On first reading, the two parables in today's Gospel text seem to make less and less sense. In the first, a sower seems to leave the seed to fend for itself. In the second, a tiny mustard seed becomes a bush large enough for its branches to provide shelter for birds. (In Matthew's telling, it's a full-size tree!) When we stop to think about it, both parables are preposterous.
These sermons are organized according to the church year, with a handful prepared for milestones such as graduation or marriage. They show the author’s understanding of preaching as the outcome of a layered imagination.
A statistical projection is not a prediction, but if the number of Christians in Britain continues to decline at the current rate, there will be no more British Christians by 2067. Between 2001 and 2011 the church lost 5.3 million members—about 10,000 each week. The rate of decline in the Church of England is higher than that of other denominations. In one survey the numbers dropped from 40 percent of the population in 1983 to 29 percent in 2004 and just 17 percent last year. The decline in the Catholic Church is not as precipitous because of the influx of Catholic immigrants. Sometime in this century Muslims will outnumber Christians in Britain (Spectator, June 13).