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Showing posts from April, 2014

The Transformation of Peter- Acts 2

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Acts 2:14, 22-32 Hear the sermon here
Once in a while I see a documentary or read a book that I can’t help but recommend. We were recommended a book called the Highly Sensitive Child and we found it extremely useful when parenting one of our children. When we meet parents who are having a similar struggle as we were having we are very quick to recommend that particular book. It was helpful and even life-changing. So, out of a sense of compassion for the frustration we feel coming from the other parents we can’t help but tell them about the good news that was shared with us when we were struggling in a similar way.    I saw a documentary called Forks over Knivesand the research it presented seemed potentially life-changing, even culture changing, but also challenging. The information it presented about how North Americans eat and how that is connected to our health, especially the health of our hearts, could be revolutionary. So, when my father-in-law had a heart attack that documentary c…

Easter Day

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John 20 Hear the sermon here
It's hard for us to understand how low the disciples must have felt after Jesus' Crucifixion. Just a week earlier Jesus was riding into Jerusalem. He came as their king. The people were singing and shouting, “Hosanna!”, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”, “Blessed is the king of Israel!”. Those who had been with Jesus for the last 3 years had been hoping and waiting for this day. Finally, Jesus will take his place as the people's true king- the Messiah. Can you imagine what that must have felt like? What was it like to be with Jesus entering the city, believing that this will change everything? Justice. Peace. A good King. No wonder they were waving branches and singing and laying their coats down on the road.                Suddenly things change. Jesus is betrayed. He is arrested. His followers are frightened. Jesus stands before the authorities under the weight of heavy accusations. Suddenly the man they had put their hopes in …

Easter Vigil

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I’m sure many of you have heard the term “postmodern”. It is a term to describe the age we are living in right now. It basically describes a cultural shift. It is a way of saying we think differently than people did 200 years ago, or even 75 years ago. One of the markers of being postmodern in North America is that we don’t have a shared story anymore. We don’t really have a big over-arching story that gives our lives meaning that we all rely on and can look at for hope and direction. We don’t have a story that tells us where human history is heading.  For example, not too many years ago we had a story that told us technology would save us. Eventually these really smart scientists would invent things that would solve all our problems, but then we saw the invention of the atom bomb, napalm, and smart missiles. So there is a growing feeling that we are not heading in a positive direction and that technology will not ultimately save us.   Instead we have a jumble of stories and …

"Good" Friday

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TGIF- Thank God it’s Friday. That’s what most people are saying today. To many people “Good” Friday is “good” because it begins a long weekend. So what are we strange people doing here? … It is good that we are here. We are here for a funeral. And like a funeral we gather to be together. We are here to support one another in a difficult time. We are here to remember a death. Our Lord, our teacher, and our friend has been crucified. But, that in itself is not extraordinary. There are plenty of people who have been crucified.           There was a slave rebellion between 73 and 71 BC called the Third Servile War. About 120,000 rebel slaves were led by a man named Spartacus in revolt against the Roman republic. This led to about 6000 of his followers being crucified along the 200km stretch of road between Capua and Rome as a warning to those who would oppose Rome’s power.               Josephus tells us that after the death of King Herod in 4BC there were revolts which were put down by Ro…

Maundy Thursday- Jesus washes feet

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The disciples have been together with Jesus for three years, but things have begun to change. After Jesus raised Lazarus, the waters have begun to separate. People either fell in love with Jesus, or they became hostile to him. There were fewer and fewer in the middle.            The air is electric. There is a sense of anticipation. It is nearly the celebration of freedom from Egypt in the festival of Passover. Something has changed. Jesus has begun to focus more on the disciples than on the crowds. He is spending more time with those who are closest to him.                 They arrive at a home and are eating supper when Jesus suddenly gets up, takes off his outer clothing, and wraps a towel around his waste. He gets a basin of water and begins washing the disciples' feet. Jesus gets up and dresses like a servant, then he begins doing the work of a servant. Footwashing was among the lowest of all jobs that could be done. It wasn't just any servant do did the footwashing. It wa…

Questions from a friend who is not a Christian

Questions from a friend who is not a Christian
I found an old letter I wrote to a friend and I thought I would share it. I took out anything that would specifically identify this person, but I thought a few of you might be interested is reading it. I wrote the letter in response to a number of questions that arose for my friend after having a discussion with a few Christians. This was a few years ago, so I think I would have a bit of a discussion with myself around a few of the answers. 

First off, I want to say that we are all on a journey. Don’t think that just because I have found my path that I am not continuing to be challenged and not asking questions. In terms of religions, while they can teach some good and wonderful things, they can teach horrible things too. In Denmark there was a discovery of (what was believed to be) remnants of a Druid ritual. This discovery was of a body in a bog, he became known as “Tollund man”. This man was believed to have died as the result of a “Paga…