God is not limited by human boundaries

Last week we heard the gospel story about the washing of hands – about how ritual washing put people inside or outside the accepted understanding of ritual cleanliness. Jesus argues with the Pharisees, who were shocked that the disciples were eating without washing their hands. This made them unclean as understood by the rituals of…

Read More

Holy Things

I was lucky enough to be brought up in Kendal. Looking back, I can see that it was a lovely place to be, although I didn’t really appreciate it as a teenager; it seemed you couldn’t go into town without a teacher who was still waiting for your homework! The town motto of Kendal is…

Read More

Blessed Virgin Mary

Any liturgy associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary seems bound to include words such as ‘obedience’, ‘humility’ and ‘lowliness’’. Presumably the ‘lowliness’ comes from Mary’s song, The Magnificat, ‘for he has regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden’. But if you look at this passage in the original Greek, the word is ‘humiliation’. This word is…

Read More

The life of St Oswald

Oswald was a member of the Irthing family – there’s still a village just east of Carlisle called Irthington. He was born around 604, the son of the Northumbrian King Aethelfrith. A victim of political change Oswald became a refugee: he spent his childhood in exile on the Island of Iona where he heard about…

Read More

I am the bread of life

Proper 13 It wouldn’t be an exaggeration for me to say that I spent several hours contemplating today’s Gospel  before I even began to think about writing my sermon. I really struggle with this passage from John. I struggle because Jesus seems to berate the crowd who followed him. They were poor folk who struggled…

Read More

Saint James

James and his brother John were Galilean fishermen, called by Jesus to become disciples. They were the sons of Zebediah or Zebedee. In tradition, their mother was called Salome (not the same one who danced before Herod) – it was she who, in one gospel account, asked Jesus if her sons could sit on either…

Read More