Hard of hearing

4th Sunday of Advent, December 21 2014 2 Samuel 7.1-14, Psalm 89.1-4, 19-26, Romans 16.25-27, Luke 1.26-38 Rev Páraic Réamonn, Church of Scotland Advent is a time of waiting, four long weeks of expectation; and a great deal turns on how we wait. According to ancient Christian writers, God waits for Mary’s yes; creation waits;…

The purpose and point of John

3rd Sunday of Advent, December 14 2014 Isaiah 61.1-4, 8-11, Psalm 126,  1 Thessalonians 5.16-24, John 1.6-8, 19-28 Rev Páraic Réamonn, Church of Scotland You may not have noticed, but this is the year of Mark. At the beginning of Advent we began to read the gospel of Mark, and we shall carry on reading Mark…

Put peace into each other’s hands

2nd Sunday of Advent, December 7 2014 Isaiah 40.1-11, Psalm 85.1-2, 8-13, 2 Peter 3.8-15a, Mark 1.1-8 Rev Páraic Réamonn, Church of Scotland In 1943 Denis Fahey, an Irish priest, published The Kingship of Christ and Organized Naturalism. This neatly divided the world into two antagonistic camps. On the one side were God and his…

Good news in a bad way

December 5 2014 In Bethlehem in December 2009, an ecumenical group of indigenous Christians launched Kairos Palestine: A moment of truth – a word of faith and hope from the heart of Palestinian suffering. To mark the fifth anniversary of the launch, an international conference was held in Bethlehem this week, under the title Life…

Ballad of the Bread Man (1968)

Charles Causley Mary stood in the kitchen Baking a loaf of bread. An angel flew in through the window. ‘We’ve a job for you,’ he said. ‘God in his big gold heaven Sitting in his big blue chair, Wanted a mother for his little son. Suddenly saw you there.’ Mary shook and trembled, ‘It isn’t…

All God’s people

Advent Sunday, November 30 2014 Isaiah 64.1-9, 1 Corinthians 1.3-9, Mark 13.24-37 Service of introduction Rev Páraic Réamonn, Church of Scotland In the great high-priestly prayer in chapter 17 of John’s gospel, Jesus of Nazareth – God’s word made flesh, as John sees it – prays that we may all be one; so today I…

Preaching to the council

November 21 2014 The Church of Scotland’s ministers in Jerusalem and Tiberias are different. We are not called by our congregations; we are appointed by the World Mission Council as mission partners, to serve these churches, the wider church, and the wider community. On September 2, I got off the plane in Ben Gurion to…

Rebuke, disrupt, shout

23rd Sunday after Pentecost, November 16 2014 Mathew 25.14-30 Rev Loren McGrail, United Church of Christ Allow dark times to season you – Hafiz There was a woman, a seeker of truth, who ran through the streets crying, “Power, greed, and corruption! Power, greed, and corruption!” For a while people stopped to listen. Then gradually,…

Remembering the war dead

Remembrance Sunday November 9 2014 Joshua 24.1-3a, 14-25; Psalm 78.1-7; 1 Thessalonians 4.13-18; Matthew 25.1-13 Rev Páraic Réamonn, Church of Scotland On November 11 1918, the guns of August fell silent; and we are here this morning to remember that silence, and all that went before it, and all that came after. Every Sunday we…