Thus says the Lord God,    who gathers the outcasts of Israel, I will gather others to them besides those already gathered.

Today we reach the end of our journey through the stories of Genesis – and here it is good to remind ourselves, that through all these stories, one story has been being told.  It is the attempt to tell the people of Israel where they come from, to tell them how they reached where they are, how it is that other peoples exist, where ancient enmities have come from, and where they as a people belong.  … More Thus says the Lord God,    who gathers the outcasts of Israel, I will gather others to them besides those already gathered.

Jacob woke from his sleep and said, ‘Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it!’

Near the house where I grew up in Stirling there is a shortcut up to the Old Town, the way to the castle; it saves you walking round the long way by the street. It consists of a long staircase, which is quite steep – and it is known locally as ‘Jacob’s Ladder’. It will not be the only one in Scotland, or indeed in the world, because this story of Jacob is one that has captured the imagination – it gives our mind’s eye something to picture, and artists have tried to offer their own interpretation of the dream Jacob had of a stairway to heaven. … More Jacob woke from his sleep and said, ‘Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it!’

By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac.

In 1990 we as a family were on holiday in Canada and, on Sunday, we went to church.  The bible reading was the same one we heard this morning, about Abraham and Isaac, about sacrifice and the voice of God.  The minister said that there was provision in the church hall for children during the sermon – and he encouraged parents to send their children to use that provision because, he said, what he was going to say might not be for young ears.  So, of course, our 8 year-old and 6 year-old decided they were going to stay. … More By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

So Matthew’s gospel begins with the promise of the Messiah, whose name will be Emmanuel, which means ‘God is with us’; and it ends with the words of that Messiah: ‘and remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’  And the way the church found to talk about this creator who is with us, in the flesh and in the spirit, is the doctrine of the Trinity: Father, Son, and Spirit; creator, redeemer, sustainer. … More Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Why do you stand looking up towards heaven?

It’s not the first question asked in the story of the Ascension; in some ways it’s the answer to the first question. The first question, you will remember was this: ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ It’s the equivalent of the children in the back of the car who, after a short time on the journey, ask: ‘are we there yet?’ … More Why do you stand looking up towards heaven?

‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life.’

Have you noticed the mismatch between the question and the answer? Of course, it’s not unusual; Jesus often, with his disciples and with others, answers at a tangent, changing the direction, changing the ground of the conversation. Here, Thomas asks a question about a destination; and Jesus answers about a journey. He does talk about a destination, actually, but the destination he refers to is ‘the Father’. And then he says that if you want to know the way to the Father, then it’s the way to Jesus that you’re after. So where are you going, they ask him; and essentially he answers that he is going to himself. It’s all very confusing. … More ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life.’

‘The curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.’

Today, the day that Jesus was raised, the first fruits of God’s promise, the ultimate sign that the temple curtain with all its divisions and barriers had indeed been destroyed, and destroyed forever. Today we gather to celebrate that destruction, to celebrate the end of division, to announce new life, new future, new hope. … More ‘The curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.’

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness

Preached on Sunday, 05.03.2017 By the Reverend Dr. David Sinclair         Today, the first Sunday of Lent, we begin our journey toward Golgotha and Gethsemane, toward defeat and despair, betrayal and denial, suffering and abandonment, wholeness and hope.  Today we begin to consider again what a story from a different time and a … More Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness

Until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts

Preached on Sunday, 26.02.2017 By the Reverend Dr. David Sinclair So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. The story begins with Moses.  Moses … More Until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect

Preached on Sunday, 19.02.2017 By the Reverend Dr. David Sinclair There was recently a captain of the Australian rugby team, admired by all, who always seemed to know the right thing to do, and was always able to do it.  His nickname was ‘nobody’; because ‘nobody’s perfect’.   ‘Perfect’ for most of us, however, is … More Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect