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Sunday, 11 February 2018
Passage: Mark 9:2-9
Duration: 11 mins 33 secs
This week’s readings are about the visible glory of God: those moments in which the reality of God’s presence intersects the reality of our material world. During the exodus, God abided by fire and cloud with Israel. Once the temple replaced the tabernacle, the temple was the place where heaven and earth met; where the glory of God could be seen; where God abided with his people. But then the glory departed; the temple was destroyed the people were exiled; and though they returned from Babylon, the glory did not. For a thousand years, Israel was waiting for the return of that glory and presence. And then Emmanuel was born and lived in their midst. The Transfiguration of Jesus, as He is travelling to the cross, is among other things, a confirmation that it now is in the person of Jesus, not in the temple where heaven and earth meet; where God abides with his people; where the glory of God is visible. And in our Epistle, Paul speaks of that same light of glory: “For it is the God who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness'; who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6
Sunday, 04 February 2018
Passage: Mark 1:29-39
Duration: 11 mins 33 secs
In the breakneck speed of Mark Chapter 1 and in our Epistle reading this week, there is a sense of urgency in the ministries of both Jesus and of Paul. Paul lays aside every strength, advantage and payment for the sake of the Gospel, and Jesus walks away from a potential base camp to travel to other towns. Both of them had a short time to travel and preach the Gospel, and both of them sacrificed stability, comfort and status to accomplish their mission. In our Old Testament reading, and in our Psalm, we have a somewhat different theme; the sheer size and power and infinite understanding of our God together with his care for the small and weak. And in our Gospel there is the contrast of the gathering adoring crowds who come for healing and His retreat to a lonely place to pray. We have a God who could overwhelm us in a moment, but chooses to woo us; who could bring about His kingdom in a moment, but chooses to let us into the mission … and be transformed in the process.
Sunday, 28 January 2018
Passage: Mark 1:21-28
Duration: 13 mins 34 secs
What does it mean to not only know who Jesus is, but to follow him? God gives authority to prophets in the Old Testament to speak in His name, but there are consequences if they overstep and speak more than he gave them to speak. In the Gospel, Jesus amazes people by the authority with which He teaches and the surety with which He casts out unclean spirits. And in our Epistle, the early church is working out the freedom such authority gives them, but Paul warns that there are consequences if their freedom oversteps their love for fellow Christians. It is not enough for us to know who Jesus is (even the unclean spirits recognize Him), but we must follow Him. We must walk in truth and love; set free by the truth, but confined by the practice and character of the holy and loving God that we follow.
Sunday, 21 January 2018
Passage: Mark 1:14-20
Duration: 16 mins 35 secs
This week our readings are about following Christ, immediately, exclusively and whole-heartedly, with a sense of security and trust in God and a sense of urgency as the mission is great and the time is short. How far from this am I in my own life: distracted and pulled by so many important, urgent, anxiety-inducing needs and tasks? How do we become a people who know God, love God, hear his voice and respond to the call? By His mercy, grace, and love, and by a habit of time spent in His presence.
Sunday, 07 January 2018
Passage: Mark 1:4-11
Duration: 16 mins 10 secs
What an eventful week! Today is the 11th day of Christmas and this Saturday is Epiphany, which means 'revelation.' On Epiphany, we celebrate how the Magi helped reveal the significance of Jesus by coming from afar to worship Him. This Sunday is the first Sunday after Epiphany when we can either celebrate Epiphany or celebrate a different moment of revealing: the baptism of Jesus, the moment when He came out of the waters of baptism to the voice of the Father, and the descent and presence of the Holy Spirit. Since this Sunday at the 10:30 service we also have the joy and privilege of baptizing Beth Cyrus, we will focus on the baptism of Jesus, the meaning of baptism, and the presence of the Trinity.
Monday, 25 December 2017
Passage: Luke 2:1-20
Duration: 14 mins 26 secs
Sunday, 24 December 2017
Passage: John 1:1-14
Duration: 10 mins 50 secs
The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us...
Sunday, 24 December 2017
Passage: Luke 2:1-20
Duration: 17 mins 55 secs
Sharing the Nativity Story
Sunday, 24 December 2017
Passage: Luke 1:26-38
Duration: 13 mins 7 secs
This Sunday is the 4th Sunday of Advent. In our 10:00 AM combined morning service, we will go from the angel Gabriel announcing to Mary what God has in mind, to Mary treasuring and pondering the shepherds’ description of a multitude of angels celebrating the most extraordinary birth in human history. From the moment of Gabriel’s visit to the time of her death, Mary’s life was centered on the birth and life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Her life was reshaped by that one answer to God: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And 2000 years later we know that not only her life, but the lives of all mankind have been reshaped by the presence of God in our midst: Immanuel. May the rest of your week be filled with hopeful anticipation, and may your Christmas be filled with joy and the peace that is abiding in all circumstances.
Sunday, 17 December 2017
Duration: 13 mins 55 secs
In our readings this week, we continue to hear of God’s promises of justice and mercy, of restoration and peace. In this time, we live by hope; looking towards the Light of the world in a season of darkness; walking by faith and rejoicing always in a time of chaos and discouragement. This Sunday we celebrate the third Sunday of Advent and hear of John the Baptist being interrogated by representatives of the Pharisees who came out from Jerusalem to Bethany to quietly confront and shut down this potential troublemaker. But John warns that he is not the one they should be worried about. What God has put in motion shall come to pass, just as Spring follows Winter, and the One who will baptize by fire is already in their midst.
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