The story of Zacchaeus. Not

Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost, October 30 2016 Isaiah 1.10-18; Psalm 32; 2 Thessalonians 1.1-4, 11-12; Luke 19.1-10 Rev Kate McDonald Reynolds, Scottish Episcopal Church The American Presbyterian minister Eugene Peterson wrote on the social media site Twitter a while ago, “The Bible is a book that reads us, even as we read it. It’s an…

Two kinds of people

Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost, October 23 2016 Joel 2.23-32; 2 Timothy 4.6-8, 16-18; Luke 18.9-14 Páraic Réamonn, Church of Scotland Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew in the days of the second temple, calling his people to repentance and renewal. Luke the evangelist was a gentile Christian two generations later, writing his Gospel and the…

The arc of history

Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost, October 16 2016 Jeremiah 31.27-34; Psalm 119.33-40; 2 Timothy 3.14-4.5; Luke 18.1-8 Páraic Réamonn, Church of Scotland On Thursday in New Hampshire, Michelle Obama lifted the US election campaign out of the gutter in which it had lain captive far too long and set it free to fly. She named what…

My heart is in Jerusalem

Yom Kippur, October 12 2016 – The solar-powered hot-water tank on the roof of my apartment yesterday died of terminal rust. Somewhat to my astonishment, and with a little help from my neighbours and my landlord’s parents, we got it replaced by lunchtime, just before West Jerusalem began to go quiet in the run-up to…

Staying there for the long term

Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost, October 9 2016 Jeremiah 29.1, 4-7; Luke 17.11-19 Rev John Howard, Methodist Church of Great Britain A few questions of Methodist general knowledge for you: What year was John Wesley born? (1704) At what age did he have his “heart strangely warmed” experience in Aldersgate Street? (34) At what age did…

Rekindle the gift of God that is within you

Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost, October 2 2016 Psalm 137; 2 Timothy 1.1-14; Luke 17.5-10 Páraic Réamonn, Murrayfield Parish Church, Edinburgh Psalm 137 is a hymn. But it’s a peculiar kind of hymn. Six centuries before Jesus was born, the empire of Babylon captured the city of Jerusalem, destroyed the first temple, and led the leading…

Listen to Moses, be ready to share

Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 25 2016 Jeremiah 32.1-3a, 6-15; 1 Timothy 6.6-19; Luke 16.19-31 Páraic Réamonn, St Helen’s Church, Cockburnspath, Berwickshire When I was young, I liked to go to the cinema. I still do. As a boy, I liked to identify with the heroes in the films I watched and to hiss and…

Fireflies of hope in the darkness

Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 25 2016 Jeremiah 32.1-3a, 6-15; Psalm 146; 1 Timothy 6.6-19; Luke 16.19-31 Rev Anita Venter, Bethlehem Bible College August 15 1978. I faced one of my darkest hours in life. My brother and I went fishing in a shallow river a few miles from home. Our favorite yet forbidden spot…

God wants everyone to be saved

Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 18 2016 Jeremiah 8.18-9.2; 1 Timothy 2.1-7; Luke 16.1-13 Páraic Réamonn, Hopeman Church, Moray, Scotland God wants everyone to be saved. There is so much going on in scripture and so much happening in our world today that often we can miss the wood for the trees. But First Timothy…