April 19, 2020

1 Peter 1:3-9 John 20:19-31 “Left Out, Longing Thomas” This is the Second Sunday of the Season of Easter. If you feel like you didn’t have a chance to fully celebrate Easter last weekend, given that we are in a pandemic lockdown, and gatherings for worship and extended-family meals are not allowed, don’t worry. Easter is not a single day or a weekend, but it is a whole season! There are seven weeks of Eastertide. Poetically, that’s one more week than the six weeks of Lent. So life, and joy, and celebration win! And even if we’re still living with staying home and physically distancing through this whole season, we will still have plenty of time to celebrate the resurrection creatively and fully during Eastertide as we watch new life bursting forth in this season of Spring. I love the way that the author of 1st Peter encourages the churches to whom he is writing to celebrate the grace and goodness of God, even in the midst of their struggles. He invites them to rejoice because God has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. God has not swept away all our troubles, making our lives perfect and easy, but God has given us hope so that we can endure. 1st Peter says that “Even if now for a little while [we] have had to suffer various trials…” our faith, that is being tested, will result in praise and glory and honour … Read more »

June 26, 2016

Isaiah 9:1-7 Galatians 5:16-25 1 Peter 1:3-9 Luke 15:1-10 “The Fruit of the Spirit is JOY” In Paul’s letter to the Galatian Church, he tells one of the first communities of Christians not to gratify the desires of the flesh, but to “live by the Spirit” and “be guided by the Spirit.” I think what he’s talking about is how we make decisions. I think he’s talking about little decisions and big decisions… decisions about what to do on a particular day, and decisions about what to do with our wholes lives… decisions about relationships and decisions about behaviours. Paul explains that we can either let our flesh guide our decisions, or we can let the Spirit guide our decisions. We can go for whatever will produce immediate pleasure, or we can let God guide us to what is right and good. Paul says that “the works of the flesh are obvious.” These are the negative things that will show up in our lives if our decisions are directed by our flesh: “fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these.” And he warns them, as he has done before, that “those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Sunday after Sunday, we acknowledge that some of the things on that list, and perhaps other negative attitudes and behaviours, continue to be a part of each of our lives and the life of our community. We … Read more »