December 13, 2009

Sermon by the Rev. Amanda Currie Zephaniah 3:14-20 Isaiah 12:2-6 Philippians 4:4-7 Luke 3:7-18 The message of the prophets on this third Sunday in Advent is about the joy of salvation. Like Israel before us, we have a reason to rejoice, because God has decided not to hold us accountable for our sins and failings, but to demonstrate grace and offer us forgiveness. As the prophet Zephaniah wrote to the people of Israel, “The LORD has taken away the judgments against you.” We are called to rejoice and exult with all our hearts. We are invited to draw spiritual water from the wells of salvation, and to do so with joy and thanksgiving. This is, of course, a message that is not reserved for Advent or Christmas. We are reminded of God’s grace and forgiveness over and over in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, and Sunday after Sunday, we hear the assurance of God’s abiding love and grace for us, God’s own wandering children. But the message of grace in today’s scriptures comes hand in hand with a challenge. The prophet John is preaching about the One coming into the world from God. He is calling the people to prepare the way of the Lord, to get ready for a Messiah who will baptize them with the Holy Spirit and fire. But John’s message is not, “Relax and don’t worry. You folks are fairly good people, and God is forgiving you anyway, so you really don’t need … Read more »

December 16, 2012

Isaiah 12:2-6 “Drawing Water: A Short Reflection after the Christmas Pageant” This is a day of rejoicing, is it not? We are filled with the joy of being together as a church family, of singing some of our favourite carols and listening once again to the beautiful story of Jesus’ birth. We are filled with joy because our children are beautiful, and talented, and they have shared their gifts with us once again today. Most of all, we are filled with joy because today we are remembering the real Christmas. Details aside, we are remembering and rejoicing in the truth that in Jesus of Nazareth, God became flesh and lived among us. And in Jesus the Christ, we have experienced God’s very presence, love, and grace for us. The Christmas story has been shared today, in words, and action, and song, so I don’t need to say much more. But I just wanted to briefly draw our attention to the passage from Isaiah 12 that Christine just read for us. The prophet, who shared these words so long ago, was declaring his confidence and trust in God. Despite all the struggles that God’s people were experiencing, the prophet encouraged everyone to trust in God and not to be afraid. That is an encouragement that we also need to hear, again and again and again: “Surely God is our salvation; Let us trust, and not be afraid, for the Lord is our strength and our might; God has become our salvation.” … Read more »