April 17, 2022

1 Corinthians 15:19-26

“The Last Enemy”

Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!

Do you believe that? And if you do believe it, what difference does it make to you? How does believing in the resurrection of Christ change your life? How does it affect how you feel or how you live? The Apostle Paul explores these questions in detail towards the end of his first letter to the Christians at Corinth.

You may remember that the Corinthians were struggling with a lot of issues and conflicts over what they believed and how they practiced their faith. After sorting out their issues with leadership, divisions, the Lord’s Supper, spiritual gifts, and orderly worship, Paul finally gets to the really big one – the question about resurrection.

In verse twelve, Paul expresses the main issue: “Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead?” Some in the Corinthian community rejoiced in the resurrection of the crucified Christ. Like us, they proclaimed: Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed! But they weren’t so sure that the rest of us would also be resurrected – at least not in any kind of bodily way.

Their … Read more »

February 6, 2022

Luke 5:1-11
1 Corinthians 15:1-11

“Unworthy Apostles”

Have you ever had the feeling of being unworthy or ill-equipped to do something that you were being asked to do? Perhaps you felt like that when you found out you were going to be a parent for the first time, or when it fell to you to deliver the eulogy for someone you loved. Maybe you remember being interviewed for a position of new responsibility or leadership at work, or letting your name stand for a role in the church or another community organization that stretched you beyond your comfort zone.

I think that’s what was happening with Simon in today’s Gospel story when Jesus began to prepare him to take on the role of Apostle on Jesus’ missionary team.

The way Luke tells the story, Simon wasn’t meeting Jesus for the first time on that day of fishing out on the water. Jesus had already stayed at Simon’s house and healed Simon’s mother-in-law from some kind of illness. Likely, Simon had also witnessed Jesus healing other people in his community, and undoubtedly heard some of his preaching and teaching as well.

But on this day, Jesus singles out Simon and his fishing partners to receive a great … Read more »

April 4, 2021

1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Mark 16:1-8

“Choosing Faith”

On Easter Day and in the season that follows, we proclaim with joy that “Christ is risen! Christ is risen, indeed!” This is the good news that has been proclaimed to us, which we received, in which we trust, and through which we are being saved, as the Apostle Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 15:1-11.

Paul writes: “For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.”

But every third Easter Sunday or so, we hear the Resurrection story as recounted in the Gospel of Mark. Through it, we enter into the experience of Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome as they rise very early on the first day of the week and go to the tomb of Jesus. Their intention is to perform a final act of service and care for their friend, having bought spices to anoint him in his final resting place.

The women wonder how they … Read more »

March 31, 2019

1 Corinthians 15:1-3, 11b-32

“While he was still far off”

Special thanks to the SALT Lectionary Commentary (saltproject.org) for reflections on the parable that significantly inspired this sermon. Portions of the commentary are included in the sermon as longer quotes.

I once played the part of the prodigal son in a musical rendition of the “Parables of Jesus” that we put together when I was a student at Knox College. I remember kneeling on the floor at the front of the chapel, miming the feeding of the pigs, and singing a mournful song about how down-and-out I had become, and my feelings of sorrow and regret at all the mistakes that I had made.

In that rendition of Jesus’ parable, I was the main character, and the focus was on my poor choices, my repentance, my return, and the generous party thrown in my honour. No matter what, I was still a child of God, and God would love, forgive, and welcome me home if I turned my life around and came back.

Certainly, that message is true. And on this fourth Sunday in the Season of Lent, it provides one more word of encouragement to repent – to turn our hearts and our lives … Read more »

November 13, 2016 – “Being the Church: Believing in Life after Death”

Sermon by the Rev. Amanda Currie

1 Corinthians 15:1-7, 17-26, 35-42, 49-58

“Being the Church: Believing in Life after Death”

Today’s sermon is the final one in a series on “Being the Church.” Over the last several weeks, we have been thinking and praying about the precious gifts that we as church possess… aspects of our “being” that we are called to nurture, and steward, and share with the world around us. The list of five characteristics of the church was suggested by the Rev. Emily Bisset, who developed a study and worship series on the topic, but it is not an exhaustive or exclusive list, as if we could not identify and cherish some additional aspects of what it means to be church.

But Emily’s list included “Singing Together,” “Creating Safe Space,” “Welcoming All Ages,” “Loving with Empathy and Compassion,” and finally today’s theme: “Believing in Life after Death.”

You may have noticed, as I did, with the list, that most of the aspects of “Being the Church” were not doctrinal affirmations. It was not a list of things that Christians are supposed to believe in order to be in the group. Instead, it was mostly a list of things that we DO … Read more »

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, 2012

Habakkuk 3:17-19
1 Corinthians 15:51-58
John 12:23-26

A sermon preached by the Rev. Amanda Currie and Nicholas Jesson at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Saskatoon and St. Andrew’s Anglican Church, Humboldt on January 29, 2012.

In the introduction to the ecumenical service for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity this year, the Polish authors of the material emphasize the theme of transformation. Using the main biblical text from 1 Corinthians 15, they speak boldly and hopefully about the transformation that awaits us when our lives in this world come to an end.

With the foundational conviction that Christ was raised from death to life forevermore with God, the Apostle Paul proclaims the good news that precisely because Christ is raised, those who love him and follow him will also be raised. We too will be transformed from death to life, not because of our own goodness or power, but because of the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“Listen, I will tell you a mystery!” Paul explains it, “We will not all die, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, … 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 … Read more »

April 12, 2009

Sermon by the Rev. Amanda Currie

Mark 16:1-8
Acts 10:34-43
1 Corinthians 15:1-11

If you open up a bible to the end of the Gospel of Mark, you will find that its ending is unclear. The earliest manuscripts finish with chapter 16, verse 8: “So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.”

But our Gospel translations have two added endings. The shorter one simply adds these words: “And all that had been commanded them they told briefly to those around Peter. And afterward Jesus himself sent out through them, from east to west, the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.”

The longer ending goes on for eleven more verses in which Jesus appears to Mary, then to two disciples, and then he appears to the eleven disciples and commissions them to proclaim the good news to the whole creation. Finally, he ascends into heaven, and the narrator assures the readers that the disciples did indeed go out to proclaim the good news everywhere.

These extra endings are not believed to be from the original manuscripts of the Gospel, but they were added by editors … Read more »