“Crucified with Christ”
The following is not a sermon, but a series of stories and prayers. Read through them slowly as you remember and pray for those who are crucified in our world today.
Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow me.” (Mark 8:34) Today, on Good Friday, we follow Jesus on the road to crucifixion. We accompany him to a hill called “Golgotha,” which means the “place of the skull.” It is there, on that hillside, that Jesus is raised up on the cross and left to die.
On our journey, we discover that Jesus is not alone. Two criminals are being crucified on either side of him, but they aren’t the only ones. There are many people in our world who face crosses of suffering and pain. These are people, like Jesus, who are forced to endure torment and anguish. They, too, are being crucified.
As we travel with Jesus, we call to mind some of those who are experiencing particular suffering during this COVID-19 pandemic. We will pray and remember those who must daily carry a cross. We will affirm that they are not alone in their struggle. The church is present with them through our caring, through … Read more »
Sermon by the Rev. Amanda Currie
“When you come into your kingdom…”
In the midst of a world in which the refugee crisis is staggering, with millions of people on the move and looking for a place to call home…
In the midst of a world in which human rights abuses are committed every day in Iraq, Burma, Gambia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and so many other regions…
In the midst of a world in which there is talk in the U.S. of building walls to keep people out, deporting millions, and registering and monitoring people of a certain religion…
In the midst of a world in which, even in Canada, there are attacks on houses of worship, based on religion, culture, and race…
We need the words of the psalmist more than ever: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult… the Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.”
The morning after the U.S. election a couple of … Read more »
In the course of the liturgical year — the church year — today, we are at the end. This morning we celebrate the reign of Christ, and next Sunday we begin the Season of Advent, the time of waiting for the birth of Christ into our world. But for many of us, we’re already starting to get ourselves ready for Christmas.
When I went to lead worship at one of the retirement homes on Wednesday, the first question I was asked as I was setting up for worship was, “Are you going to talk about Christmas today?” I said, “No, it’s a bit early to talk about Christmas today. It’s still November!” But then just yesterday we did have our annual Christmas Tea and Bake Sale here at the church, our children are starting to practice their Christmas Pageant this morning, and look, we even have a Christmas tree (or at least an Advent tree) lit up this morning.
We’ve got “baby Jesus” on the brain already in November, but the lectionary this morning jumps us forward in time, past the angels and shepherds, past the childhood and baptism of Jesus, past his ministry in Galilee, all the … Read more »
I don’t think I will forget the sound of her voice on the phone. She said, “Everyone is against me!” The words themselves, and the fear and desperation in her voice brought back memories of some of the folks I worked with years ago in a group home.
When they said, “Everyone is against me” it was usually a case of paranoid symptoms coming up in what was a relatively well-managed mental illness. These were people who were well cared for, safe, and secure, but who suffered from paranoid delusions at times.
But the single mother of four on the other end of the phone line was not delusional. She was simply lamenting the reality of her situation. She didn’t have a safe place to live. She didn’t have good food to feed to her children. And as often as she tried to access services to help, she came up against one road block after another. She felt alone and abandoned, and like everyone was against her.
As I stumbled to speak the words of reassurance that I knew she needed to hear, I was aware that my words would not be enough. As a preacher, I could easily find … Read more »
The following sermon is framed by the hymn “A stable lamp is lighted” with words by Richard Wilbur and music Paulette Tollefson.
A stable lamp is lighted
whose glow shall wake the sky;
the stars shall bend their voices,
and every stone shall cry.
And every stone shall cry,
and straw like gold shall shine;
a barn shall harbour heaven,
a stall become a shrine.
A long time ago, in an unimportant town, a young woman gave birth to her first child. In many ways, his birth was like many others. Mary wasn’t the first or the last girl to be found pregnant before her wedding day, and Joseph was good enough to marry her anyway and be a father to the little boy.
What is unusual about this child is the fact that we have heard his story – not only the stories of his adult accomplishments when he became well-known for his teaching and healing and political activity. But we have heard the stories of his birth. This person impacted the world so much that we celebrate his birth, and legends are told about how he arrived and how he survived into adulthood to do all the great and good things that he would … Read more »