The kingdom of God in Acts 1

We are beginning a sermon series looking at the kingdom of God, and I started by consider the opening three verses of Acts 1 and what they say about the kingdom. There are a number of striking statements that Luke makes in this short passage. First, his reference to Theophilus reminds us of the opening of … Continue Reading

The testing of Jesus in Matthew 4

As we enter the season of Lent on Sunday, the lectionary for the First Sunday in Lent, Year A, is of course Matt 4.1–11. It is worth noting that the lectionary and seasonal arrangement of the 40 days (46 calendar days minus the feast days of Sundays that exempt us from lenten discipline) corresponding to … Continue Reading

The presentation of Jesus in Luke 2

The lectionary reading for Sunday is Luke 2.20–40 as we celebrate the Presentation of Jesus in the temple in Jerusalem. Although we are now in Year A, and so following Matthew’s gospel, we return to Luke to read about this episode in Jesus’ life each year to celebrate the Principal Feast which is also known … Continue Reading

The many meanings of Pentecost

As we come to Pentecost, our main text (in the lectionary and for preaching) is Acts 2. At one level the text is straightforward: the Twelve are completed by the addition of Matthias; they wait with other disciples as Jesus had commanded; the Spirit comes; Peter preaches; and the ‘church’ is born. But it is … Continue Reading

The Presentation of Jesus (Luke 2)

The lectionary reading for Sunday is Luke 2.20–40 as we celebrate the Presentation of Jesus in the temple in Jerusalem. If you are following Luke in the lectionary, this will feel slightly odd; last week we heard about the beginning of Jesus’ teaching ministry in the synagogue in Nazareth, and have already reflected on the … Continue Reading