June 7, 2009

Sermon by the Rev. Amanda Currie Isaiah 6:1-8 Psalm 29 Mark 3:13-19 There are many stories in the scriptures about Jesus sending out his followers to do ministry in his name. Our Gospel text today is one of these stories that give us insight into our mission as Jesus’ followers today. One of the interesting things about this text is that it lists the names of the people who were sent, and it gives them a new title. Most of the time, Jesus’ friends were called “disciples”. You probably remember that “disciple” comes from a Greek word meaning “one who follows and learns”. In fact, today’s passage begins with Jesus inviting some of his “disciples” to go up on a mountain with him. And then he chooses twelve of them to receive a new title and a new task. The new title he gives these twelve is “apostle” — from another Greek word meaning “one who is sent”. And the only other thing in the passage, besides the listing of the apostles’ names, is a sentence about the work Jesus was sending them out to do. He sent them out “to preach and to force out demons”. When I study a passage like this one, I usually start wondering about what those apostles were feeling as Jesus’ sent them out to preach and to force out demons. Did they feel like they were ready to do it? Had they figured out what they would say to the people when they … Read more »

February 7, 2010

Sermon by the Rev. Amanda Currie Isaiah 6:1-8 Psalm 138 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 Luke 5:1-11 I said in my sermon last Sunday that when we come face to face with God in Jesus Christ, the amazing nature of God’s goodness can make us suddenly aware of our own imperfection. We believe in a God who loves us with an unending love, but who also calls us to let the Spirit transform us more and more into the image and likeness of God. And so, the message of the prophets is never just that God exists, or that God simply loves us, but it is that God both loves us and requires us to live in certain ways – ways of love and justice – within our families, our communities, and in relation to our neighbours. But sometimes, the fact of our human sinfulness becomes the main message that we get in church. In prayers of confession each week, we are reminded of our failures – the things we have done wrong, and the good and loving things that we have failed to do. As much as I would like to ignore sin and to focus on those things that we are doing well – to concentrate on the ways that we are loving and serving, and giving our time and energy towards God’s good purposes, the reality of human sinfulness comes up over and over in the scriptures. Today’s readings include two examples of human people coming face to face … Read more »