November 28, 2021

Jeremiah 33:14-16
1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
Luke 21:25-36

“Blooming in the Darkness”

Our Christmas cactus is blooming. We’ve had it for a few years, and it does bloom occasionally. But since I’ve been working at home, I’ve really noticed it blooming over the last week, with more and more flowers appearing each day, more than I ever remember seeing before.

I’m not a gardener at all and I don’t know much about plants. Nick is the one who remembers to water our plants occasionally, with my job being mostly just to notice and appreciate them once in a while. But we all know that Christmas cacti are famous for their unusual schedule of tending to bloom at Christmas.

What they really do is that they start to grow flowers when they experience slightly cooler temperatures and longer nights: at least 13 hours of darkness will do it, and we’re well past that measure here in Regina at this time of year. So our Christmas cactus is blooming.

And I appreciate that it is a glimpse of beauty when I need it most – when it’s getting colder and darker every day, and I’m feeling discouraged because another long Saskatchewan winter is setting in.

It’s not only the darkness and … Read more »

November 29, 2015

1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
Luke 21:25-36

“Strengthened By Love”

I like the way Ralph Milton shares the background to today’s scripture reading from 1 Thessalonians in the Lectionary Story Bible: Paul liked to tell people about his friend Jesus. He liked to tell them how much God loved them, and how to live in God’s way.

Paul and his two friends, Silvanus and Timothy, went to visit people who lived in a city with a very big name. Thessalonica. They stayed there for a long time telling people stories of Jesus and showing them how to live – how to be kind and gentle with each other.

Some of the people of Thessalonica said, “We could become a church. We could come together to pray and sing. We could do things together to help others. There are people in our city who don’t have enough to eat and who don’t have a place to live. We could help them.”

Paul and his friends were very happy when the people decided to become a church. “Now you can teach each other more about God, and about how to live in God’s way,” he said. “Now Silvanus and Timothy and I can go to other places to tell people … Read more »

December 2, 2012

1 Thessalonians 3:9-13

Today I would like to take a moment to pause and give thanks for the people in my life that bring me encouragement. For my husband, who expresses his love for me both in words and in caring support. For the women in the prayer group and on the prayer chain, and for other members of the congregation who pray for me regularly. For the people who say, “Well done,” when it is true, and who offer a hug no matter what. For a Presbyterian lay preacher in a Saskatchewan town who reads my sermons online and sends me an encouraging email every few months or so.

But this isn’t just about me. I want to invite you to consider this morning… Who are the people in your life who offer you support and encouragement? Who encourages you? And how to they do it? Maybe it is a colleague who makes a point of thanking you for your valuable contributions. Maybe it is a friend or a relative who calls you, or who listens to you when you call, or who just remembers to tell you sometimes that you are loved. Maybe it is someone who tells you, “You … Read more »

November 29, 2009

Sermon by the Rev. Amanda Currie

Jeremiah 33:14-16
Psalm 25:1-10
1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
Luke 21:25-36

Today we begin a new year in the calendar of the church. And as we mark the first Sunday in the season of Advent, we jump from last week’s celebration of Christ as our King and Sovereign, back into the experience of waiting for Christ to come into our world. A week ago, we declared Christ as our Lord, and acknowledged his presence, power, and authority over all things. Our Christ candle shone brightly in our worship, and we were challenged to go out and shine that light into the world.

But today, we lit only the Candle of Hope. The Christ Candle is not shining today. And not because Christ is not present with us… I certainly believe that he is. As much as Christ was King last Sunday, Jesus is our Lord today. But in Advent we take time to acknowledge the fact that although Christ has come, Christ’s presence and power is not yet felt throughout the whole earth. Although the light of Christ shines, there are still many dark places in our world and within our lives.

As you may remember, Advent means “coming”. Christ came among us … Read more »