April 18, 2010

John 21:1-19 Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed! A friend of mine told me the other day that she missed Easter this year. I said, “What? You missed Easter?” She said, “Ya, I missed Easter Sunday. I had a terrible lung infection. I wanted to get up and go to church because it was Easter… How could I miss Easter? But I was just too sick, and my family made me stay in bed.” “Well,” I said to my friend, “It’s a good thing that Easter lasts for seven whole weeks! You just missed the big celebration on the first Sunday of Easter, but you can keep on celebrating that Christ is risen… all the way up to Pentecost, which is near the end of May this year.” In fact, we can keep on celebrating Easter even after the Season of Easter is over. Sometimes I think we forget that, for Christians, every Sunday is a “little Easter” celebration. Our tradition is to gather for worship every week on Sunday morning. And that’s not just a random time and day. The earliest followers of the Way began the practice as a way of celebrating that Jesus rose from the dead early on a Sunday morning. They started to call Sunday “the Lord’s Day” and moved the primary day of worship from the Jewish Sabbath (Saturday) to Sunday morning instead. They celebrated on the Lord’s Day because they had come to know and believe that Christ is risen! He is … Read more »

April 14, 2013

Acts 9:1-20 John 21:1-19 “Converted For Mission” This week I was drawn into the story from the Book of Acts about Saul’s conversion to Christianity. Saul, the Pharisee, who was still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of Jesus, who was making plans to arrest any he found who belonged to the Way… Saul was going along and approaching Damascus, when suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard the voice of Jesus. And to make a long story short, he was converted from a persecutor of Christians to one of the most influential Apostles of Christ, who brought the Gospel to the Gentiles and recorded the Good News in writings and letters for generations to come. Early in the week, I invited folks, with whom I shared the story, to think about their own stories of coming to faith in Jesus Christ. I wondered if some might have a story as dramatic as Saul’s experience. I remembered someone telling such a dramatic story many years ago when I was in university. I was at a Christian gathering on campus and there was a young man named Stephen telling his story of coming to faith, giving his testimony. Stephen told us about the challenges of his childhood and teen years. His parents split up, and he was not a very happy child. He didn’t think that either of his parents really loved him, so he got into all kinds of rebellious activities, … Read more »

August 16, 2015

The following sermon was preached at St. Andrew’s by the Rev. Dr. Stewart Folster, minister at the Saskatoon Native Circle Ministry. John 21:14-19 “Healing and Reconciliation” The National Church has been talking a lot about healing and reconciliation in the past couple of years. It is their hope that the relationship between the Presbyterian Church in Canada and the First Nations of this land can be reconciled and that we can walk into the future together and begin a new and healthy journey together. Healing and reconciliation. Healing can take place from now on until the end of the road. Reconciliation is about making things right. It’s about putting our faith into action. However, we can’t reconcile unless we know that we have done something wrong and that we have the desire to make things right. So, reconciliation needs education. We have to educate ourselves about our own histories. A mission relationship gives us the opportunity to share stories and share the struggles and joys of each of our ministries. And we can share our faith and share the uniqueness of our style of worship and the different ways that we evangelize and do mission. I think we have done some of that but we need to do more. There is so much more that we can learn and experience from each other. Some of our story and some of our history is painful. I can understand why we are reluctant to go there. But the outcome of that study … Read more »

April 10, 2016

John 21:1-19 “Do you love me?” In this Season of Easter, we read and remember the wonderful stories of Jesus’ resurrection appearances. Luke’s Gospel has him appear to Cleopas and another disciple on the road to Emmaus, and Matthew says he appeared to a bunch of disciples together on the top of a mountain. According to John, he first appeared to Mary Magdalene in the cemetery, then to the disciples in a locked room. And in his final appearance, Jesus serves breakfast to his disciples on a beach, and has a heart-rending conversation with Peter. What a strange conversation it is – with Jesus, a full-grown man, asking his full-grown fisherman friend, Peter, if he loves him. Not just asking once… but again and again. It sounds like the kind of thing that a sad or needy child asks a mum or dad: “Do you love me?” “Yes, of course I love you,” comes the response along with a smile and a hug of reassurance. You are safe. You are loved. You are mine. But I don’t think that’s what is going on here. Jesus doesn’t need reassurance from Peter. In fact, it’s probably the opposite. Jesus is reassuring Peter that Jesus still loves him. After all, Peter is the one who denied knowing Jesus three times when Jesus was arrested. Peter is the one who ran away when Jesus was crucified. Peter is the one who failed to show his love when his friend was in trouble. Did you … Read more »