March 10th, 2019 – First Sunday in Lent

O LORD, who for our sake didst fast forty days and forty nights: Give us grace to use such abstinence, that, our flesh being subdued to the Spirit, we may ever obey thy godly motions in righteousness and true holiness, to thy honour and glory, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end.  Amen.

Genesis 3:1-7; Psalm 91:1-16; 2 Corinthians 6:1-10; Matthew 4:1-11

This week’s sermon

Stones into Bread
 
The Fountain thirsts, the Bread is hungry here
The Light is dark, the Word without a voice.
When darkness speaks it seems so light and clear.
Now He must dare, with us, to make a choice.
In a distended belly’s cruel curve
He feels the famine of the ones who lose
He starves for those whom we have forced to starve
He chooses now for those who cannot choose.
 
He is the staff and sustenance of life
He lives for all from one Sustaining Word
His love still breaks and pierces like a knife
 
The stony ground of hearts that never shared,
God gives through Him what Satan never could;
The broken bread that is our only food.
 
Malcolm Guite

March 3rd, 2019 – Quinquagesima Sunday

O LORD, who hast taught us that all our doings without charity are nothing worth: Send thy Holy Spirit, and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of charity, the very bond of peace and of all virtues, without which whosoever lives is counted dead before thee: Grant this for thine only Son Jesus Christ’s sake.  Amen.

Isaiah 35:3-7; Psalm 99; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; Luke 18:31-43

LOVE (III)
 
LOVE bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack'd anything.
 
'A guest,' I answer'd, 'worthy to be here:'
Love said, 'You shall be he.'
'I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
I cannot look on Thee.'
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
'Who made the eyes but I?'
 
'Truth, Lord; but I have marr'd them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.'
'And know you not,' says Love, 'Who bore the blame?'
'My dear, then I will serve.'
'You must sit down,' says Love, 'and taste my meat.'
So I did sit and eat.
 
George Herbert (1593-1632)

February 24th, 2019 – Sexagesima Sunday

O LORD God, who seest that we do not put our trust in any thing that we do: Mercifully grant that by thy power we may be defended against all adversity; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Amos 8:11-12; Psalm 17; 2 Corinthians 11:21-31; Luke 8:4-15

God's Grandeur
 
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
 
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs ‒
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
(G.M. Hopkins) 

February 17th, 2019 – Septuagesima Sunday

O LORD, we beseech thee favourably to hear the prayers of thy people; that we, who are justly punished for our offences, may be mercifully delivered by thy goodness, for the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.  Amen.

Jeremiah 17:5-10; Psalm 119 25-32; 1 Corinthians  15:12-20; Matthew 20:1-16

I Wake and Feel the Fell of Dark, not Day
 
I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day,
What hours, O what black hours we have spent
This night! what sights you, heart, saw; ways you went!
And more must, in yet longer light’s delay.poem
With witness I speak this. But where I say
Hours I mean years, mean life. And my lament
Is cries countless, cries like dead letters sent
To dearest him that lives alas! away.
 
I am gall, I am heartburn. God’s most deep decree
Bitter would have me taste: my taste was me;
Bones built in me, flesh filled, blood brimmed the curse.
Selfyeast of spirit a dull dough sours. I see
The lost are like this, and their scourge to be
G.M Hopkins (1844-1889)

January 27th, 2019 – Third Sunday after Epiphany

Almighty and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities, and in all our dangers and necessities stretch forth thy right hand to help and defend us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Nehemiah 8:1-10; Psalm 19; 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a; Luke 4:14-21                       

Sounding the Seasons - Malcolm Guite
 
Tramelled in time, we live with hints and guesses
Turning the wheel of each returning year,
But in between our failures and successes
We sometimes glimpse the Love that casts out fear,
Sometimes the heart remembers its own reasons
And breathes a Sanctus as we tell our story,
Tracing the tracks of grace, sounding the seasons
That lead at last through time to timeless glory.
 
From the first yearnings for a Saviours birth
To the full joy of knowing sins forgiven
We gather as His church on Gods’s good earth
To share an echo of the choirs of heaven
I share these hints, returning what was lent,
Turning to praise each ‘moment’s monument’.

January 13th, 2019 – Baptism of the Lord

O HEAVENLY Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ did take our nature upon him, and was baptized for our sakes in the river Jordan: Mercifully grant that we being regenerate, and made thy children by adoption and grace, may also be partakers of thy Holy Spirit; through him whom thou didst send to be our Saviour and Redeemer, even the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Acts 8:14-17; Psalm 29; Luke 3:15-22

The First Sunday of Epiphany: Jesus Baptism

Beginning here we glimpse the Three-in-one;
The river runs, the clouds are torn apart,
The Father speaks, the Spirit and the Son
Reveal to us the single loving heart
That beats behind the being of all things
And calls and keeps and kindles us to light.
The dove descends, the spirit soars and sings
‘You are belovèd, you are my delight!’

In that quick light and life, as water spills
And streams around the Man like quickening rain,
The voice that made the universe reveals
The God in Man who makes it new again.
He calls us too, to step into that river
To die and rise and live and love forever.

- Malcolm Guite

December 23, 2018 – Fourth Sunday in Advent

Behold the Lamb of God

O LORD, raise up (we pray thee) thy power, and come among us, and with great might succour us; that whereas, through our sins and wickedness, we are sore let and hindered in running the race that is set before us, thy bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us; through the satisfaction of thy Son our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be honour and glory, world without end.  Amen.

Philippians 4:4-7; Psalm 145:18-22; John 1:19-30

This week’s sermon


ADVENT is a coming, not our coming to God, but his to us.
We cannot come to God, he is beyond our reach; but he can come to us, for we are not beneath his mercy.
Even in another life, as St John sees it in his vision, we do not rise to God, but he descends to us, and dwells humanly among human creatures, in the glorious man, Jesus Christ.
And that will be his last coming; so we shall be his people, and he everlastingly our God, our God-with-us, our Emmanuel.
He will so come, but he is come already, he comes always: in our fellow-Christian (even in a child, says Christ), in his word, invisibly in our souls, more visibly in this sacrament.  Opening ourselves to him, we call him in: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; O come, Emmanuel.
( Austin Farrer)

December 16th, 2018 – Third Sunday in Advent

O LORD Jesu Christ, who at thy first coming didst send thy messenger to prepare the way before thee: Grant that the ministers and stewards of thy mysteries may likewise so prepare and make ready thy way, by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, that at thy second coming to judge the world we may be found an acceptable people in thy sight, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end.  Amen.

1 Corinthians 4:1-5; Psalm 80:1-3; Matthew 11:2-10

The week’s sermon Advent 3


Midsummer night, and bonfires on the hill
Burn for the man who makes way for the Light:
‘He must increase and I diminish still,
Until his sun illuminates my night.’
So John the Baptist pioneers our path,
Unfolds the essence of the life of prayer,
Unlatches the last doorway into faith,
And makes one inner space an everywhere.
Least of the new and greatest of the old,
Orpheus on the threshold with his lyre,
He sets himself aside, and cries “Behold
The One who stands amongst you comes with fire!”
So keep his fires burning through this night,
Beacons and gateways for the child of light.

St. John’s Eve by Malcolm Guite

December 9th, 2018 – Second Sunday in Advent

Blessed Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant that we may in such wise hear, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience, and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace, and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Romans 15:4-13; Psalm 50:1-6; Luke 21:25-33

This week’s sermon


Some rise on eagles’ wings, this one is plain,
Plain English workmanship in solid oak.
Age gracefully it says, go with the grain.
You walk towards an always open book,
Open as every life to every light,
Open to shade and shadow, day and night,
The changeless witness of your changing pain.
Be still the Lectern says, stand here and read.
Here are your mysteries, your love and fear,
And, running through them all, the slender thread
Of God’s strange grace, red as these ribbons, red
As your own blood when reading reads you here
And pierces joint and marrow… So you stand,
The lectern still beneath your trembling hand.

The Lectern- (Malcolm Guite)


The investigation and true knowledge of the Scriptures requires a good life and pure soul and the virtue that is consonant with Christ, so that the mind, in following this path, may be enabled to reach and comprehend what it desires, as far as it is accessible to human nature to learn about the Word of God…The one who wishes to comprehend the mind of those who speak of God needs to begin by living the kind of life that washes and cleanses the soul and then go to the saints themselves, approaching them by imitation of their deeds, so that becoming aligned with them through a common way of life, he may come to understand the things that have been revealed to them by God.

( Athanasius of Alexandria)

December 2nd, 2018 – First Sunday in Advent

Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious Majesty, to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever.  Amen

Psalm 85:4-7; Romans 13:8-14; Matthew 21:1-13