Sermon preached by Marion Chatterley on Pentecost 16

Who do you say that I am? Jesus is asking a question. He’s asking his disciples, but this morning I’d like you to imagine him asking each one of you. Who do you say that I am? This is a question that’s not just about thinking something through and coming to a satisfactory answer for ourselves. Saying is an active verb; to say who someone is, requires us to consciously engage and take some form of action; to write or speak their name perhaps in doing so to share something about them, even to take the risk of admitting that we know them. If the person isn’t in front of us, we might conjure up an image of them, perhaps have some memories of times we’ve engaged with them. To say who someone is, is to enliven that person for ourselves. Last Sunday when our children shared their Sunday groups … Continue reading

Sermon preached by John Conway, the Provost, on Pentecost 16 (Stewardship Sunday)

In the name of God, Creating, Redeeming and Sustaining. Amen. I hope many of you received a letter from me and the stewardship material last week – if not, regular members will find it in an envelope addressed to you at the back, and there are spare copies available for anyone else too if you’re interested in the finances of this place. I hope, if you picked it up last week, that you’ve had a chance to look at it. I wanted, however, to use this sermon as an opportunity to say a bit more about my letter and the financial challenge this Cathedral faces. I have to admit that I have found this sermon hard to write – I’d much rather be waxing lyrical about our wonderful Gospel reading this morning, and Jesus’ encounter with the Syrophoenician woman. Like many of us, I am uncomfortable when it comes to … Continue reading

Sermon Preached by John McLuckie on August 26

Sometimes our Christian faith is caricatured as a denial of worldly pleasure and a preference for a more constrained life of sombre seriousness. If this is so, then these last few weeks of festival in Edinburgh will have been little more than a good excuse for an annual spree of head shaking, tut-tutting and deep despondency. If this is a caricature, then I’m afraid we have sometimes done little to contradict it. When I was younger, my parents belonged to a strict brand of Christianity associated with the Brethren movement. When we moved to a new town, the elders of our local meeting made a pastoral visit to my father to upbraid him for his wanton indulgence in the fleshly pleasures of this world. I’m sure he won’t mind me revealing the shameful cause of this visitation – he was rumoured to be indulging in the sinful pursuit of keeping … Continue reading

Sermon preached on Pentecost 3 by Marion Chatterley

Genesis 3: 8-15; Psalm 130 This morning’s Hebrew Bible reading is one that is understood in a particular way within our Christian tradition.  It’s the story of the Fall, the change in the relationship between God and humanity.  And Jesus redeems humanity from that fall. I’d like to explore the story in a different way today – I want to use it to help us think about how we listen for God and how we might recognise the voices that are not of God.  The story gives us insight into the dangers we might face when we stop listening to God and give authority to other voices.  Earlier in this chapter, God gave an instruction about not eating the fruit  from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.   They were given an instruction which they understood. And then they heard another voice.  They knew fine well that this … Continue reading

Sermon Preached on Pentecost 2 by John Conway, the Provost

(2 Corinthians 4.5-12; Mark 2.23-3.6) In the name of God, Creating, Redeeming, Sustaining. Amen. In a moment we shall baptise two of our children from Sunday Club, Tim and Freddy; we shall admit to communion others from Sunday Club; we shall baptise Ali who has been exploring Christian faith for a number of years, and confirm the presence of the Holy Spirit in Alexa. A whole number of unique individuals, all arriving at this moment with their own story and history, their own reasons for taking this step, their own as yet unknowable future in which to live out the promises made today. They join a church of unique individuals, ther unique fingerprints and irises we all carry attesting to that individuality and the uniqueness of each child of God.  And yet, in the baptisms we shall shortly celebrate and re-affirm, that individuality is clothed in the identity of the one … Continue reading

Sermon preached on the Feast of Pentecost by Rev Colin Sinclair

You can hear the sermon preached in the Cathedral by Colin Sinclair, minister of our neighbours at the Parish Church of Palmerston Place, by going to their website here:  

Sermon preached by John Conway, the Provost, on Sunday May 13th

Jesus said: All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you.’ Today we celebrate the last Sunday of the Easter season, the Sunday after Ascension, when our celebration of the presence of the Risen Christ begins to look toward the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost; when the new community formed by the Risen Christ, takes responsibility, in the power of the Spirit, to live out that forgiving, loving community they have encountered in the power of the resurrection. A forgiving, loving community in the world, but not of the world. That sense that the Risen Christ always points the disciples beyond themselves has been there from the beginning: “Do not cling to me,” says the Risen Jesus to Mary in the garden, … Continue reading

Sermon preached by Marion Chatterley on Easter 6, 6 May 2018

While Peter was still speaking the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word.  That rag tag of a crowd, made up both of people who believed and those who were on a journey, a mix of Jews and Gentiles, all of them heard the word, had an encounter with the Divine and they were changed.  The evidence of that change was seen and heard – they spoke in tongues; they extolled God.  And Peter responded to them by offering baptism.   Those few words are a good reminder to us that hearing about the life and witness of Jesus, learning about the nature of our God, can be transformational.  Now I think it’s unlikely that we’re all going to find ourselves speaking in tongues as a response to the Word, so what might be the impact on us of an encounter with the God who is in our midst … Continue reading

Sermon preached by Paul Foster on Easter 5, 29th April

Acts 8.26-40, Jn 15.1-8  I wonder if any of you saw Paddington 2 recently? It was my favourite film of the last year – yes, I know, I do not get out enough! This ursine feel-good film casts Hugh Grant as the arch villain, it has poor Paddington sent to jail, and, without ruining the film for you – as this genre requires, all ends well. It is an action-packed movie, that makes the audience laugh and cry at various points throughout the film. It also does something else – it is one of those rare film sequels that is a success. The box office takings of Paddington 2, were nearly identical with those of the initial film. Sequels do not always disappoint! However, for sequels to work they cannot simply replay the same plot formula as the original. Instead, they must tell the audience something new, they must provide … Continue reading

Sermon preached by John Conway, The Provost, on Easter 3

In our reading from the Acts of the Apostles this morning, we heard an account of the first miracle after Pentecost. A beggar, who asks for money from the disciples, is given something much more unexpected – relationship and healing. A crowd develops, recognising this man but not what has happened to him – they are witnesses of something that they do not yet comprehend. And Peter says to that crowd that has gathered around the healed man: ‘You killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong.’ To this, God raising from the dead, we are witnesses. And in our Gospel, the Risen Jesus says to the disciples: ‘Repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in the Messiah’s name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You … Continue reading