March 28, 2010

The following sermon is framed by the hymn “A stable lamp is lighted” with words by Richard Wilbur and music Paulette Tollefson. Philippians 2:5-11 Psalm 31:9-16 Luke 23:1-49 A stable lamp is lighted whose glow shall wake the sky; the stars shall bend their voices, and every stone shall cry. And every stone shall cry, and straw like gold shall shine; a barn shall harbour heaven, a stall become a shrine. A long time ago, in an unimportant town, a young woman gave birth to her first child. In many ways, his birth was like many others. Mary wasn’t the first or the last girl to be found pregnant before her wedding day, and Joseph was good enough to marry her anyway and be a father to the little boy. What is unusual about this child is the fact that we have heard his story – not only the stories of his adult accomplishments when he became well-known for his teaching and healing and political activity. But we have heard the stories of his birth. This person impacted the world so much that we celebrate his birth, and legends are told about how he arrived and how he survived into adulthood to do all the great and good things that he would do. They say that his mother was a virgin – not just a very young woman – but an actual virgin. She’d never been with a man at all. The father of the child must have been God … Read more »

November 21, 2010

Jeremiah 23:1-6 Colossians 1:11-20 Luke 23:33-43 I don’t think I will forget the sound of her voice on the phone. She said, “Everyone is against me!” The words themselves, and the fear and desperation in her voice brought back memories of some of the folks I worked with years ago in a group home. When they said, “Everyone is against me” it was usually a case of paranoid symptoms coming up in what was a relatively well-managed mental illness. These were people who were well cared for, safe, and secure, but who suffered from paranoid delusions at times. But the single mother of four on the other end of the phone line was not delusional. She was simply lamenting the reality of her situation. She didn’t have a safe place to live. She didn’t have good food to feed to her children. And as often as she tried to access services to help, she came up against one road block after another. She felt alone and abandoned, and like everyone was against her. As I stumbled to speak the words of reassurance that I knew she needed to hear, I was aware that my words would not be enough. As a preacher, I could easily find words to express God’s love, and as a person of faith, I could convey my own conviction that God’s love and grace extended even to her – that she too was a beloved child of God. But unless my actions matched up with my … Read more »

November 24, 2013

Jeremiah 23:1-6 Colossians 1:11-20 Luke 23:33-43 “Kingdom Coming” In the course of the liturgical year — the church year — today, we are at the end. This morning we celebrate the reign of Christ, and next Sunday we begin the Season of Advent, the time of waiting for the birth of Christ into our world. But for many of us, we’re already starting to get ourselves ready for Christmas. When I went to lead worship at one of the retirement homes on Wednesday, the first question I was asked as I was setting up for worship was, “Are you going to talk about Christmas today?” I said, “No, it’s a bit early to talk about Christmas today. It’s still November!” But then just yesterday we did have our annual Christmas Tea and Bake Sale here at the church, our children are starting to practice their Christmas Pageant this morning, and look, we even have a Christmas tree (or at least an Advent tree) lit up this morning. We’ve got “baby Jesus” on the brain already in November, but the lectionary this morning jumps us forward in time, past the angels and shepherds, past the childhood and baptism of Jesus, past his ministry in Galilee, all the way to the very end of his life. This morning we read Luke’s account of Jesus’ death on a cross. We heard how he was mocked and taunted and crucified between two criminals. It’s not too difficult to figure out why we get this … Read more »

November 20, 2016

Sermon by the Rev. Amanda Currie Children’s Sermon: “Who’s in Charge?” Jeremiah 23:1-6 Psalm 46 Colossians 1:11-20 Luke 23:33-43 “When you come into your kingdom…” Listen to this Sermon In the midst of a world in which the refugee crisis is staggering, with millions of people on the move and looking for a place to call home… In the midst of a world in which human rights abuses are committed every day in Iraq, Burma, Gambia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and so many other regions… In the midst of a world in which there is talk in the U.S. of building walls to keep people out, deporting millions, and registering and monitoring people of a certain religion… In the midst of a world in which, even in Canada, there are attacks on houses of worship, based on religion, culture, and race… We need the words of the psalmist more than ever: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult… the Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.” The morning after the U.S. election a couple of weeks ago, many of us were feeling rather sick about what we had just seen happen in our neighbouring country. No matter what our political stripe, most Canadians are horrified by the … Read more »