At this very minute, the Sleeper train is pulling into Edinburgh’s Waverley Station. The carriage doors open, and out comes an amazing array of bleary-eyed people: commuters, politicians, tourists – all life is there. The Sleeper’s been in the news this week, when an Opera was performed on-board for the first time. But there’s always been an otherworldliness about it that conjures up another age. You can board early for a whisky tasting; have a quick haggis before bed; and, of course, porridge and shortbread for breakfast. If you’re very nice to one of the Harris-tweed-clad crews, they might even let you join their secret card school in the wee small hours. And veteran Sleeper-regular Kirsty Wark has fond memories of on-board political intrigue, that used to accompany the droves of MPs heading home on a Thursday night for their constituency surgeries on Friday. A hot ticket for a political hack, indeed. Read More
Sermon preached at the Holland Park churches, Sunday 9 July 2017
‘I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.’ (Romans 7:15)
I wonder how many of you have tried to give something up. For Lent, perhaps, or to lose weight? Or maybe you‘ve tried to give up smoking? So the words of St Paul will be familiar to you. That feeling when you accidentally cram yet another biscuit into your mouth while absent-mindedly chatting to a friend, then you realise you weren’t supposed to be eating it?
This sense of dislocation, of being divided against yourself, is what St Paul means. You may also have felt like this when you’ve lost control of your body – when it develops a mind of its own when you’re pregnant, or when your legs or your memory refuse to play ball as you get older. Read More