Scripture Reading: Romans 1:1-17
Being connected is an important part of being human. Life gets lonely when you think no one else is like you. So when you start to find people who think and act like you think and act, you get excited and you find yourself really wanting to be in the company of those people.
There are many different ways we can find this fulfillment. It can be through a favourite sport, or a favourite movie genre. It could be for food or for hobbies. There pretty much is no limit as to how we could connect with other people.
That’s part of the reason why I go to Cruxifusion every year. It’s an opportunity to meet with other clergy of my age who love Jesus and love the church. Sure I could go to Maritime Conference, or our regional meetings, but those rarely engage in the type of conversations I like to engage in around the topic of church. Which are primarily around sharing the gifts of God expressed in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and what he is doing in our churches.
We are designed to have relationship with others. Our bodies even crave it at times when we haven’t been able to connect with those who are like us. Geeks like to hang out with geeks. Jocks with jocks. Artists with artists. Musicians with musicians. And so on and so on.read more…
Scripture Reading: Matthew 28:16-20
So I was in Toronto last week for my annual clergy conference. As always it was an incredible opportunity to spend time with some very good colleagues and friends and to make new friends. This is an important gathering for all of us. It’s a time to refresh ourselves, to worship together and to just relax after a busy time in the church year. We had some excellent speakers this year who shared with us how they see the world at work, but also how changes in the world impact how we act as Christians and as churches, and how we might respond to these changes. I think we can all agree the world is very different than it was 50 years ago.
The choices we now get to make on Sunday morning is just one example of the changing world. Do we go to church? Do we go shopping? Do we go to the rink or the gym or the court? Do we just plain sleep in because the rest of the week is so busy? It’s no wonder church attendance has fallen over the last 50 years. There are just too many choices, some of which are just more interesting.read more…
Scripture: Matthew 28:1-10
On Friday, everything seemed so dark. It seemed like the weight of the world came down on our shoulders. Jesus died! He hung there on the cross, accepting his fate, that death would win the day.
The news of Good Friday does not end on the cross, however. Jesus died, yes, and he was lowered down from the cross and placed in a tomb. There his lifeless body was to remain.
Friday night, all day Saturday, the disciples and other followers of Jesus hid away for fear that maybe they could be next. There they also mourned the loss of their great leader. The one they had seen do so many things! He taught with words that brought life to the hearts of those who heard him. He healed people of diseases. He cast out evil spirits. He even brought people back from the dead. Yet it seems he could not save himself.read more…
Scripture Reading: Matthew 21:1-17
When Bev and I went to Manitoba last month, we were watching the weather very carefully. We wanted to be able to pack efficiently for the trip, to not take too much stuff with us.
A few days out, and the weather looked half decent. Overnight lows maybe around -5C, daytime highs about +5C. Things were looking good. So we packed up and headed to Windsor to drop the kids off the day before we flew out.
That evening, as we were talking with my parents, I got a message from a friend who lives in Winnipeg. “Hopefully the snow storm doesn’t disrupt your plans too much!”
Snow storm? Did she really say “snow storm”?read more…
Scripture Matthew 2:1-12
There are times when something is happening around you and you don’t quite realize that you are part of it. It could be just the group of people around you are involved with something and you suddenly realize you’re included. It could also be someone making an announcement and you don’t realize you are a recipient of what’s being announced. It could be that someone is calling on you, but you don’t realize it, you think they are calling on someone else.
As a basketball coach of middle school boys… I tell you it can be astonishing at times how often kids don’t realize you are talking to them.
“Billy, you’re on.”
“Billy… you’re on, get out there.”
“Billy… let’s go!”
“Oh… am I on?”
“Is your name Billy? YES!”
And then Billy finally jumps up all excited and finally gets on the floor.
There was also the time last year when Bev and I went to a play and it was one of those one’s where they call people up on stage a couple of times during the performance. They looked over in my section at one point and said, “You sir…” I thought “Oh crap.” And sure enough, yes they meant me.read more…