September 17 | In our reading this week from Matthew’s gospel we hear Peter ask Jesus, “How often should I forgive, Jesus?” Of course, Jesus’ response to Peter’s question doesn’t really provide an answer but rather points out the misdirection of the question itself. How many times should we forgive? The issue is not how much or how often we are asked to forgive or should forgive. The act of forgiveness is already a limitless, measureless act. Forgiveness is never not present in our lives and in our relationships. That’s the issue. Forgiveness is part and parcel of the Kingdom of Heaven. It’s a constant. It’s not optional. It’s not a choice. We want it to be -- and that’s at the heart of Peter’s question.
September 10, 2017 | Relationships are important. Oh, we may minimize them and say, "It really doesn't matter how I relate to the person sitting next to me in the church pew or the one sitting at the desk next to mine at work." All that matters, we think, is that we do the job well, get home, feed the kids supper, help with homework, and then go to bed to start the day all over again tomorrow. We have too much to do to stop and consider relationships—or do we?
Sept 3, 2017 | Who Am I?
August 27, 2017 | There are many windows to God.
August 20, 2017 | The power of prayer is often described by the results it produces. Perhaps the most powerful result is how it changes us.
August 13, 2017 | We would like to extend a warm welcome back to Jim McKibbin for sharing a message with us every Sunday for the rest of August at Heritage United Church.
August 6, 2017 | The gospel story for this week is an old favourite about Jesus and his disciples that was told over and over again. It was told so many times that it has been recorded in all four gospels. This is the feeding of the 5,000.
The disciples wanted to send the crowds home because they were not equipped to take care of such a large number of people. They are in middle of nowhere. They had nothing more than two fish and five loaves of bread. They don’t have enough. They just don’t have enough to take care of all of these people.
Ever feel that way? Ever feel utterly overwhelmed by the world and your inability to do anything about it? Ever feel like you’re not enough?
July 30, 2017 | In our reading this week from the gospel of Matthew, Jesus takes the time to describe six parables. They are a series of snapshots taken from different perspectives. Each gives a little glimpse that adds to our understanding of God’s kingdom. They provide a new way to consider of seeing and doing things. Seeing heaven in a different way.
For most people I think I would be safe to suggest that it can be described as some far off place.
You might see it in your imagination as a favourite place that brings you peace and comfort. Like a beautiful white sandy beach with the water gently lapping on the shore.
And so this week Jesus uses a mustard seed, leaven, a buried treasure, a beautiful pearl and a net full of fish. The kingdom of heaven is like these, Jesus says. It is not so much something you can figure out or go out and find and you certainly don’t shop for it at a store or order it at amazon.ca.
July 23, 2017 | Weeds in the garden, it is a natural occurrence. We know that from our own gardens, right? Or if you have had the privilege of spending time on a farm, weeds grow. They do naturally but not in the parable we will hear this Sunday. Someone has deliberately planted weeds in their neighbours farm. It’s sabotage. Doesn't that sound outrageous to you? Can you imagine someone in your community going around to the surrounding farmers fields or community gardens planting weeds. That would be very poor form.
To make things even trickier is the type of weed that was scattered by this evil doer. It looked exactly like the wheat that had been planted by the farmer in the early growing stages. In other words, you didn’t know you had weeds in the garden until it was almost too late. When the farmer is notified though he tells his servants to just leave them where they are until the time of harvest.
July 16, 2017 | This Sunday at Heritage we meet a different kind of caregiver of the land, a rather peculiar one. I say this because usually when we hear about the work of a farmer they know about the soil. Certainly being out here in this farming community, there are many who have worked the land in your families for generations. You know good soil from bad soil and what you need to do to keep it that way.
Well, the sower from our reading in Matthew’s Gospel does not seem to follow along with the practices that farmers would follow. I am sure it would come across as wasteful and even foolish to those who first heard this. For we are told that quite apart from the best agricultural practices, this sower throws seeds on a well-worn path where birds can eat them, on rocky ground where it is unlikely that they will grow, and among thorns that will choke them.
I don’t know about you but I think it seems pretty obvious that this sower is anything but a good businessperson. He seems quite happy to just toss seeds everywhere and anywhere. Why does he do this?