Sunday, April 16, 2017

Deep Hope for the World

Psalm 118: 19-24
Matthew 28: 1-10

As people we are living in a time of deep darkness, and uncertainty, but this is not the end of the story, for we see and we enter a great light. This light will show us a way through conflict, the light of Christ gives us a new vision of a world where we are engaged, where we come together, where we find a way to remove the stumbling blocks of people seeking power for themselves. Through the practice of truth telling, forgiveness and prayer we find ourselves able to respond to the hurts of the world in community rather than isolation. There is deep hope for this world and that hope rests in Jesus Christ.
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Sunday, April 9, 2017

Into the City, following Jesus

Scripture:
·   Matthew 21: 1-13       The Triumphant Entry
We conclude our Lenten journey by taking our first steps into another expedition:  this one into Holy Week.  We get to celebrate Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem with singing and palm leaves waving in the sky.  We get to hear him cry out for justice and ponder what we are called to cry out.  We prepare ourselves for Holy Week, for challenges lie ahead and we need not face them alone.
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Sunday, April 2, 2017

The end result is transformation!

  • Matthew 25:31-46 . The Judgment of the Nations

Photo by Albert deVos at the 2016 Oliver Community Festival outside of R-W. 

As a part of the body of Christ we need to remember that it is not enough to simply survive. We thrive by living out the gospel together. We are called to remember what Jesus said: “When you did it to one of the least of these, my family, you did it to me.” When we trust in God, speak the truth and engage in passionate conflict, we are moved to commit to actively participating and waiting for the kingdom of God to be realized. As we reach out to one another in hospitality and compassion, our hearts will be transformed and the body of Christ will thrive in a world that is starved for meaning and most importantly love.
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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Enter the Danger with God on your side

  • Matt 25:1-13 . The Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids

Picture taken by Leigh Sinclair.

The parable of the wise and foolish bridesmaids reminds us of the importance of staying the course. This saying means “to continue doing something until it is finished or until you achieve something you plan to do.” This is a saying that is used in war times. It is interesting to note that it wasn’t just one foolish and one wise bridesmaid, it was 10 each. It was a team, a collective of people working together holding each other accountable to achieving their goal which in this case was the appearance of the Son of Man. The danger we often avoid is not holding one another accountable to the call of discipleship. We fear that in doing so we will hurt the team or our relationships. Active waiting requires accountability. How will we keep awake and prepare for what is to come?
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Sunday, March 19, 2017

God's Invitation

Picture taken by Jim Triscott. 

Matt 22: 1-14 The Parable of the Wedding Banquet
Lack of commitment is almost an epidemic in our society. We have bought into this need for certainty in the community of faith. We have also bought into the need for consensus. Patrick Lencioni claims that “it’s better to make a decision boldly and be wrong – rather than change directions with equal boldness and then waffle.” We often want to experience the easy moments of discipleship and avoid the more difficult work of outreach and social justice. Being a healthy congregation requires bold commitments to living out the gospel. It’s time to accept God’s invitation, with boldness.
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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Let's get passionate not personal

Picture taken by Albert deVos of Tom Johnston and Aubrey Edworthy.

Matt 20: 1-16 Labourers in the Vineyard

The parable of the labourers in the vineyard provides us with a good example of the importance of facing our fear of conflict. It has been said, that “all great relationships require productive conflict in order to grow.” Engaging conflict based on our passion for the concepts and ideas rather than interpersonal politics helps us as a team and as a congregation to come up with the best solution. We do this by truly listening to one another, and passionately gathering our collective wisdom. This parable reminds us of the importance of putting aside our human pride, for God shows no partiality among persons. Our motivations for living the gospel should not be about the type of reward we will receive rather it should be for the good of the community or team.
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Sunday, March 5, 2017

Team Jesus

Picture taken by Tanya Eckenswiller
Matt 18:15-35 Forgiveness

Jesus has called the disciples to come and follow him. We too, are called to be disciples of Jesus and to be part of the body of Christ. In other words – it is time to join Team Jesus. Through this season of Lent we will look at the teachings of Jesus as key steps in becoming an effective and healthy team – the body of Christ, in our own lives, and as a congregation in the world. We need to embody and live the statement “We Trust in God,” and we need to trust in each other. Jesus calls us all to the higher task of reconciliation. When one member of the body of Christ suffers we all suffer.

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