Here are Paul Blackham's wonderful new year's sermons from All Souls, Langham Place.
His Matthew 11 is a personal favourite (surprise surprise).
And here's my new year's encouragement to our Wednesday communion service this morning. A little ten minute sermon. It's David and Goliath again. Here's my conclusion...
We are the fearful and faithless Israelites, standing behind our brave Champion. But friends, He has won! And we have not contributed a calorie of effort - all we've done is flee from Goliath and deride our King. Even so - His victory is our victory.
And so, as in 1 Samuel 17, we LOOK, we SHOUT and we ADVANCE. Of course we don't advance killing Philistines, but we do make in-roads into enemy territory as we spread the gospel. That's a wonderful consequence of Christ's victory. We LOOK, we SHOUT and we ADVANCE.
But perhaps you don't feel like shouting this morning. Perhaps you're not looking forward to advancing into 2009. Well what would you say to an Israelite at this battle who remained unmoved by David's victory? Clearly they haven't seen it properly. Or they don't realise how it affects them. What would you tell them? You'd say LOOK - LOOK to your Champion. Don't grit your teeth and advance anyway. Don't look to your own strength and convince yourself you can take on Goliath. LOOK at Christ. Your champion has won the battle for you. And He won it for you when you were weak, faithless, sinful and cowering in fear. Doesn't matter. He has done it. You might still be weak, sinful, cowering, faithless. Doesn't matter. He has won for you salvation, forgiveness and new life.
So LOOK, SHOUT and ADVANCE into 2009.