December 25, 2016

Sermon by the Rev. Amanda Currie Psalm 98 Luke 2:1-7 “Christmas Carols and Their Stories” Introduction to the Service Listen This morning I thought it would be fun and different to sing some different Christmas Carols and hear their stories. Throughout the history of the church, worship has included singing… from the psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs mentioned in the New Testament, and through every generation, Christians have composed Psalm settings, sung our prayers as chants, written hymns, carols, and contemporary praise songs. Sometimes we have used instruments, and sometimes not. Sometimes the words have come straight from Scripture, and sometimes it has been poetry inspired by the Bible and a reflection on our faith. The songs known as Christmas Carols are diverse too… some written specifically for corporate worship, and others sung primarily out in the community or in family homes, but carrying the Christian faith into the public realm of culture and daily life. “I Saw Three Ships” Listen The first carol for today is “I Saw Three Ships.” Probably most of us have heard or sung it, but I don’t think I’ve ever sung it in church. The tune of this carol is a traditional English folk song and the words (of which there are several versions) were written by wandering minstrels as they travelled through the country. In the original version of the carol, the Three Ships were the ones taking the supposed skulls of the wise men to Cologne Cathedral in Germany. However, since the … Read more »

December 31, 2016

Sermon by the Rev. Amanda Currie The following are reflections from our “Watch Night Service” held on New Year’s Eve, and finishing up in the early morning of New Year’s Day 2017. Reflection #1 – Listen I want to begin with a reading from the Book of Lamentations. Yes, it is part of a book of laments – people crying out to God with their complaints and struggles. I think it makes sense because I’ve heard a lot of people lamenting about 2016: “It was such a terrible year! So many bad things happened! I just wish it could be over! Good riddance to 2016!” And I guess quite a few hard things happened in the world this year. People noticed that lots of celebrities died. But, of course, there were very serious things happening in Syria and other places too, and there was the terrible result in the American election too. And maybe some of us had some hard things happen in our personal lives too… deaths of loved ones, illness, injury, plans that didn’t work out, difficulties in our relationships, mistakes that we made and couldn’t correct… Well, the author of Lamentations can relate. In the section before our reading, he is lamenting and wailing and crying about all his troubles. And then he says this: Lamentations 3:19-26 I don’t think our troubles can be any worse than the problems of the author of Lamentations. So, we are invited to do what he did – call to mind … Read more »