February 1, 2009

Sermon by the Rev. Amanda Currie Deuteronomy 18:15-201 Corinthians 8:1-13Mark 1:21-28 “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty… perfect in power, in love, and purity.” There is an old tradition in many Presbyterian churches to begin Sunday worship each week by singing “Holy, holy, holy”, as we did this morning. It goes along with a Reformed Christian focus on the transcendence of God. God is holy. God is over all. God is almighty and powerful and wholly other. Beginning the weekly worship service by singing “Holy, holy, holy” also keeps the focus of what we do together in this place. We don’t come here just to be together with friends. We don’t come here for a purely academic pursuit of learning about God. And we don’t come here simply to pray and ask God for what we need. No, we come to this place each week to worship God — to acknowledge God’s holiness, God’s power, and God’s love. We come to bow down before the Creator and Author of all that is, and to give glory to God. We believe that God is the Author of all that is. That’s an interesting way of thinking about God, isn’t it? Think of the author of a novel. The author creates the characters. The author chooses the setting. The author determines the plot and crafts the dialogue. The author controls everything that happens in her book. She has the power to affect the behaviour of her characters — to have them do … Read more »

February 1, 2015

Deuteronomy 18:15-20 Psalm 111 Mark 1:21-28 “Power to Cast Out Demons” Last week there was a gathering in Saskatoon of the National dialogue between the United and Anglican Churches of Canada. Although as a Presbyterian, I wasn’t involved in the meeting, Nick and I did know a few of the people involved and so we were invited to a social gathering on Wednesday evening. Sitting around in a living room, drinking wine and sharing food with a group of mostly clergy and theologians, somehow how the topic of conversation turned towards exorcisms. I don’t remember how it happened, but suddenly we found ourselves swapping stories about times when we have been called upon to pray away evil spirits, rid homes of resident ghosts, and other unusual requests. As a group of modern, mainline, fairly progressive Christians, there was a general discomfort with being asked to serve as exorcists. There was the worry that agreeing to such requests might legitimate the concern that evil spirits are all around us and need binding. And if there are ghosts to be busted, most of us weren’t too enthusiastic about claiming to have the power to do that sort of thing. In contrast to our modern-day reticence to pray away the power of evil, Jesus did not hesitate to send the spirits scurrying away through the power of his word. And while Matthew’s Gospel tends to emphasize what Jesus said and taught in long passages like the one known as the Sermon on the … Read more »