February 1, 2015

Deuteronomy 18:15-20 Psalm 111 Mark 1:21-28 “Power to Cast Out Demons” Last week there was a gathering in Saskatoon of the National dialogue between the United and Anglican Churches of Canada. Although as a Presbyterian, I wasn’t involved in the meeting, Nick and I did know a few of the people involved and so we were invited to a social gathering on Wednesday evening. Sitting around in a living room, drinking wine and sharing food with a group of mostly clergy and theologians, somehow how the topic of conversation turned towards exorcisms. I don’t remember how it happened, but suddenly we found ourselves swapping stories about times when we have been called upon to pray away evil spirits, rid homes of resident ghosts, and other unusual requests. As a group of modern, mainline, fairly progressive Christians, there was a general discomfort with being asked to serve as exorcists. There was the worry that agreeing to such requests might legitimate the concern that evil spirits are all around us and need binding. And if there are ghosts to be busted, most of us weren’t too enthusiastic about claiming to have the power to do that sort of thing. In contrast to our modern-day reticence to pray away the power of evil, Jesus did not hesitate to send the spirits scurrying away through the power of his word. And while Matthew’s Gospel tends to emphasize what Jesus said and taught in long passages like the one known as the Sermon on the … Read more »

January 22, 2017

Sermon by the Rev. Amanda Currie Exodus 20:18-20 Psalm 111 Matthew 10:26-33 Listen to this Sermon “The Fear of the Lord” One of the significant themes in the Book of Proverbs is the “Fear of the Lord,” so I thought it would be a good topic for a sermon during our series on “Pondering Proverbs.” As you pondered some proverbs over the last week, perhaps you came across some of the ones that argue that a healthy fear of God is the proper attitude for human beings. Of course, there is the famous one from Proverbs 9:10 that is matched by the final line in this morning’s Psalm 111: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” In a book absolutely brimming with wise words and insightful advice, it suggests that the first place to start in growing in wisdom in our lives is with a proper attitude towards God and God’s commands. From other verses in the book we learn that fearing God means hating evil, pride, and arrogance (Pr. 8:13). Indeed, fearing God will help us to avoid evil (Pr. 16:6). We are told that the fear of the Lord prolongs life (Pr. 10:27), that it is a fountain of life (Pr. 14:27) that it gives us strong confidence (Pr. 14:26), and allows us to rest secure and suffer no harm (Pr. 19:23). And in another verse, we learn that the reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honour and life (Pr. … Read more »