Sermons by Barry Roche
The parable of the shrewd (or dishonest) manager is one which is hard to understand, but the story ends with the warning “you cannot serve both God and money”. Barry looks at the priorities in our lives and asks “what would Jesus say?”
John Newton wrote the hymn Amazing Grace after he realised the evils of the slave trade he was involved with and, together with William Wilberforce, worked tirelessly to restore justice. And yet today slavery is still present in our world, even in our own country. The challenge of racial justice and intolerance is ever with us and challenges us to act in accordance with God’s principles.
The story of the madman and the pigs is well known, but it’s not all about the pigs, nor even all about the man who was healed. This is a demonstration of Jesus’ power over evil, and something we all need to know more of, and to make make more use of every day.
Today is Holocaust Memorial Sunday and also Homeless Sunday. In the midst of a troubled world we need more than ever to rediscover the Word of God for ourselves and live our lives by His standard.
To find life in all its fullness is to follow Jesus, and to do that is to follow the word of God as revealed in the Bible.
The story of the Syrian woman who asks Jesus to heal her daughter poses difficult questions about who the good news is intended for. Barry unpacks more of this story from Mark’s Gospel.
Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, speaks of God’s grace being given to all believers in different ways to equip each one of them for works of service.
Paul in Athens went out on the streets and met people where they were, challenging their ideas and telling them about the real God they were missing out on. This too is our calling today.
Paul, the original persecutor of Christians, had a complete change of heart and mind on the Damascus road. Barry relates stories of others who have also had a radical about turn in their lives and what lay behind it.
On Christmas day we think of giving, and of the greatest giver of all, God himself.
The messages of John the Baptist and of Jesus are ones of urgency. The time to act is now! After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee preaching the Message of God: “Time’s up! God’s kingdom is here. Change your life and believe the message.”Mark 1:14-15, The Message
The parable of the talents, says Barry, is a story not about money or about abilities but about what we do with the great treasure of the Gospel, given to us to work with.