Sermon 3rd November 2019, All Saints’ Church Stanton St Bernard
All Saints’ Sunday: Ephesians 1.11-end, Luke 6.20-31
Today the Church celebrates All Saints’ Sunday, so it is lovely to be here with you in All Saints’ Church. When I took a school assembly for All Saints Day last week, I asked the children how they thought that they might recognise a saint. The first answer was that saints may be dressed in robes, which is a fair point if we look at a lot of traditional paintings and artwork. The second answer was that a saint is someone who does ‘good’ for other people. Maybe my favourite one was someone who answered that you could ask the person themselves. Although I’m not sure what a person would need to say to convince me.
Of course the question, in a way, was the wrong one to begin with, as the most accurate Christian definition of a saint is someone who the Church trusts to be in heaven after having lived a holy and virtuous life. So that means we can only know who were saints in their life-time, not those who are. Continue reading “Be a blessing to others”
All Saints’ Sunday: Revelation 21.1-6a & John 11.32-44
Homily St George’s Preshute, 4th November 2018, 8.00am
The readings set for this year’s All Saints’ Sunday, make us particularly reflect on what happens when we die, in other words the transition from our earthly life to our heavenly life with God; and on what happens when time itself comes to an end, the so-called second coming.
Although I believe that the Christian hope and faith in a life after death is fundamental to our faith in God, I am not sure how helpful I find it to speculate what may happen when we die. Yes, I believe that death is not the end, but those who are left behind, regardless our beliefs, will have a sense of loss and pain when someone we loved we see no longer.
Continue reading “To be a Saint is to be yourself”
A reflection for the season of All Saints’ and Remembrance
Today, 1st November, we celebrate All Saints’ Day. Today, we give thanks and remember the lives of the saints and tomorrow, on what is called All Souls, we have an opportunity to remember all those who have died, particularly those who have loved, encouraged and inspired us. So, this week marks the beginning of a time of remembering in Britain, as, coincidentally, it is also the time that Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the House of Lords on 5th November 1605, and the First World War ended on 11th November a century ago.
Why do we remember? What is the point, is it not something that prevents us from looking forward, as we continue to look to the past? I found a moving and profound answer to these questions in a recently published book, which I read last week. It is called “War Gardens” and it is written written by Lalage Snow, a writer, filmmaker and photographer. Over a period of about six years, she went to different areas of conflict, such as Kabul, Ukraine and the West Bank, and interviewed people who had a garden. She asked them why they kept a garden going at a time of war and oppression, and what their gardens meant to them.
Continue reading ““I feel what these plants feel””