Sermons by Rana Khan (Page 2)
Abraham is commended for his faith in believing, in his old age, that God would provide him not just with an heir but with so many descendants that there would be too many to count.
The story of Abraham meeting with the angels shows the importance of hospitality expressing God’s welcome, not to friends and those we know well but to the stranger, the incomer.
What I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you … the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. Deuteronomy 30:11-14 The story of the good Samaritan is so familiar that we can easily miss its challenge to us to confront the biases and prejudices we aren’t even aware we live with.
In the early days of the book of Acts, everyone assumed that Jesus had come only to save the Jews. But it soon became clear that this was something entirely new, something for everyone regardless of background, status, religion or ethnicity.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd as we all know. To understand the imagery better we need to know a little more about how shepherds worked in biblical time.
The book of Acts sees the disciples of Jesus transition to being apostles, those who are ‘sent’ as messengers of the gospel. It also shows the fledgling Christian community changing from being a group of fearful people to those who preached the word of God boldly. Their hope was in the resurrection of Jesus, and although there was pressure to downplay or even deny that it happened, the resurrection is at the very centre of our faith.
As we celebrate Jesus’ rising again on Easter Day, we reflect on the different responses of the disciples.
… from earth to heaven, from down to up. When we are faithful to our citizenship of heaven then we can fulfil our mission on earth.
The temptations of Jesus in the wilderness are often seen as generic classes of temptation: material needs, power, immortality. But they are much more than that. Satan was attacking Jesus’ mission by trying to misdirect him into changing his priorities and shifting focus away from the Kingdom.
The prophet Joel issues a challenge to Israel and to us to repent and return to the Lord with all our hearts.
This familiar story, which is told only in the gospel of John, is the third of the Epiphany themes and follows on from the visit of the Magi and the baptism of Jesus. It is the first revelation of who Jesus is to the ordinary people Israel, in his home town.
Looking at the baptism of Jesus himself helps us to understand what our own baptism is about – not a box-ticking event but a call to action.