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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.
Sunday, 10 December 2017
Passage: Mark 1:1-8
Duration: 14 mins 40 secs
This week, we are celebrating the Second Sunday of Advent and in our readings we hear John the Baptist as the voice crying out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord!” We hear the prophetic passage in Isaiah, which is the origin of this cry, and we hear from Peter, that the Lord is not slow in arriving, but is waiting to allow time for more to enter into salvation. All of the passages reinforce the message of expectant waiting for forgiveness and redemption from the Lord, but this is not a passive waiting, it is a time of preparing our hearts, clearing away the debris, making ready for the procession of the King, the coming of Jesus, the full presence of Immanuel.
Sunday, 03 December 2017
Passage: Mark 13:24-37
Duration: 13 mins 43 secs
This Sunday signals the beginning of Advent, literally "the Coming of Christ." It is the churches' New Year's Day. Our readings call us to: 1- Focus on what God has done for us (Isaiah 64) 2 - Pray for the restoration of our relationship with God (Psalm 80) 3- Remember- Paul's words to the church, that we will lack nothing we need as we wait for for our Lord's return (1 Cor l) 4- Be ready or watchful -In Mark's discourse on the "The End of the Age"( Mark 13) we are reminded that no one knows the day or the hour of Christ's return, so we need to stay awake. What should our attitude be as we await His coming in glory?
Sunday, 26 November 2017
Passage: & Matthew 25:31-46
Duration: 15 mins 11 secs
This week our readings continue our pre-advent theme of anticipating the day of the Lord. But this week, we find that our judge on that day of accounting is none other than our own Good Shepherd, who knows his sheep better than they know themselves. And we are reminded that serving Christ means finding Christ in the faces of those we meet each day. ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’… ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ Matthew 25: 40, 45
Sunday, 19 November 2017
Duration: 17 mins 16 secs
This week, our readings continue the theme of anticipating the Day of the Lord as a day of reckoning. As the redeemed, adopted children of God, we are to live not in fear, but in sober awareness, that we are accountable to God for how we use our time, talents, money and other resources, for all that we have actually belongs to God. He has entrusted us with the stewardship of Earth and its resources, including the hours of our lives and our circumstances, skills, money and gifts. We are not self-made, self-sufficient or even self-sustaining. Our readings warn us of the dangers of complacency, of denying the reality of our dependence on God. Yet, we are also given the privilege of entering into the work of our King. We are given the opportunity to use what we are given to create, to grow and to provide for others. How we use this privilege, these gifts, this time, depends greatly on how clearly we see the nature and character of God.
Sunday, 12 November 2017
Duration: 17 mins 14 secs
This week’s Gospel is about how the Kingdom of God is like … A waiting game… Ten bridesmaids who fall asleep waiting for the party to start and then scramble up hurriedly when the call comes. We are the bridesmaids entrusted with lamps to keep ready for the moment when the trumpets blast, the bridegroom arrives, and the great feast begins. But what does it mean and what does it take to keep our lamps sufficiently full of oil so as to be ready at a moment’s notice and to endure as long as needed?
Sunday, 05 November 2017
Duration: 12 mins 45 secs
This Sunday, we celebrate All Saints Day: that uncomfortable day when we celebrate those who are numbered among the saints and consider that we are also called to be in their midst. What does it take to be so pure in heart such that we shall see God as He is? After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, … “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb ~ Revelations 7 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God… Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. ~ 1st John 3
Sunday, 29 October 2017
Duration: 15 mins 15 secs
In this week’s Gospel reading (Matthew 22:34-46), Jesus disrupts our lives. He doesn’t just interrupt our lives, he completely disrupts them. He tells us to love. No, He commands us to love both God and neighbor. Do you find this kind of love nearly impossible? You’re not alone. Truth is, none of us can love this way. There’s only been one Man to do so. The secret to fulfilling this commandment is to recognize Who is at the center of it. It’s not you or me, it’s God. When we rightly recognize God at the center of love itself, we can identity with Christ Who makes this disruptive love possible.
Sunday, 22 October 2017
Duration: 12 mins 2 secs
Every Sunday after the passing of the peace, before the Eucharistic prayers, we offer ourselves, represented by a portion of our time and resources, to the Lord. The liturgy of our nine o’clock service expresses it with the words: All things come of thee O Lord And of thine own have we given thee This idea, that all that we have and all that we are is given to us by the Lord, so that whatever we give to the Lord is given out what He first gave us, is the basis of Christian stewardship. In our Gospel this week, Jesus evades a trap set by his opponents by saying, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” This Sunday, we will consider this answer and how it fits into a life of responding to the mercy and grace of God.
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