June 19, 2016

1 Corinthians 13 1 John 4:7-12 “The Fruit of the Spirit is LOVE” The photograph on the front of this morning’s bulletin shows a boy named Jake, in the midst of a great leap off the dock into Lac Castor – Beaver Lake. I know that lake well, as it’s the lake at Gracefield Camp – the Presbyterian camp that I attended as a child and worked at for many years as a young adult. The picture was chosen to mark the beginning of the Christian camping season and the goodness of God’s creation coming alive at this time of year, but what I noticed about it was the boy’s leap! He looks so confident and free… trusting that the water won’t be too shallow for such a leap, or too cold for a little boy, or too full of strange creatures like fish, or turtles, or leaches, or lake sharks! The boy’s confident leap makes me think about the leaps that we adults are invited to make, and about which we often show a great deal more hesitation… things like buying a first home, starting up a business, deciding to change careers, embarking on a new ministry, or getting married. Pope Francis remarked this week that the vast majority of young people getting married today don’t truly understand the meaning or significance of the commitment that they are making to each other. It’s like they are children, leaping into a lake without checking the depth, or the temperature, or … Read more »

May 3, 2015

Acts 8:26-40 1 John 4:7-21 “Mission as Evangelism” Have you ever wondered what happened to the Ethiopian man after Philip baptized him beside the road and then disappeared from sight? The story in the Book of Acts doesn’t tell us, but the tradition is that he carried the gospel back home to Ethiopia and founded the church there. I’ve always liked this little story in Acts 8 because it’s very personal – it’s the story of how one person heard and began to understand the good news about Jesus Christ because a believer took the time to listen, to share, and to discuss it with him. But it’s also the story of the gospel going out into all the earth. Once the disciples had received the gift of the Holy Spirit and the power to proclaim the gospel in all the languages of the world, it began to spread… throughout countries and cultures, crossing borders, and being shared from one person to another, from one community to another – the fulfillment of the mission that Jesus gave to his disciples. Even as we gather here to worship nearly two thousand years later, we might pause and give thanks for those first evangelists like Philip, and like the Ethiopian man whose name we don’t even know. Because it was through their witness, through their courage, and through their listening to the Spirit’s guiding that the gospel spread, and eventually that each of us came to know that we are God’s children, … Read more »

September 28, 2014

“Friends” We’ve been talking about friendship this weekend with the Saskatchewan Presbyterian Youth. We looked at the story of David and Jonathan to see what we could learn about friendship from them. We studied the passage from John’s Gospel where Jesus calls his disciples friends, and thought about what it means to be a friend of Jesus. And we watched and discussed the play, “The Shape of a Girl” – a play about friendship, and bullying, and things getting out of control, and having the courage to speak out. More than any of us, the youth are probably most used to thinking about and talking about friendship. At their stage of life, making and keeping friends is a big part of life. When we are young, we learn about being friends… maybe from our parents, and maybe from our peers… we learn how to play together with others, how to share, how to care, how to listen to someone else and share our feelings with others too. I want to invite you now… no matter how old you are… to think about the friends you have had over the years. Remember your friends at school or in the neighbourhood when you were a child. Think of your high school friends. Some friends you had for a time, and others have remained close over many years. Maybe you remember college friends with whom you studied or partied. Maybe you remember work friends who supported each other and shared burdens or challenges … Read more »

April 26, 2009

Genesis 1:26-31a Psalm 8 1 John 4:7-21 John 13:12-15, 34-35 I’ve never had a guitar lesson, per se. I learned to play a few basic chords on the guitar and to strum along to the beat of the music when I was 17 and I was working in the kitchen at the Presbyterian camp. The first song that I learned to play on the guitar was this one… sing along if you know it… Lead me, Jesus; I will follow,down the dusty pathways, all along the sea. Teach me, Jesus, to be loving: your disciple I will be. I’ve sung that song so many times over the years since then. And whenever I sing it, I wonder about what it might have been like to be one of Jesus’ disciples… one of his first disciples who travelled with him along the dusty roads, beside seashores and through little villages… shuffling through the crowds, and stopping to touch and to pray for the sick, listening and questioning, wondering about home and family, anticipating the next day’s adventure, sharing food & wine among friends and strangers, and meeting all kinds of unusual people. I imagine what it must have been like for his disciples not to know what would happen the next day, where they would end up, who they would meet along the way, what Jesus would ask them to do, or what surprising things he might teach them. In this season of Easter, I think about the unbelievable choices and … Read more »