The Parables of Jesus - iv. A Father and Two Sons

Preacher: Alan Cameron

Verses: Luke 15:11-32

Parables of Jesus.jpg

Everyone loves a story and Jesus is a master storyteller.  Indeed, the parable of the Prodigal Son is perhaps the greatest story ever told, without parallel in its dramatic effect.  Its vivid storyline and riveting intrigue make it hard to forget as the listener is disarmed and persuaded, caught unawares as the habits of one’s heart are exposed and challenged. 

Jesus captured the imagination in an oral culture where many of his listeners could not read and had to rely on memorization in order to learn, hence the brief storyline: home, sick of home, homesick, home! with dramatic twists and turns in-between.

Who is my neighbour?

Preacher: Gordon Hay

Verses: Isaiah 6:1-8, Luke 10:25-37 and Matthew 25:35-40


The main point this morning: Your love for God and your love for other people cannot be separated.

Three aspects:

1.    Who is your neighbour?

2.    What does the Bible say?

3.    What is our challenge?


You are the one to show mercy.

“Here am I. Send me!”[1]

When I studied law I learnt of a case about a snail in a bottle of ginger beer. Mr Stevens the manufacturer was sued after a Mrs Donoghue of Paisley who drank the ginger beer became ill. It became known as the “Paisley snail” case.[2] The case was heard in 1932 and decided in favour of Mrs Donoghue by the House of Lords holding that the manufacturer owed a duty of care to her. They held this because they felt that it was reasonably foreseeable, that the failure to ensure the product’s safety could lead to harm to consumers.  

What interested me was the reasoning of Lord Atkin in deciding which group of persons might have a claim.

[1] Isaiah 6: 1-8

[2] Paisley Snail. Paisley was also the site of an incident that gave rise to a major legal precedent. In a Paisley cafe in 1928, a woman allegedly found a dead snail in a bottle of ginger beer, and became ill. She sued the manufacturer for negligence. At the time a manufacturer was considered liable only if there was a contract in place with the harmed party. However, after Donoghue v Stevenson wound through the courts, a precedent was established that manufacturers (and other "neighbours" or fellow citizens) owe a duty not to do foreseeable harm to others by negligence, regardless of contractual obligations, which paved the way for modern tort law. The case is often called the "Paisley snail."

The Baptism of John and Jesus

Preacher: Alan Cameron

Verses: Luke 3:15,16,21,22


John the Baptist burst on the scene in AD27 after four hundred years of prophetic silence.  He stirred Israel to its roots with his summons to repentance and baptism.  Hitherto baptism had been restricted to Gentile converts to Judaism and now he was treating the chosen people as mere Gentiles.  No wonder the religious authorities were outraged.  However, his call resonated with the longing of the human heart for a fresh start and many thronged to the Jordan to be baptised by him.

3rd Sunday in Advent - Rugged Repentance

Preacher: Alan Cameron

Verses: Luke 3:7-20

3rd Sunday in Advent.jpg

Occasionally I find myself driving, my mind elsewhere, keeping an eye on the road but heading in the wrong direction.  So, I turn around and head back the way I came.  In this regard psychologists speak of two kinds of attention: primary and secondary attention.  Primary attention is that which is at the forefront of our thoughts.  Secondary attention enables us to do familiar things whilst our thoughts are elsewhere. 

Both these things, changing direction and paying attention is what Advent is all about.  John the Baptist interrupts our meandering thoughts with the call to repent, to turn around.  His language is harsh and arresting.  “You bunch of snakes!”.  Hardly the greeting we place on Christmas cards!  “Who told you to flee from the coming wrath?”  What’s good news about that you may well ask.  John’s stern proclamation is good not because it is nice but because it is true.

2nd Sunday in Advent - Prepare the Way

Preacher: Jones Liwewe

Verses: Luke 3:1-6

Prepare the way.jpg

God is more concerned with our spirituality and our relationship with Him

Luke starts the passage by recording seven historical figures because; (i) He wants us to know that this is a historic event, (ii) He wants us to know the circumstance the Jewish nation suffered under the leadership of these seven figures. The Jewish nation was under the leadership of: The pagan Roman Empire (Tiberius Caesar and his governor Pirate), three ungodly local leaders (Herod, Philip and Lysanias), and 2 corrupt spiritual leaders (Annas and Caiaphas). Historically, at this time Palestine and the rest of the Roman Empire was filled with corruption, struggles for power, political unrest, economic crisis, social upheaval, religious apostasy.  In addition to this situation, the nation experienced 400years of silence from God. However, this circumstance led to a profound Messianic expectation by the Jewish nation (Luke 3:15).

1st Sunday in Advent - Watch and Pray

Preacher: Alan Cameron

Verses: Luke 21:25-36

Watch and pray.jpg

Advent marks the start of the Christian calendar.  It’s a time of preparation, not simply preparing for Christmas and trying to avoid the so-called ‘silly season’ of the year end functions, but preparing our hearts and lives in anticipation of the return of Christ.  For return he will, not in the manner of his first coming, incognito born in humility, rather his return will be dramatic and majestic. 

Highly descriptive words are used in Scripture to depict the return of Jesus.  Pictorial language sets the scene, designed to capture our imagination and attention, rather than providing mere factual information by way of a chronological blue print of what we will see when it happens.  Three words by way of theological shorthand are noteworthy in this regard:

      i.        parousia, the word means ‘presence’ or ‘arrival’ in connection with a royal visit.  We live in expectation of a royal visit by our living and risen Saviour. 

     ii.        apocalypse, literally an unveiling of Jesus.  At the moment his majesty and dominion are veiled.  On that Great Day the veil will be drawn aside and the whole world will see Jesus as he truly is.

    iii.        epiphany, an unmistakable appearance.  “We wait for the blessed hope – the appearing of the glory of our God and Saviour, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13)

Our Trinitarian Faith Part 2 - The Trinity and the Christian Life

Preacher: Alan Cameron

Verses: Luke 3:21-22, Luke 9:28-36, Luke 10:1-24


Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States, dismissed the doctrine of the Trinity with the scathing words, “These metaphysical insanities hindered the growth of humanity and represented relapses into polytheism differing from paganism only by being more unintelligible.  How can we talk about a triune God or the three in one without talking mathematical and metaphysical nonsense.”

Our Trinitarian Faith

Preacher: Alan Cameron

Verses: Luke 3:21-22, Luke 9:28-36, Luke 10:1-24


Many people dismiss the Trinity as impractical or irrelevant. In so doing they miss the essential nature of God – three persons in one. Human attempts to explain the logic of one plus one plus one equalling one invariably fail. Resorting to models and analogies are equally reductionist. However, as Anselm of Canterbury reminded us in the 11th Century, the mystery of theology is a matter of faith seeking understanding, we believe in order to understand. As such we turn to Scripture with a teachable mind in order to fathom the mystery of the Trinity. When we allow Scripture to speak for itself, we catch glimpses of the Trinity in the O.T. not simply as an expression of ‘the plurality of majesty’ or the ‘royal we’; but the Triune God conferring with himself in the creation of mankind (Gen 1:26) and the call of Isaiah (Isa 6:8) to name but two incidents...

You Are Witness of These Things - From Disbelief to Worship

Preacher: Lincon Hardouin

Verses: Luke 24:36-53)


In the passage before this we are told about an encounter that two disciples had with a person on the road to Emmaus. As they were travelling, Jesus appeared before them and began to journey with them; however, they were kept from recognizing who he was. Their discussion revolved around the events which had recently taken place in Jerusalem, concerning the crucifixion of Jesus, and while they journeyed together, Jesus began to open and explain the scriptures concerning himself, beginning with Moses and the Prophets. Yet it was only through the breaking of bread that their eyes were opened and they recognized that it was in fact Jesus there with them. At this moment, v31, we have the realization of the resurrection and, v35, the proclamation of the resurrection as these two disciples travel back to Jerusalem to tell the others what had just happened...

The Solas of the Reformation - God's Word Alone

Preacher: Alan Cameron

Verses: 2 Peter 1:16-21, Luke 24:25-32


Martin Luther regarded the right understanding of Scripture as the essence of the Reformation. Even though many of the outward characteristics 500 years ago are different today, the basic principles remain the same. The first thing Luther did after being excommunicated from the Roman Catholic church in 1521 was to translate the New Testament into German in just eleven months. As such, the Reformation had radical ramifications. Up until this time the vast majority of the population was illiterate. With the advent printing and the rapid distribution of literature, the Bible became much more accessible to the needs of people’s lives...