the world is not like that – and it isn’t - then we need to take seriously God’s call to change it. And this, I promise you, is for every one of us. Wherever we are on our journey of faith. However old or young we might be. God calls us to do things that will impact upon this world. So, this Lent, we are going to be a part of fighting Modern Day Slavery, and we are going to go on that journey together. As many of you will have heard me say, fighting Modern Day Slavery is the Bishop of London’s Lent Appeal. We are to do this in two ways: firstly, by changing our behaviour, and secondly, by being generous to charities that work to combat slavery. We often think slavery was abolished in the 18th Century after the work of William Wilberforce and others. Well it may now be illegal, but slavery continues in our world today in a variety of hidden ways: people are enslaved for forced labour, for the sex trade, for domestic servitude, and forced begging. In the UK it is estimated that there are 11,700 people enslaved each year in this way. Worldwide, the estimate is over 45 million people kept as slaves. We, like our ancestors, can be part of bringing an end to slavery. We can pray for those trapped in slavery, for those exploiting them, and for the authorities who deal with these issues. We can support charities working with those who have been trafficked or enslaved. We can talk about the issue with our friends and family. We can learn about the way slavery is included in the supply chains for our food and clothing. We can do all these things, and we are going to, over the coming weeks. But the first one is, that we are all going to learn to spot the signs of slavery. That is why you have your tiny leaflet. It outlines what modern slavery is, and how we can look for it in our community. I want you to read this, and then keep it somewhere where you will see it, where you can refer to it, where it can remind you. In our Gospel reading today, Jesus, in his earthly ministry, was never insulated from the world. He goes into the wilderness, and He fasts in a way that brings Him closer to His heavenly Father; for He is reliant solely on him. And He does this as the preparation for His ministry; this is the first thing He does after He gets baptized. And from there He builds the Kingdom of God. A kingdom which is built of freedom, and liberation; spiritual liberation, as Paul speaks about today to the Romans, and practical liberation, as Isaiah points us towards. May our fast, our Lentern discipline, help bring the Kingdom of God to those who so desperately need it. Amen.
Sermon preached on Sunday 10th March
Gospel Reading Luke 4.1-13 The Temptation of Jesus Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.’ Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, “One does not live by bread alone.”’ Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And the devil said to him, ‘To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.’ Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.”’ Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written, “He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you”, and “On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.”’ Jesus answered him, ‘It is said, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”’ When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.
Registered Charity Number 1151418
Recently we have been thinking a lot about not being insulated from the realities of the world in our life of discipleship. As Christians, we are indisputably called to be open, sensitive to the world. We are called to love the world, and to struggle with and on behalf of those who do not have a voice, or who do not have their freedom. And we know this because of Isaiah 58. Isaiah, the prophet writing hundreds of years before Christ’s birth, speaks words of such importance that really they should be one of the key texts that every Christians holds dear and knows in their heart. Just as when someone says Psalm 23 you think ‘The Lord is my Shepherd, so when someone says Isaiah 58, we should know exactly what these words are. Because they cut to heart of the Christian faith, to the heart of human dignity, to the heart of God’s intentions. They remind us that people are not free. They remind us that people around the world suffer because of the plastic we use or the journeys we make. This isn’t actually the Old Testament reading for this morning – it was set for Ash Wednesday – but it is so important, I wanted us all to hear these words again this morning. Because we are embarking upon our season of Lent, and these words present us with a question: our Lentern discipline, whatever it might be, is it actually going to do anything? Lent is not, New Years’ Resolution Take 2. Isaiah makes us ask, with our Lentern discipline: Is it going to bring ourselves so much closer to God that our priorities and desires align with His? Is it going to help build the Kingdom of God? Because my friends, the Kingdom of God is love and mercy and justice and peace. And if the world is not like that – and it isn’t - then we need to take seriously God’s call to change it. And this, I promise you, is for every one of us. Wherever we are on our journey of faith. However old or young we might be. God calls us to do things that will impact upon this world. So, this Lent, we are going to be a part of fighting Modern Day Slavery, and we are going to go on that journey together. As many of you will have heard me say, fighting Modern Day Slavery is the Bishop of London’s Lent Appeal. We are to do this in two ways: firstly, by changing our behaviour, and secondly, by being generous to charities that work to combat slavery. We often think slavery was abolished in the 18th Century after the work of William Wilberforce and others. Well it may now be illegal, but slavery continues in our world today in a variety of hidden ways: people are enslaved for forced labour, for the sex trade, for domestic servitude, and forced begging. In the UK it is estimated that there are 11,700 people enslaved each year in this way. Worldwide, the estimate is over 45 million people kept as slaves. We, like our ancestors, can be part of bringing an end to slavery. We can pray for those trapped in slavery, for those exploiting them, and for the authorities who deal with these issues. We can support charities working with those who have been trafficked or enslaved. We can talk about the issue with our friends and family. We can learn about the way slavery is included in the supply chains for our food and clothing. We can do all these things, and we are going to, over the coming weeks. But the first one is, that we are all going to learn to spot the signs of slavery. That is why you have your tiny leaflet. It outlines what modern slavery is, and how we can look for it in our community. I want you to read this, and then keep it somewhere where you will see it, where you can refer to it, where it can remind you. In our Gospel reading today, Jesus, in his earthly ministry, was never insulated from the world. He goes into the wilderness, and He fasts in a way that brings Him closer to His heavenly Father; for He is reliant solely on him. And He does this as the preparation for His ministry; this is the first thing He does after He gets baptized. And from there He builds the Kingdom of God. A kingdom which is built of freedom, and liberation; spiritual liberation, as Paul speaks about today to the Romans, and practical liberation, as Isaiah points us towards. May our fast, our Lentern discipline, help bring the Kingdom of God to those who so desperately need it. Amen.
Sermon preached on Sunday 10th March
Gospel Reading Luke 4.1-13 The Temptation of Jesus Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.’ Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, “One does not live by bread alone.”’ Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And the devil said to him, ‘To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.’ Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.”’ Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written, “He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you”, and “On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.”’ Jesus answered him, ‘It is said, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”’ When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.
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Registered Charity Number 1151418
Recently we have been thinking a lot about not being insulated from the realities of the world in our life of discipleship. As Christians, we are indisputably called to be open, sensitive to the world. We are called to love the world, and to struggle with and on behalf of those who do not have a voice, or who do not have their freedom. And we know this because of Isaiah 58. Isaiah, the prophet writing hundreds of years before Christ’s birth, speaks words of such importance that really they should be one of the key texts that every Christians holds dear and knows in their heart. Just as when someone says Psalm 23 you think ‘The Lord is my Shepherd, so when someone says Isaiah 58, we should know exactly what these words are. Because they cut to heart of the Christian faith, to the heart of human dignity, to the heart of God’s intentions. They remind us that people are not free. They remind us that people around the world suffer because of the plastic we use or the journeys we make. This isn’t actually the Old Testament reading for this morning – it was set for Ash Wednesday – but it is so important, I wanted us all to hear these words again this morning. Because we are embarking upon our season of Lent, and these words present us with a question: our Lentern discipline, whatever it might be, is it actually going to do anything? Lent is not, New Years’ Resolution Take 2. Isaiah makes us ask, with our Lentern discipline: Is it going to bring ourselves so much closer to God that our priorities and desires align with His? Is it going to help build the Kingdom of God? Because my friends, the Kingdom of God is love and mercy and justice and peace. And if the world is not like that – and it isn’t - then we need to take seriously God’s call to change it. And this, I promise you, is for every one of us. Wherever we are on our journey of faith. However old or young we might be. God calls us to do things that will impact upon this world. So, this Lent, we are going to be a part of fighting Modern Day Slavery, and we are going to go on that journey together. As many of you will have heard me say, fighting Modern Day Slavery is the Bishop of London’s Lent Appeal. We are to do this in two ways: firstly, by changing our behaviour, and secondly, by being generous to charities that work to combat slavery. We often think slavery was abolished in the 18th Century after the work of William Wilberforce and others. Well it may now be illegal, but slavery continues in our world today in a variety of hidden ways: people are enslaved for forced labour, for the sex trade, for domestic servitude, and forced begging. In the UK it is estimated that there are 11,700 people enslaved each year in this way. Worldwide, the estimate is over 45 million people kept as slaves. We, like our ancestors, can be part of bringing an end to slavery. We can pray for those trapped in slavery, for those exploiting them, and for the authorities who deal with these issues. We can support charities working with those who have been trafficked or enslaved. We can talk about the issue with our friends and family. We can learn about the way slavery is included in the supply chains for our food and clothing. We can do all these things, and we are going to, over the coming weeks. But the first one is, that we are all going to learn to spot the signs of slavery. That is why you have your tiny leaflet. It outlines what modern slavery is, and how we can look for it in our community. I want you to read this, and then keep it somewhere where you will see it, where you can refer to it, where it can remind you. In our Gospel reading today, Jesus, in his earthly ministry, was never insulated from the world. He goes into the wilderness, and He fasts in a way that brings Him closer to His heavenly Father; for He is reliant solely on him. And He does this as the preparation for His ministry; this is the first thing He does after He gets baptized. And from there He builds the Kingdom of God. A kingdom which is built of freedom, and liberation; spiritual liberation, as Paul speaks about today to the Romans, and practical liberation, as Isaiah points us towards. May our fast, our Lentern discipline, help bring the Kingdom of God to those who so desperately need it. Amen.
Sermon preached on Sunday 10th March
Gospel Reading Luke 4.1-13 The Temptation of Jesus Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.’ Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, “One does not live by bread alone.”’ Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And the devil said to him, ‘To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.’ Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.”’ Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written, “He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you”, and “On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.”’ Jesus answered him, ‘It is said, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”’ When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.