On 21 January we welcomed Professor John Sawkins as our preacher. The family are well-known bakers (son Peter became the youngest-ever winner of the Great British Bake Off in 2020), so perhaps it wasn’t surprising that John chose a cake to illustrate his all-age message, and it was also referenced during his sermon.
Cake, address and sermon were all full of good things … after the service we shared and enjoyed the cake, but John’s challenging thoughts deserved a wider audience. We’ve put some extracts below, but please click on the titles, which are links to the full texts – they won’t take long to read, though they bear thinking about at length.
The all-age address “Why Cake?” initiated the theme:
“So, science can tell us all about the cake and it is very, very good at doing that. But there is one thing, one rather important thing about my cake that science can tell us absolutely nothing about … it can’t tell me why the cake was made.”
“… the clues to why the world and we were made are found in the stories that we read in the Bible. Because they tell us about God. About why he made us, and what we are here for.
“And the answer is quite simple. Why did he make it all? He made everything because he is love. And what are we here for? We are here, our purpose in life, is to love him and to love each other (our neighbours) as we love ourselves. And in doing so to enjoy and live life, which is his gift, to the very full.”
In his sermon, “What is the church for?”, which John based on Hebrews 10.24, expanded on the theme:
“Great art, ingenious science can only get us so far. They can tell us how the world came to be made and what it is like now, but they cannot answer that fundamental question, “why is there something, rather than nothing?” (Remember the cake!)
“They cannot explain the bigger story that our lives are part of. They cannot give us hope. Our hope, the hope that we celebrate and reaffirm every week, rests on what Jesus Christ did for us, and what his life and teaching, his death and resurrection revealed to us about what God wills for us.
“The Church is here to tell the story of Jesus. So –
every time we listen to the gospel of Jesus Christ being read in church,
every time we act out a nativity play,
every time we break bread to remember Christ’s death and celebrate his resurrection
– we are fulfilling our purpose as a church.”