Sermons - November 2018 Print E-mail

Our Priest in Charge, the Rev'd Alister Hendery, is making available his sermons via this website.  Here is your opportunity to download a sermon as a Pdf file and read it at your leisure.  Below are this month's sermons.

See other sermons here:

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Sermons 2018 26 - 33

Sermons 2018 18 - 25

Sermons 2018 8-17

Sermons 2018 1-7


25 November 2018

Christ the King
John 18:33-37

Christ the King – a grand title for this celebration that concludes the church’s year, though interestingly, we’re given an alternative name for it – the Reign of Christ. That such a choice is offered, suggests some ambiguity about what it all means.

Whether we’re monarchist or republican, we need to lay aside our preconceptions of kingship, for none of them apply to Jesus. Indeed, if we’re to use the word king at all in relation to Jesus, then we must place inverted commas around the word, for we place human connotations onto the word. This is exactly what Pilate does in the exchange we’ve just heard...

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18 November 2018

Heralds of hope

Ordinary Sunday 33 (B)
1 Samuel 1:4-20; Hebrews 10:11-14,19-25; Mark 13:1-8

At the end of the 19th century a branch of my maternal family were members the Millennial Dawn Society, a group of Christians who came together to greet the coming Christ at the turn of the century. Each member contributed money to buy land on D’Urville Island in the Marlborough Sounds. Family history records that our forebear, a man by the name of Samuel Dodge, eventually realised that it was, as he would later record, a load of “Old Rubbish”, and so withdrew.

Fascination with how and when Christ will return in triumph continues today. Religious channels on Sky TV reveal a preoccupation with the question, and passages such as the Gospel reading are a happy hunting ground for such religious groups. This passage is what we call apocalyptic literature, and it’s likely that the Millennial Dawn Society would have got quite excited by it...

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11 November 2018  

Armistice anniversary
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8; Peace of the Nations (Isaiah 2:2-5); James 4:1-3; John 11: 17-27

One hundred years ago at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, what had been trumpeted as the war to end war, finally came to an end. In its course, it is estimated that there were over 40 million military and civilian casualties, 15 to 20 million deaths, and about 23 million wounded military personnel, ranking it among the deadliest conflicts in human history.

We’ve been encouraged to share in a ‘roaring chorus’. This phrase comes from a report in the Evening Post of the 12th November 1918: ‘There were songs and cheers, miscellaneous pipings and blastings, and tootings and rattlings – a roaring chorus of gladsome sounds.’ Imagine the immense relief people must have felt when they learned that the war was finally over. Of course they celebrated. But a century later, and numerous wars and conflicts later; I cannot celebrate a day that brought to an end such horrendous suffering. What I can do is remember the tragic consequences of war, and reflect on what we have learned and have not learned. Our bells will ring, not in celebration of a military victory, but for the desire - the hope – the yearning – for the day when, as the prophet Isaiah dreamed, ‘Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, nor ever again prepare for war.’

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Sunday 4 November

All Souls – Remembering our Dead

Psalm 23; 1 Peter 1:3-9; John 6:37-40
On this day we remember our dead. Each of us has names and faces in our memory of those whose lives touched our own – who helped make us who we are today – whose influence we thank God for.  Our presence here is testimony to the part they have played in our lives, and still do. These we remember before God with love and thanksgiving.

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Sunday 4 November

Saints with a small s

All Saints (B)
Isaiah 25:6-9; Revelation 21:1-6A; John 11:32-44

Phyllis McGinley was an American poet who wrote a book called Saint-Watching. In it she says, ‘When I was seven years old I wanted to be a tight-rope dancer and broke my collarbone practicing on a child’s-sized high wire. At twelve I planned to become an international spy. At fifteen my ambition was the stage. Now in my sensible declining years I would give anything … to be a saint.’  Phyllis was right. We’re all called to be saints...

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