August 25, 2019

Jeremiah 1:4-10 Hebrews 12:18-29 Luke 13:10-17 “Shaking Things Up” After this morning’s bulletin was printed with the sermon title, “Shaking Things Up” I started thinking that I should have called it “To Shake or Not to Shake: That is the Question.” You see, the reference to shaking in today’s reading from the Book of Hebrews brought to my mind all kinds of associations with shaking. And some of them favoured shaking things up as a good plan, while others suggested that shaking was really negative. To Shake or Not to Shake: That is the question I want to consider today. I must say that Presbyterians are generally pretty disinclined to shake. We have a reputation for being reserved and thoughtful, not wild and enthusiastic. Some have called us “the frozen chosen” and we’re not prone to ecstatic utterances. You might say that Pentecostal Christians, when the Spirit is moving them to raise their hands, move to the praise and worship music, or even speak in tongues are the exact opposite of quiet orderly Presbyterians. But then I remembered the Shaker Movement within Christianity. Many of us know the Shakers from their musical contributions to the wider church, especially the Shaker hymn, “’Tis a gift to be simple” with the tune we use in the “Lord of the dance” hymn that we love. And beyond the church, many people will know the Shakers for the unique style of furniture that they designed. They believed that making something well was in itself, … Read more »

January 31, 2010

Sermon by the Rev. Amanda Currie Jeremiah 1:4-10 Psalm 71:1-6 1 Corinthians 13 Luke 4:21-30 I’ve been pondering these scripture texts all week and thinking about what to say to you this morning. And most of my attention has been focused on the prophets. I spent some time on Friday reading about Jeremiah and his call as a prophet to the people of Judah in the period just before the exile. Jeremiah, whose call we heard today, had the really tough job of preaching God’s words of judgment to the people. He was the one who had to tell them to shape up, to stop worshipping so many false gods, and to turn back to the One God of Israel. From the very beginning of Jeremiah’s life, he was chosen by God for this difficult task. And though Jeremiah objected, saying that he was only a boy, God said “You will go to all to whom I send you, and you will speak whatever I command you. Do not be afraid, for I am with you.” But figuring out what words to say was probably the least of Jeremiah’s worries. God would give him the message to proclaim, but the hard part was going to be dealing with the people’s response to his words. God said, “I will appoint you over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.” In other words, most of what Jeremiah had … Read more »