March 6, 2009 – World Day of Prayer

The following sermon was preached by the Rev. Amanda Currie at St. Andrew’s for the World Day of Prayer worship service on Friday, March 6th, 2009. The service for the downtown churches of Saskatoon was hosted by St. Andrew’s and organized by Adela MacDonald and Helen Foss, in cooperation with women from seven neighbourhood churches. The liturgy was prepared and adapted by the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada. Scripture: Romans 12:4-21; Exodus 2:1-10; Acts 4:32-35 The earliest Christian church, described in the book of Acts, sounds so wonderful, doesn’t it? “Those who believed were of one heart and soul…” Doesn’t that sound lovely when you think about the disagreements and conflicts in our churches today? “With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus…” Doesn’t that kind of preaching sound inspiring? “There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned land or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold.” Wow! Not a needy person among them — no one left out — because they all committed to share what they had, and it was enough for all. I think that most often, when we read this text about the early Christian church, we start comparing it to our own congregations and parishes. We notice that our Christian communities are not nearly so unified. We complain that our leaders are not nearly so inspiring. And we are challenged by the example of the first Christian church to … Read more »

April 15, 2012

Acts 4:32-35 Psalm 133 1 John 1:1-2:2 The fourth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles provides us with an idyllic picture of the church at the beginning: “The whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul.” Now that’s unity! They were “of one heart and soul.” Of course, maybe that’s because there weren’t very many of them yet. They were just a small group of disciples who had a lot in common with each other and managed to keep the same perspective on most things. Well, no. They weren’t that small a group. Even before the day of Pentecost when the Spirit was poured out on the gathered disciples, there were about a hundred of them waiting together in Jerusalem. And after that, the church grew in leaps and bounds! And no, they weren’t all fishermen from Galilee. Remember the Jews from all the nations of the world who were in Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of Pentecost? And remember how they heard the disciples speaking in their own various languages? After Peter’s first sermon to the crowd, apparently 3000 believers were added to their number, and more and more every day after that! By the fourth chapter of Acts, the church must have numbered around 5000 people, and it would have included people from various countries, cultures, languages, and backgrounds. They were probably mostly Jewish Christians – but still, it’s pretty amazing that they were getting along well and unified in heart and soul. … Read more »

April 12, 2015

Acts 4:32-35 Psalm 133 1 John 1:1 – 2:2 John 20:19-31 “Unity: How Good It Is!” Oh look and wonder, how good it is! Oh look and wonder, how good it is! How good it is when kindred live in harmony together, joyous and sweet as life God gives on Zion evermore. (Sung: Book of Praise, #93) How good it is, indeed, when families get along with each other and enjoy spending time together in work, in leisure, and in rest. If you spent time with your family last weekend over Easter, you may be reflecting either on how wonderful it was to get together, or on how difficult it was because of conflicts, or tensions, or misunderstandings between family members. How good it is, indeed, when church families enjoy coming together to worship, serve, and share fellowship together! Last Sunday after our Easter service, I couldn’t help but notice and celebrate the fact that many people hung around for quite a long time over coffee and conversation in the lower hall. Children were playing, adults were talking, almost everyone was smiling and laughing, and there were even pictures being taken to remember the day. How good it would be if all Christians could come together in this way – not only in social life, but in shared faith and common worship of God in Jesus Christ. Although we are taking steps towards greater cooperation and sharing, the Body of Christ continues to be divided because of differences in doctrine, … Read more »