June 4, 2017 | This Sunday is known as Pentecost Sunday. It is a day of celebration for the church. This is because, up to this point, that is, before the morning of the day of Pentecost, the followers of Jesus were just the 11 disciples, plus just a few others. But all this changes on Sunday. By the end of the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit will have transformed this group and 3000 people will have been baptized as a sign that they were also followers of Jesus. The church was born. Is this what Jesus intended to happen? I think so.
May 28, 2017 | We meet Jesus with his disciples once again where at his own dinner party he begins to pray. We only get to hear the first part of what is a long and really amazing prayer. Praying first for himself and then for his disciples, asking for God’s support during the transformation that is going to take place in their lives when he is no longer with them. This prayer offers some important final lessons that he wants to impart to them before he gets up and walks his last journey.
May 21, 2017 | That feeling of being alone can feed on one of our worst fears, that we might wind up alone forever. We’ve all experienced it, to a degree, at one time or another, either during life transitions or while off travelling. It is enough for most of us to learn pretty quickly that we don’t want to end up that way, alone, deprived of family and friends. I believe Jesus’ words today can bring words of comfort, even in the midst of what feels like absence, we are never fully alone: God’s Spirit is with us. Confusing words for Jesus’ disciples but words they will come to understand that they will never be left to fend for themselves.
May 14, 2017 | This week we find Jesus in the midst of his final conversation with his followers where he assures them that things will be alright after he’s gone. Jesus is preparing them for his imminent departure. They are more than a little confused. He says his is going to his Father’s home to prepare a place for them, whereupon he will come and take them to himself so that where he is, they may also be. Astounding words of comfort and hope. When the time comes Jesus will receive us and where he is we may always be, always! A remarkable promise.
May 7, 2017 | Seeing What We Need To See
All too often we find ourselves knee deep in the muck of life, trying desperately to survive and we forget that we are not in this alone. God is always with us, the constant and never-changing presence.
And we know this, we really do. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” I would be willing to bet that everyone knows at least the first few lines of this psalm. But do we really believe it? “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff— they comfort me.” When push comes to shove and when things that define our lives test us in real and stressful and painful ways, do we actually believe God is our Shepherd?
April 30, 2017 | When we are looking for something, we are more likely to see it. Like a certain kind of car, a colour or a particular coffee shop. It’s there, it pops out at us. But when we are not looking at all, we are more likely to miss it.
Like the two broken-hearted disciples on the road to Emmaus who meet up with a stranger along the way. Or is he a stranger? Everything has changed for the worst so they think? Maybe they are just not looking in the right place for the answers they seek.
April 16, 2017 | On Easter Sunday we open ourselves to the kind of joy and celebration that comes out of darkness and fear. For Easter is the quintessential narrative of this type of hope. Easter reminds everyone that God’s power working through us can do so much more than we can ever ask or even imagine. Together in community with other Christians, we are part of something so much bigger than any one of us individually, something much more powerful, full of so much wonder, possibility and, yes, hope.
April 9, 2017 | The beginning of Holy Week, a week that what we see is not what we get. Just when we think the story is going to turn out one way, we are surprised by a different ending. Jerusalem was a big city with respect to Israel. The impromptu crowd of people accompanying Jesus along what became a parade route was the typical crowd of Galileans who were coming to Jerusalem for the celebration of the Passover. But Matthew tells us from our reading this week that, “When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking ‘Who is this?’” Let us go to Jerusalem with the crowds and join the parade.
April 2, 2017 | Here we are two weeks before Good Friday’s dying and Easter rising and we have the story of Lazarus, a man beloved by his sisters, and by Jesus. As with many of the scripture passages, we can assume that this is a story about ourselves as well. And our story begins with the threat of loss. But it prompts the question: what happens when we face loss? How do we handle it? A question we explore this week as we continue our journey towards Jerusalem.