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Showing posts from March, 2017

Psalm 23

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Psalm 23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
We live in a world that seems to be full of reasons to be afraid. You watch the news and you are told about terrorist attacks, or some common food product that is going to cause cancer. We are worried about our family- or worried about not having a family- Worried about paying bills- worried about or job- worried about the way we look. Anxiety disorders are supposed to effect 12% of Canadians. It becomes a disorder when it starts …

An Unlikely Meeting- Lent 3

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John 4:5-42
Some of the best stories are about two people who never really should have met: Romeo and Juliet, Beauty and the Beast, the Prince and the Pauper. In John chapter four we read about another meeting that shouldn't have happened.

Jesus is alone sitting on the edge of a stone well. It is an ancient well that was said to have been dug by the patriarch Jacob. The disciples have gone into town to buy food and Jesus stayed behind at the well. This is where he meets a Samaritan woman who has come for water.

The first reason this meeting shouldn't have taken place is that a group of devout Jews really shouldn't be spending any time in Samaria when there is a perfectly good detour around the territory. Samaritans and Jews were hostile to each other. They were ethnic and religious enemies. To a first century Jew a "good Samaritan" was an oxymoron. It was a contradiction. So the first reason this meeting shouldn't have taken place is …

born again?

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John 3:1-17 
I wonder if you’ve ever been waiting somewhere, like at a bus stop, and you’ve had someone come up to you and ask if you’re a Christian. If you reply, “yes, I am a Christian.” The follow up question will often be something like, “But, are you born again?” The term “born again” is almost used as a denominational marker. It is used of a kind of Christian who worships in a particular way (usually involving putting your hands in the air), and who is more likely to approach people on bus benches to ask about their spiritual lives (sometimes handing out little pamphlets).

More traditional Christians usually have two responses to being asked if they are “born again”. One is plain dismissal. We roll our eyes and say to ourselves “oh, you’re one of those”. We label them as zealots, extremists, unsophisticated, overly emotional, and religious nuts. Once we label them, we can dismiss them and not actually take what they say seriously. We can give them a bit of a smirk and go on merri…

Temptation and Sin- Lent 1

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Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7 Romans 5:12-19 Matthew 4:1-11

Our Genesis reading not only talks about how sin entered the world, but it also speaks about how sin works. To deal with any disease it is important that we have an intimate understanding of how the disease works and how it effects the body. Likewise, if we are to deal with temptation and sin we have to understand how they are likely to effect us. 
God has created Adam and given him purpose. God gives the human permission to eat from every tree in the Garden except for one- The tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Some people wonder why God would put a tree like that in the garden at all. The explanation I find most convincing is that for love to be genuine it has to be chosen. For Adam and Eve’s love to be real it had to exist alongside the reality of rejection. Someone can’t put a gun to your head and make you love them. They can make you say it, but they can’t make you love them. The tree is the opportunity to reject God. If the…