Sermon for the 15th Sunday after Trinity – 12th September 2021: Is 50, 4-9; James 3, 1-12; Mark 8, 27-end.
Fr Leonard Doolan, St Paul’s Athens
Just around the coastline from the town of Capernaum there is a little beach – a bit stony rather than sandy, but lovely. I remember my first visit to that beach back in the 1990s for three reasons.
The first is that in between all the beautifully coloured stones on the wet beach there were little seedlings growing. Seedlings of palm trees; for a Scottish born boy this was a rather exotic thing to find growing wild, as it were. Along with a fellow pilgrim and good friend we carefully uprooted a couple of the seedlings and bagged them in sealed bags. Our friend had a conservatory so she agreed to bring the seedlings on, one would be for her, the other for me.
It didn’t work out because the seedlings grew to such a size that it became impossible to transfer them and they now make a very handsome decoration to their conservatory in the East of England.
I know what you are thinking. It is illegal to smuggle seedlings of plants from one country to another. I can remember how anxious we felt as we successfully got the seedlings through airport controls – especially as another friend had packed some boxes of dates in his suitcase, and the security people thought the stones in the dates were showing up on the X-ray machine as bullets!