St Ninian's Online
By Stewart Cutler
You can find us on facebook @stninianschurchstonehouse, twitter @stniniansstonehouse and instagram @stniniansstonehouse.
St Ninian's OnlineJan 21, 2020
Go. Yes you! Go and make disciples… But how? How would we even begin to do that?
forgiveness is healing
Jesus stands among his friends and speaks words of peace and forgiveness... because forgiving is healing!
Want to know what God is like? Just look at Jesus!
Breath is life... but for Jesus it's more... more life that you could ever imagine!
Thrown back into the events of Holy Week we find ourselves confronted by familiar words, but in a different context. Jesus’ talks of many houses, mansions or dwelling places, and of leaving, going somewhere else but at the same time remaining. It’s confusing, sometimes difficult stuff so what does it all mean? And what does any of it have to do with us?
slow down & listen
Jesus is in sheep and shepherd mode... but his disciples have no idea what he's talking about. Do you?
An encounter with Jesus leaves a couple of his followers with burning hearts... will it do the same for us?
rumours of resurrection
It's almost the end of the day. It's getting dark... and Jesus appears to 10 of the disciples... but Thomas isn't there. He's out. And he misses out!
It's Easter Sunday!
Jesus trail and crucifixion...
Thursday of Holy Week
Bread, wine, washing of feet and betrayal...
Wednesday of Holy Week
Judas wrestles with his decision...
Tuesday of Holy Week
Some Greeks come to see Jesus and kick off a strange conversation about life and death, darkness and light...
Monday of Holy Week
Mary anoints Jesus... and Judas is annoyed...
his love endures forever
Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey. People sing and cheer... and hope! Could this be the moment that everything changes?
Why did God let that happen? Why didn’t God do something? Jesus’ friend Lazarus has died. And Jesus wasn’t there. And now he is… The tomb has been sealed. It’s too late. Or is it?
When Jesus asks a woman for a drink from the well it's her that gets more than she could have imagined... but what about us?
Abram is just minding his own business, getting on with life... when God says "go!". And Abram goes... I wonder... would you?
Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust
Temptation... that's a thing we all face all the time. But the Bible makes a big deal of it. Why? And why does that matter to us?
What does it mean when Jesus is transfigured? And can we be changed? And into what?
Anger and lust... Choose life instead
Jesus keeps pulling the thread of the commandments and gets to the heart of all our problems...
Salt & Light
YOU are salt and light. Yes... you!!! But how? and why?
What does blessing look like?
We all want to be blessed. Why wouldn't you? But what does blessing actually look like? And why is it so controversial?
What would you give up?
When Jesus asks some young fishermen to follow him they leave their lives behind and go... but so did Jesus. He had a life, a job, a family and some big responsibilities... and he left them all behind to go and do something that mattered more. Would you?
What are you looking for?
When Jesus first disciples meet him for the first time he asks the a pretty blunt question... What are you looking for? What are they looking for? And, what is it you are looking for? Could you find that in Jesus? Lesley Thomson is our preacher this week at St Ninian's Church in Stonehouse.
Why did Jesus get baptised?
Why did Jesus have to get baptised? Wasn't he the Messiah? Had he sinned? Why didn't John want to do it? And what has any of that got to do with us?
wise men from the east come searching for the new king... but they have no idea of the dreadful chain of events their visit will begin...
The Christ-child is born!!!
we wait.... for the birth of the Christ-child
not so average Joe
Joseph is trying to be a good guy, but he's from a long line of pretty dubious characters...
What do you hope for?
Advent seems like the long wait... but what exactly is it we hope for?
Telling the truth matters. Just ask John the Baptist or the prophet Isaiah. The truth helps us to know where we are, what the problems are and what the available solutions might be.
being left behind is never a good thing... except when it is!!!
christ the king
Jesus is king... but what does that even mean?
we mark remembrance by exploring Isaiah's prophecy of a new world... and Jesus' prophecy of hard times.
1 bride for 7 brothers?
When some people come to Jesus with a complicated question about resurrection they get way more than they expected... but do we?
We all know the story of Zacchaeus the tax collector... right?
Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax-collector. This should be pretty straightforward because in the world of Luke’s Gospel the Pharisees are the butt of the story and the tax collectors are loveable rogues who end up doing good, right?
don't give up
Luke's Gospel is filled with stories like this where the surprise of grace is discovered not in holy, pious, religious, people but in seeing reality through the lens of God's Kingdom.
When Jesus heals 10 men only one comes back to say thank you? Why? And does it matter that the one who does is a foreigner?
More faith please. Which one of us wouldn’t want some of that? There are times in all of our lives when we feel like we could do with more faith. So, when the disciples ask Jesus if they can have some more his answer is alarming and not really what we would expect. So, why is that? Why is faith the size of a mustard seed enough?
You know better
When Jesus tells us a parable about a rich man ignoring the poor man who lives at the bottom of his garden, it’s easy for us to agree. To say ‘Yeah, that’s terrible! People should behave better.” But that’s not what parables are for. Parables are about teaching us something about ourselves and about God. This isn’t a story about someone else.
It's time to decide... who are you going to serve?
Jesus tells some stories about lost things and the joy of finding...
I wonder what comes to mind when you hear the word ‘possession’? Does it send you into a world of scary movies? Or do you think about the things you own? What if I was to tell you that those two things are more closely linked than it might seem?
Hope this way...
As inflation rockets and people worry about how they will heat their homes today we encounter Jesus taking a huge swipe at entitlement. He tells his important host that there is a different way to live and that the rewards are far greater than a better seat at a Friday night dinner.
When Jesus heals a woman on the sabbath he gets in trouble from a religious leader who has completely misunderstood what sabbath is and what it is for. So what is it? And why should that matter to us?
The Holiday Club Episode
Out time travelling extravaganza!!!
Who are you?
Life categorises us as consumers, resources or victims. But what if we are more than that?
Rich Young Fool
An argument about inheritance leads to a life lesson for all of us!
How should we pray?
How should we pray? That’s the question the disciples ask Jesus and it’s a great question. Jesus gives them words we have come to know as The Lord’s Prayer, but what he actually gives them is much, much more and that’s what we’re going to discover today.
Are you a Martha or a Mary? Are you a person who is always busy? Cracking on with the million things that need to be done every day. Or are you a Mary? Sitting quietly? Contemplating, listening. It’s so easy to stereotype these two women… as though you can only ever be busy or still. As though you can only be focussed or distracted. As though you can only ever be worried or content.
What if the thing you thought you knew all about didn’t work the way you thought it did? What if someone told you? Would you be open to hearing it? Would you be up for letting that new information change the way you think about the world?
It's up to you!
James and John want to call down fire from heaven to destroy a village that has no interest in Jesus. I wonder if that’s how we react to those who don’t agree with us or see the world our way?
Rev Frances Rosenau encourages us to see beyond the hardships, beyond the fear... and move out into the world as God's people.
The trinity. God, known to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit… three in one, one in three. That’s some difficult maths. But it matters because missing out part of the three means we know less of God.
Dreams and visions. That’s what the prophet Joel said we would see. And Peter said it too on the day the Holy Spirit came like wind and fire! And people heard it in their own language.
Jesus prays that we might be one. He prays that we might be united. But that’s doesn’t mean that we should all be the same…. It does mean that we are all loved!
Aw, gie’s peace. It’s how we Scots ask for a bit of quiet. But peace is an illusive thing. It’s a slippery idea. So when Jesus says that he is giving his followers peace, and not in the way that the world gives, that’s got to be worth paying attention to!
love like I do
Love is… Well… Love is… What exactly is love? And when Jesus tells his disciples and, well, us, to love one another what on earth does he mean by that?
I Am Your Father
Why does Jesus call God 'my father' and what does that mean for us?
Seeing the Light
Anne Thompson explores how a man called Saul who wanted to get rid of all the followers of Jesus has his life turned around in a flash on the Damascus road.
How do we deal with doubts?
Do you have doubts? You'll be glad to know you're not alone! But how do we deal with them? Yvonne Hamilton explores this big question in our worship.
Mary goes to the tomb in the dark... but her despair soon gives way to joy as she meets the risen Christ.
At the foot of the cross
A Good Friday service
Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey... but why? What does it say about him? What does it mean for him, his disciples and for us? Michael Topple explores this Palm Sunday story.
Memories are sparked by many things, but so often the catalyst is a smell. When Mary pours a pound of perfume over Jesus’ feet she is not only anointing him for burial but also leaving a scent that will trigger memories of this moment throughout the years. So, gather round… and let’s do some remembering.
a man had two sons...
The prodigal son… a story about forgiveness, grace and even resurrection… isn’t it? Well, maybe… but perhaps it’s about something more immediate? Perhaps it’s about the people who are right in front of us that we have lost but we just don’t know it yet.
When bad things happen to good people?
Anne Thompson explore Luke 13:1-9 and wonders why bad things happen to good people and what should our response be?
who are you?
When threatened, Jesus talks about himself as a mother hen protecting her chicks from a fox. I wonder how we would describe ourselves? What is our identity?
When Jesus is led out into the wilderness he faces temptations. But why? What is the tempter trying to prove? And how does Jesus pass the tests?
There on the mountain top Jesus is revealed in all his glory. He is seen for who he really is, God’s son. This is a moment where the whole story comes together. A turning point. This is the moment where everything changes.
Turn the other cheek. Love your enemies. Pray for those who treat you badly.
You can imagine the people listening. What? What did he say? Doesn’t he know that not how the world works?
Yes. Yes he knows exactly how much that’s not the way the world works and that’s why he wants to change it… but perhaps not in the way you think!
The Big Lie
What should we make of a list of people we’d rather not be on being blessed and the list of people we all strive to be being warned that they should be very, very careful? It’s a question I don’t think we spend nearly enough time thinking about because it seems like we have settled for an answer that is far from what Jesus spells out for us. That’s what we’re tackling in our time together today.
do not be afraid
I wonder if you know the story of how Jesus calls his first disciples? My memory of the story is Jesus walking along the shore and he sees Simon and Andrew mending their nets and he says to them, ‘follow me’. And they do. And a little further along they meet James and John and he says the same to them. And they leave their nets and their father, Zebedee, in the boat.
But that’s not quite what happens in Luke’s version. There’s more to it than that. But isn’t there always?
So, let’s dive in and see what we can discover together!
no more excuses
What happens when you realise that this whole thing isn’t going to be how you expected? That thing you have waited for and dreamed of for so long turns out to be… hard.
That’s the challenge of today’s passage where we find out what the people of Nazareth think about what Jesus has to say to them about God’s priorities.
why reading the bible matters
When Jesus stands up to read the scriptures in his hometown you could hear a pin drop. Breath is held… eyes are focussed and everyone is waiting to hear what he will say.
I wonder if that’s how we feel when we read the bible? Exited… full of anticipation of what we might hear and learn? I hope so… but I’m not sure it is.
Today in our time together I want to explore why reading the bible together is important and maybe discover some of the reasons why we don’t do it as much as we should.
You will do greater things than these.
Jesus said that to his disciples. To the ordinary men and women who followed his teaching and tried hard to live the way that he taught them.
When we are faced by a story where Jesus does something we might even go as far as to call unbelievable, I wonder where that leaves us? Inspired or despondent? Hopeful or hesitant?
Today we’re going to explore the first sign in John’s story of Jesus and see what turning water into wine might tell us about who God is and what his hopes for us are.
I often wonder if we read some of the stories in the Bible so often that we stop seeing what’s in them. If we stopped being amazed by the big stuff and we completely overlook some of those small but hugely important details? In the middle of all that's happening Jesus is praying... and that should tell us something important!
Are you ready to step into a new future?
I wonder what we make of the idea of ‘God with us’? Maybe it’s easier to understand when that’s a baby in a manger. But what it if it’s more than that?
Where else would I be?
When Jesus is posted missing his parents are frantic... but where else would he be?
We celebrate the gift of a child... God with us!
we wait for the birth of the Christ-child
Magnificent, she says
Mary's song takes a perhaps unexpected twist though…. so before we get all starry eyed and sentimental… this is two pregnant women discussing the downfall of all earthly empires!
this is the good news?
John the Baptist calls them a group of snakes... and this is the good news? How?
prepare the way
How do we prepare the way? What would the refining fire find in us that needs removed? What would the fuller’s soap wash away?
Advent is here. The long wait has begun. But the wait isn't for what you might think...
truly a king?
Their conversation is pure political theatre. It’s a dance of very carefully spoken words. Questions asked but never quite answered. Charges are made and identities confirmed, but not in a way that helps Pilate. Are you a king?
This week we remember on this Sunday closest to Armistice Day when the guns of the Great War fell silent and we will explore what it means to remember and why it is so important for all of us, not just to honour the past but to shape the future.
A widow is watched placing 2 small coins, all she has, in the temple treasury. Why is it that this woman finds herself in this position? Why does she only have two small coins left? And why is she there giving her last to a system that very obviously doesn’t care about her?
One of the scribes has been watching and we hear that he’s impressed with Jesus so he goes to talk to him. The scribe asks what seems like the most obvious question ever… which is the greatest commandment?
So… which is the greatest commandment? What would you say? And why doesn't Jesus say what he probably should?
open my eyes
What should we think when a blind man can see more than anyone else? What should we recognise when someone on the very edge of society names the solutions to all our problems but nobody is paying attention? And when Jesus asks, “What do you want me to do for you?”, what would our answer be?
A time to serve
You want to be great? Then you must learn how to serve.
what's the entry cost?
"What can I do to inherit eternal life?" asks the rich man. It's a good question, met with an answer from Jesus that challenges everything we think about success and even blessings.
Today we’re tackling a really hard and often painful passage in Mark’s Gospel. It’s about divorce, something that has touched all our lives in some way. It’s a passage that has been used to do untold damage over the years and so today we’re going to see what’s really going on and why it’s really a wake up call for all of us, especially us men.
We all carry things. Each of us has stuff that weighs us down. But what about the things we pile on to ourselves? The things that choose and indulge and turn to, even when we know we shouldn’t. And what about the times we tempt others to do the same?
everything you know is wrong
What if the way we have all been told the way that the world works is wrong? What if the things we value most are the things that are actually worth the least?
They say you should think before you speak. That’s not always easy because we haven’t always though it all through. We don’t know what we don’t know. Or we know a little but not enough to see the whole picture. That’s where we find Peter in our story today, and where we find ourselves more often than we might like to admit.
How would you feel if someone you looked up to, someone you thought was, well, perfect, turned out to be less than you had hoped for?
What makes you clean?
How do you love God?
That’s the big question at the heart of our passage this morning and it’s a pretty big and important question so we should probably try to pay attention and not be distracted by other things. And that’s kind of how this conversation comes about.
what about you?
In the flesh. There. Present. Right in front of them. Just like them. In John’s Gospel it matters that Jesus is human. But it also matters that he is God’s Son. But that’s a hard idea to get our heads around so today we’re going to think about why it’s important and why it leads to a crucial choice for all of us.
even more bread
More bread. Again. Isn’t that dull? What more can there be to say? But what if this is an opportunity to savour something so amazing that it needs time. Not to be rushed so that we can full appreciate it in all its complexity and wonder?
Who am I? Where do I fit in? Where do I belong? Identity is important and so it’s no surprise that the people Jesus meets want to know about his. But when he starts talking about eternity they really don't understand!
What are you looking for?
What is it that you are looking for? Do you really know? Is it the thing that’s most immediate? The thing that will make you feel better for now? Or is it something deeper, more filling, more lasting?
When Jesus takes a few loaves and a couple of fish given to him by a child nobody expects what will happen next. After all, there are thousands of hungry people there. How could he possibly feed them all?
what you need
There are moments when we get just what we need, rather than what someone else tells us we should get.
the truth hurts
They say that power corrupts and that absolute power corrupts absolutely. That’s certainly what we see with Herod in our passage today. Speaking truth to power doesn’t always end well. Just ask any of the Old Testament prophets. Calling out those with power, those in charge, those with much to loose can put you in a position where all of their power can be focused on you.
who do you think you are?
What do you need to change? Throughout the pandemic behavioural scientists have played a key role in helping explain how people can be helped to change behaviour. Fear and reward are two of the most powerful motivators. Usually fear stops us doing something and the promise of reward encourages us to take action. But it’s not always that straightforward. Sometimes both are in play at the same time. That’s what Jesus and his disciples face in today’s readings.
How do you make real change? Especially to something like the way a society thinks or acts? Perhaps it takes someone to show how the new way can work? Someone to live out the new priorities. Or just to be what they hope to bring for others? Today we explore a passage from Mark’s gospel where the stories of a woman in great need of healing and a little girl on the threshold of death come together.
As a storm is calmed the disciples are left with a question... Who is he? That’s the question at the heart of the Gospel. Who is Jesus? Like, who is he really? Is he just some miracle man? A guy with nice stories with a healing touch? Or is there more? Much, much more…
a measure of hope
23 years… just over half of my life. That’s a long wait but it’s almost time for Scotland to take their place in a major tournament again. But what on earth does that have to do with two Bible stories about some seeds and a measure of hope?
do not cross
He isn’t like us. He does things we can’t and we’re the good guys so he must me bad… We’ve heard it a million times. Power used to protect those in authority and keep things the way they want. It’s no surprise that when Jesus challenges the status quo he’s met with opposition from places expected and even close to home.
and the left their nets
An old man goes to see Jesus at night to ask more, to find out who he is and what he is all about, and perhaps more importantly, what does all this mean for me? And what has any of that got to do with nets?
dreams & visions
Dreams and visions... what are yours? And what can you with God do to make them a reality?
Does it matter how you pray? Or even what you pray for? Yvonne Hamilton helps us explore prayer and what Jesus showed us.
Anything for love?
Love is… Well… what? What does it mean to love and be loved? And when Jesus talks about love to his friends and to us, what does he mean by that?
What does it mean to be fruitful? And why does Jesus talk about being the true vine? What does it mean for us and for the church to be grafted in to him?
Being pursued is a bad thing, right? It’s when something is after you and you can’t shake it off and it’s always there. But what if you were being pursued by something good? Something brilliant… something life changing? Would you stop and let it catch you? Or would you keep running?
I have questions
Would you believe it? I mean really? Some story about Jesus appearing to a couple of second tier disciples as they went home before any of the proper disciples had seen him? And what would he be like? What would he say? Where had he been? So many questions…
How would you feel if you missed out on something really important but at the same time pretty unbelievable? What if everyone else was given a gift that would change their lives and you didn’t get it? Would you take everyone else’s word for it? Would you want to see for yourself?
Jesus is risen! We celebrate the resurrection as told by Mark.
A reflection on the events of Good Friday from St Ninian's Church in Stonehouse with Stewart Cutler
what love looks like... Thursday of Holy Week
Washing feet is a shocking act of humility and service... but the story is more about whose feet get cleaned...
betrayal... Wednesday of Holy Week
Judas, the one who betrayed Jesus... or just the one who got there first?
When the going gets tough... Tuesday of Holy Week
It's easy in the good times, but when things get tough people start to lose faith...
an anointing and an accusation... Monday of Holy Week
Mary anoints Jesus' feet and Judas weighs in...
What’s the big deal about this week for Christians? Why is a strange parade with hosannas and palm branches a big deal and why does it all go so wrong so quickly?
When some travellers appear asking to see Jesus he tells his followers that the time has come. But when is the time for us? And what are we waiting for?
Naming the problem is the only way to begin to fix something, but what on earth does a bronze snake on a pole have to do with you and me?
who are you?
Who are you? It's perhaps the most important question we could ask. Surprisingly, Jesus throwing the stallholders and moneychangers out of the Temple is actually about the answer to that question...
Jesus says some strange and difficult stuff sometimes, perhaps none more than in Mark 8 where he starts talking about taking up your cross to follow him. But Mark's gospel is about empire v the kingdom of God so why would you want to embrace an instrument of torture and suppression?
We're back in chapter 1 of Mark as we journey with Jesus into the wilderness. But what could two short sentences possibly have to tell us?
The transfiguration is a strange story that pops up in the middle of Mark's gospel. But what if it really belongs somewhere else? And what would that help us to understand about this moment on the mountain?
Stuck in a moment
Have you ever been stuck in one of those moments where there seems no way out? Or stuck in a moments where you just want to stay forever? Stewart explores a story from Mark's gospel where Jesus gets a whole village unstuck.
What are the things that fill our minds and grasp our attention, diverting us from our focus on God?
From the very beginning Mark's Gospel is revolutionary. As soon as Jesus turns up God breaks down the barriers...
This is not it!
Jesus needs some witnesses, people who will tell others what they have seen and experienced. Could that be you?
Come and See
Come and see... it sounds so simple. Come and see... but come and see what? Come and see who?
What is God like?
Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, helps us to consider the lessons of Epiphany and wonder what God might be like...
Now, go in peace
Today our guest preacher Right Rev. Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland explores the story of two people who waited a long time for something special.
Our young people lead worship this week, telling us the story of the birth of Jesus... in a lockdown fashion!
Can I Get A Witness?
'Who are you?', they ask John the Baptist. But he wants to tell them about someone else... someone greater. That's his testimony. What's yours?
prepare the way
Prepare the way! shouts John the Baptist. That's the work of Advent... to get ready. But what does it mean for us to prepare the way? Where should we begin?
The Long Wait
In this first week of Advent we explore the long wait... and wonder what exactly we are waiting for?
What did you do?
At the end, the questions that faces all of us is perhaps one that we didn't really expect... what did you do?
It's not about the money!
The parable of the talents is a story about... what happens when we have the wrong idea about who God is and what God is like...
Amos gives the people a stark warning... maybe the day of the Lord isn't what you expect it to be! But why? What is that they, and we, are getting wrong?
How can you help?
When Jesus calls out the leaders he also gives a pretty stark warning to his followers... do as they say, not as they do. Which begs the question... how can you help?
love, love, love
When Jesus is posed one last trick question his answer is pretty straightforward... Love God, love your neighbour and love yourself. But it can't be that simple, can it?
A question of tax
Should we pay tax to Caesar? It's the million dollar question, but perhaps not for the reasons we think. This week Stewart Cutler explores a question Jesus' enemies ask him about taxation from the Empire and Jesus' surprising response...
Invitations almost always come with a catch. A present to buy, or dress code to follow. But what happens when it's God who is doing the inviting?
Turns out, it is about you!
Leadership is tough. That's why we often leave it to other people. But what is our part in keeping them honest? And what leadership roles do we find ourselves in?
time to change
Today Stewart Cutler explores Matthew 21:23-32 where Jesus tells a story about two brothers to call out the hypocrisy of the religious leaders... and us.
Kingdom economics... What does justice look like when it comes to pay day? Stewart Cutler explores the parable of the workers in the vineyard from Matthew 20:1-16.
77 times. That's a lot of chances. Some might say too many. But nobody ever said forgiveness was easy...
Sort it out!
We all argue and disagree, and we all need help to resolve those conflicts. This week we look at some good advice Jesus gives on how to sort things out and where that advice comes from...
from rock to stumbling block
It doesn't take Peter long to come crashing back down to earth with a bump! Join us as we explore Matthew 16:21-17:8 and celebrate communion together.
Ye gates recorded at the general assembly of the Church of Scotland, Words: Psalm 24, the Scottish Psalter 1929, Music Andrew Mitchell Thomson (1778-1831)
Lord of life, we come to you performed by the Scottish Festival Singers, conducted by Ian McCorie. Words: Catherine Walker / St Mungo Music, Presbytery of St Leo the Great, Glasgow. Tune: Scottish folk melody
Who do you say I am? It might be one of the most important questions of all. Why? Because it's a question about identity... our identity! Stewart Cutler explorer Matthew 16:13-20 in this week's service from St Ninian's Church in Stonehouse, Scotland.
wash your mouth out!
What you say comes from your heart. How often do our words betray our feelings, our prejudices and our real thoughts? In today's reading from Matthew's gospel at chapter 15:10-28 we find Jesus talking about watching your language then the very next story had him calling a foreign woman a dog... so what's going on? Stewart Cutler explores this difficult encounter and sheds some new light on it.
Stewart Cutler considers the story of Jesus walking on the water and Peter getting out of the boat was really about.
moved to care
Stewart Cutler explores the feeding of the 5,000 in Matthew 14: 13-21 and discovers it might tell us much more about ourselves than we imagine.
Be careful what you pray for
Jillian Storrie explore some of Jesus parables in Matthew chapter 13.
wait for it!
Wheat, weeds and lots of waiting. What's that all about?
This week Stewart explores Matthew 13: 24-30, 36,42, the parable of the weeds and Jesus' explanation.
Stewart explores a parable about seeds, weeds, rocks, paths and good ground and wonders where we fit in this story?
Stewart wonders what we might need to lay down
Stewart Cutler explores Matthew 10:40-42 and wonders what it is like to be on either side of a welcome...
choices... not divisions
Jesus has what seem like pretty harsh words for us in Matthew's gospel this week, but perhaps they are not all they seem... Yvonne Hamilton helps us explore.
do something great
The service for 14th June 2020 from St Ninian's Church in Stonehouse, Scotland, led by Stewart Cutler.
Go... yes you! Go! Go and make disciples. Everywhere!
Just who is this Jesus? This passage from John's gospel tells us all we need to know!
A gift... a gift of presence. Someone to be there with you though everything. That's what Jesus promises.
What does it mean to abide in God? When Jesus says 'I am the way, the truth and the life' what is he talking about? And what does that have to do with us?
Jesus said 'I am the gate', but what does that even mean? And should I go in?
It's late on Easter Day but so far only Mary has seen the risen Christ. The disciples are locked in the upper room, scared and wondering what happens now... apart from Thomas...
They had had enough. It was all too dangerous. So Cleopas and whoever was with him were heading home. As they walked along full of questions and grief and wondering what had happened and why they were joined by a stranger... who turned out to be Jesus.
It's Easter Sunday! The darkness has gone. Love wins! Resurrection is real!
The king is coming on a donkey. The people are shouting Hosanna! But do they know what they are asking for?
A valley of dry bones and a dead man walking... stories of hope in dark times.
Jesus encounter with a blind man is more than a story about mud and spit and even sight. It's about who we are and who Jesus is and why that matters to all of us.
A chance encounter at a well in the heat of the midday sun brings an unexpected revelation and a opportunity for mission for a most unlikely disciple, a Samaritan woman...
Nicodemus comes looking for illumination and gets more than he bargained for. Being born from above... what does that mean? And what does the story of Abram have to do with it?
The moment it all goes wrong. It's an ancient story of a man, a woman, a snake and some forbidden fruit, but mostly it's about shame.
On the mountain with the transfigured Jesus, and Moses and Elijah, God speaks to three disciples, Peter, James and John. Then Jesus tells them to 'get up, and don't be afraid!' Is that our response when we encounter God?
Where do you end up when you start pulling on the thread of an idea or an issue? Where does something really start? Today we consider some threads that Jesus unravels for us in the Sermon on the Mount.
After the beatitudes comes salt and light and the law... and a challenge to the people... it's up to you!
The beatitudes... that list of the blessed that we would never want to join; the poor in spirit, the meek and those who mourn. So where is the blessing? And why is this teaching so central to Jesus' message?
Repent means 'to see things in a new way, as they really are'. So when Jesus asks some fishermen to follow him he is helping them to repent, to see the kingdom of God which is close by. Following Jesus is an invitation to live into that new way of being.
come and see
Jesus invites us into a relationship with him and asks us to invite others into that relationship... come and see...
In the season of Epiphany, what does Jesus' baptism tell us about who he is and what God's mission is?
commas save lives!
Words matter, especially when we are talking about God. The prologue of John's Gospel paints an amazing picture of Christ, who was there at the beginning of all things but who chose to become like us. Christmas... in just one sentence.
Christmas is a dangerous business!
Joseph is often overlooked, but Matthew's Gospel puts him centre stage in the story of the birth of Jesus. But why? What's so important about a man who played no part in the birth?
are you the one?
When the night is darkest the questions come. As John the Baptist sits in his cell he begins to wonder... Are you really the one? It's a question for all of us this Advent.
Judgement is about recognising the parts of ourselves that aren’t right and stripping them out. That's the preparing that John the Baptist asks of us as he tells us to prepare the way.
your kingdom come
Welcome to Advent, to the waiting season, where the light prepares and the angels stir and the stars shift and the word begins to put on flesh, waiting to move among us…
But that’s not quite what we are presented with in our readings from scripture this morning... or is it?
Wellbeing matters to Jesus. We explore the story of Jairus and the bleeding woman to discover how Jesus is interested in much more than physical healing, but also our mental and spiritual health, as individuals and as communities.
On Remembrance Sunday we explore James's advice to listen more than to speak and to be doers, not just hearers,
finding the new Jerusalem
Revelation 21 paints a beautiful vision of a new world. A world of peace and harmony. A world as it was meant to be, where God and people live together and all suffering and pain is ended. But is it all just a fantasy?
Part 2 of our series on Revelation explores more of the letters to the seven churches in Asia.
What's stopping you?
Revelation 1/4. That book we often avoid because it seems so strange and difficult... so, what's it all about?
Careful what you wish for
Jephthah made a promise, a promise that was ill-conceived and cost him and his daughter dearly. And we still make the same kind of promises for the same kinds of reasons... our own greed, our own ambition, our own insecurities.
well, what did you expect?
When Naaman, the commander of the army of the Amarites, comes to Elisha to find a cure for his leprosy he doesn't get what he was expecting... but he got what he needed!
Taking on the mantle, being the next in line, the new person, the successor is never easy. Elisha had some big shoes to fill when Elijah was gone.
seeds and weeds
The parable of the sower in Matthew 13:18-23 is one of the few parables Jesus explains. But that doesn't mean that it's not worth talking about!
When the people returned from exile they rebuilt... but things were not the same as they had been. A new community needed new foundations, just like the new Temple would. Some of the people who remembered how things had been before wept while those who didn't remember shouted for joy. Such is the way of change.
Jillian helps us discover through that Jesus' new commandment that love is actually all around.
As we gathered around the Lord's Table we heard the words Jesus spoke after the Last Supper in John 14:1-27. They were words of comfort, words of trust, and words of peace.
At the end of John's Gospel, Jesus' reinstatement and renewal of Peter after he had denied even knowing Jesus 3 times is a painful conversation, but a conversation full of hope for all of us. Jesus' instructions to Peter; feed my lambs, tend my sheep, feed my sheep, and the renewal of the invitation to 'follow me', are a manifesto for the church and for each and every one of us.
After a long and unsuccessful night fishing a man on the shore suggests the disciples throw their nets out the other side. It turns out the man is Jesus, but he's different. He's changed. What would our equivalent be? Where might we try something different? Where might we cast our nets? And where do we still meet the Risen Christ in our lives?
It's Resurrection Sunday!!! Easter Day. The Lord is risen!!! The tomb is empty... Love has won. It's a story of faith. Their faith and ours. Where will you encounter the risen Christ?
Is it him?
Love is all you need
Love... Agape. The kind of love God has for us and wants us to have for each other. Compassionate, tender and unconditional. And really hard to live out!
Romans 12 tells us what it look likes to live a life of love. But it's hard... really hard. And that's what makes it so important that we try our hardest and perhaps consider just how loveable we are.
the one about friends
Philia, the love between friends. As we continue our journey through Lent Yvonne Hamilton helps us to reflect on what it means to love our friends by reflecting on how the friends of the paralysed man act in their quest to help their friend see Jesus.
The gift of erotic love
Eros... erotic love... sex... one of the four Greek words for love, and part of the gift of love that God has given to us all. So why don't we talk positively about it?
Susan Brown, Moderator of The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, is this week's guest preacher. In the first week of Lent she considers the temptations Jesus faced in the wilderness, the same temptations we still face today.
We continue from where we left off last week... in John 7:32-52. Jesus tells the crowd that they can drink from him and never be thirsty again. But what is he talking about? And why don't some of them believe him?
John's gospel is all about the universal Christ and that's what we explore this week through John 7:1-31, a strange story where Jesus visits Jerusalem during the Feast of Tabernacles.
Bread of Heaven
What does the space shuttle have to do with John 6? Listen in and find out!
our daily bread
Prayer isn't always easy. We get so caught asking for what we want that we forget that prayer is about our attitude and orientation... always trying to seek God's will.
This week we go back into the archive to a sermon preached at St Ninian's Stonehouse on 18th November 2018 by Stewart Cutler on Numbers 11:16-35 and Luke 10:1-17.
What are your foundations?
A sermon preached by Stewart Cutler at St Ninian's Church in Stonehouse, Scotland, exploring Luke 6:46-49, the wise and foolish builders.