March 3, 2013

Isaiah 55:1-9 Luke 13:1-9 “Stop! Drink water.” There was a cartoon circulating on email a couple of weeks ago. The scene was the Vatican, and the speech bubble was of someone inside responding in surprise to Pope Benedict’s announcement of his resignation: “You’re giving up WHAT for Lent?” There is a tradition of Christians giving something up during Lent. We might give up some indulgence that we don’t really need. We might fast on a certain day of the week or forego eating meat, as a way of disciplining ourselves and turning our attention towards God. Others have changed up the tradition a little by talking about taking something on during Lent. They try to add something to their daily or weekly routine… making sure they come to worship every week, adding daily prayer to their schedule, spending some intentional time in service to the poor or the lonely or the sick. Around St. Andrew’s this year, we’ve had a few invitations to take something on during Lent. I handed copies of a devotional booklet that I called “A Time to Pray,” and offered a Wednesday evening bible study on the appropriately Lenten topic of forgiveness. The Stewardship Committee invited us all to gather our coins for a special offering to PWS&D, and they called us to pay attention to our stewardship of time during Lent with a survey and a time log, along with some thoughtful questions to help us evaluate our use of time and make some changes … Read more »

February 28, 2016

Isaiah 55:1-9 Psalm 63:1-8 “With All Our Hearts” This morning I want to invite you to think about what you love. Perhaps it is that first cup of coffee in the morning, or your favourite dessert. Maybe it’s that wonderful sports team that you root for, or the movie that you’ve watched again and again because you just can’t get enough of it. Maybe you love your music, or your hobby, or the feeling of satisfaction you get when you have done your work well. Of course, I am sure that there are some people that you love truly and deeply. Perhaps your spouse, your children, your best friend. You love them so much that your heart aches when you are apart. You love them so much that you are filled with anxiety when they are hurting or in danger. Today’s psalm gives us an idea of what that kind of love sounds like when it is directed towards God. The psalmist writes: “O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water… your steadfast love is better than life… My soul clings to you…” I wonder how many of us got up this morning thinking, “Oh, how I need God today! I can’t wait to jump out of bed and get myself to church so that I can spend time with God, and listen for God, and praise … Read more »

August 6, 2017

Isaiah 55:1-5 Matthew 14:13-21 “You Give them Something to Eat” How many times have you heard someone comment that the potluck suppers are the best thing about coming to church? At least one person made that comment to me after the lovely potluck we shared before my induction last week. And I get it. Those meals are pretty great! Home-cooked food… wonderful variety… so many different flavours and textures, and surprises in every mouthful… followed by an amazing array of delightful desserts! And all for the low price of showing up, and maybe bringing along your favourite dish to add to the selection. As a minister, of course I’d rather hear that the best thing about coming to church is the brilliant sermons or the thoughtful prayers, but I can’t deny that food-sharing in Christian community is actually a really important part of what we do together, and perfectly in line with our faith. The Gospels are full of stories about Jesus sharing meals with his friends and disciples. And the “feeding of the 5000” is one of the most famous of his miracles. It is a wonderful miracle! All they have is five loaves and two fish, but somehow they manage to feed the crowd of thousands! And when the people are finished eating, they pick up twelve baskets full of leftovers. Traditionally, we would imagine bread and fish magically appearing to fill the baskets up as they are passed through the crowds – an absolutely miraculous multiplication taking … Read more »