June 30, 2013

2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14 Galatians 5:1, 13-25 Luke 9:51-62 “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” Singing: I looked over Jordan, and what did I see, Coming for to carry me home? A band of angels coming after me, Coming for to carry me home. Swing low, sweet chariot, Coming for to carry me home, Swing low, sweet chariot, Coming for to carry me home. I’m sometimes up and sometimes down, Coming for to carry me home, But still my soul feels heavenly bound, Coming for to carry me home. Swing low, sweet chariot, Coming for to carry me home, Swing low, sweet chariot, Coming for to carry me home. “Swing low, sweet chariot” is a historic American Negro spiritual. It was written by Wallis Willis who lived in Oklahoma sometime before 1862. He was inspired by the Red River, which reminded him of the Jordan River and of the prophet Elijah’s being taken up into heaven by a fiery chariot. Many sources claim that this song, more than just being a reflection on Elijah’s story, and more than just being a hopeful song about going to heaven, was actually also referring to the Underground Railroad, the resistance movement that helped slaves escape from the South to the North and Canada. Listen to the words of the third verse: “If you get there before I do, Coming for to carry me home, Tell all my friends I’m coming too, Coming for to carry me home.” More than just a hope for heaven, the … Read more »

June 26, 2016

Listen to this Sermon Isaiah 9:1-7 Galatians 5:16-25 1 Peter 1:3-9 Luke 15:1-10 “The Fruit of the Spirit is JOY” In Paul’s letter to the Galatian Church, he tells one of the first communities of Christians not to gratify the desires of the flesh, but to “live by the Spirit” and “be guided by the Spirit.” I think what he’s talking about is how we make decisions. I think he’s talking about little decisions and big decisions… decisions about what to do on a particular day, and decisions about what to do with our wholes lives… decisions about relationships and decisions about behaviours. Paul explains that we can either let our flesh guide our decisions, or we can let the Spirit guide our decisions. We can go for whatever will produce immediate pleasure, or we can let God guide us to what is right and good. Paul says that “the works of the flesh are obvious.” These are the negative things that will show up in our lives if our decisions are directed by our flesh: “fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these.” And he warns them, as he has done before, that “those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Sunday after Sunday, we acknowledge that some of the things on that list, and perhaps other negative attitudes and behaviours, continue to be a part of each of our lives and the life … Read more »