June 26, 2022

Galatians 5:1, 13-25
Luke 9:51-62

“When the Spirit says Follow”

On this day, when six members of our community have decided to reaffirm their faith and become professing members of our congregation, it seems very appropriate that the Gospel text in the lectionary today begins with a moment when Jesus made a similar decision.

No, he didn’t affirm his faith in the ancient words of the Apostles’ Creed. (They’re ancient to us, but not yet even written for Jesus.) Nor did he settle down in one particular faith community in which he promised to serve and share his gifts faithfully as a member of the church.

But Luke 9:51 represents a key moment when Jesus seems to decide, to commit himself, and to persevere towards the mission to which God has called him. The text says, “When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.”

Jerusalem was a place Jesus had been to many times before. It was the central place of worship for his people. He’s likely been there every year throughout his life, perhaps as many as three times a year – for all the great pilgrimage festivals.

We know the story of Jesus as … Read more »

February 27, 2022

Exodus 34:29-35
2 Corinthians 3:12 – 4:2
Luke 9:28-36

“A Shine That Never Fades”

The biblical texts set in the lectionary for this “Transfiguration Sunday” are very strange. They invite us to hear about two mysterious spiritual experiences of encounters with God on mountain-tops, and then to consider what these stories may mean for us today.

Most of us have probably heard the New Testament story about the Transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain-top with his disciples. We usually read one version or another of that story every year on the Sunday just before the Season of Lent – Transfiguration Sunday. Although I know that sometimes it does get skipped, as preachers aren’t always sure what to say about such a strange and mystical experience.

This year, the story about Jesus on a mountain-top is paired with one from the Book of Exodus about Moses on a mountain-top. In both cases, God is present and meets with them. And both men are transformed physically by the experience, with their faces (and in Jesus’ case, his clothing too) beginning to shine.

Moses has been on a mountain-top to meet God before, of course. Back when God first called to him out of a “burning bush” and sent him … Read more »

June 30, 2019

2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14
Galatians 5:1, 13-25
Luke 9:51-62

“Our Inheritance”

What have you inherited from your parents or grandparents?

When I think about an inheritance, I first think of money – a bequest left in a will. When my grandfather died last year at the age of 102, I was pleased to see that he gave generously to the church and its mission (both before he died and in his planned giving). But he also included gifts for his children and grandchildren, and each of us will have a little more security and confidence in the future because of that inheritance that we received.

But we often inherit much more than money, or other things besides money. Perhaps some of you inherited something like a house or a car or a cabin when one of your relatives died. And there may be smaller things too, sometimes with less monetary value but more sentimental value. Maybe you inherited a piece of furniture, a set of teacups, or a special piece of artwork. Maybe you inherited all your grandmother’s photo albums or your uncle’s research about your family history.

Through these kinds of inheritances, our loved ones live on in a way. We think about their lives … Read more »

March 3, 2019

Luke 9:28-43a

“Jesus Has Left the Building”

It is good for us to be here today, gathered in the name of Jesus, to worship, and listen for God’s Word, and share fellowship with one another, and be equipped to serve God and our neighbours in the world. That’s what the Apostle Peter said too, when he was up there on the mountain with Jesus and with his friends: “It is good for us to be here.”

It was such a wonderful experience for Peter and James and John that day. Although they kept it to themselves for a while, eventually they would tell the story, saying that they saw God’s glory that day as Jesus shone, and the prophets of old appeared with him too.

“It is good for us to be here,” Peter said to Jesus. And then he suggested that they could construct three dwellings – one for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.

Although God interrupted, and stopped Jesus’ first Apostle from building a shrine or a temple on the hill that day, the Church that Peter later founded went on to construct a great many places of worship and holy structures in the centuries that followed.

Think of the great … Read more »

March 5, 2017

Sermon by the Rev. Amanda Currie

Good News for our Children:

Have you ever had someone come to visit you at your house? Have you ever had someone come over for dinner? If so, that means that you and your family have been the hosts… and I’m wondering what kinds of things you do to welcome people who come over to your house for a visit.

Take their coats, invite them to sit down, offer them something to drink, invite them to the table, serve them first before serving yourself, ask them if they would like some more, tell them how nice it was to have them come and visit…

You know, Jesus often went to visit people in their homes. People like Mary and Martha and Lazarus welcomed Jesus and his disciples, served them dinner, and listened to Jesus’ teaching.

Jesus was on the road a lot, so usually he was the guest at people’s homes. But there’s one important story about Jesus being the host at a dinner. Do you remember that one?

It’s meal that we sometimes call the Last Supper. When Jesus’ friends arrived, he welcomed them by washing off their dirty and dusty feet. And then when they sat down … Read more »

August 21, 2016

Sermon by the Rev. Amanda Currie

Luke 9:46-56
Acts 17:16-34
John 8:2-11

“The Fruit of the Spirit is GENTLENESS”

Parents and teachers well know the challenge of trying to guide children towards right behaviour, discipline, respect, and good relations with their neighbours. It has been a challenge in every generation to teach our children how to live well, instilling in them good values and self-discipline to help them through life.

As I talked about with the children this morning, our methods of discipline in school have changed over time, probably for the better, as we’ve moved away from corporal punishment towards more gentle methods. But as many of us have experienced, if we don’t use any form of discipline consistently, it usually leads to chaotic classrooms and children with very short attention spans and even less regard for others.

I’m no expert on discipline, and I would defer to some of the teachers in our congregation as to what works best today for children of various ages. But as a minister, I would like to suggest this morning that God – as our loving Parent, our heavenly Father, our nurturing Mother, our divine Teacher – God wants to teach us God’s own loving ways, and perhaps … Read more »

June 30, 2013

2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14
Galatians 5:1, 13-25
Luke 9:51-62

“Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”

I looked over Jordan, and what did I see, Coming for to carry me home?
A band of angels coming after me, Coming for to carry me home.

Swing low, sweet chariot, Coming for to carry me home,
Swing low, sweet chariot, Coming for to carry me home.

I’m sometimes up and sometimes down, Coming for to carry me home,
But still my soul feels heavenly bound, Coming for to carry me home.

Swing low, sweet chariot, Coming for to carry me home,
Swing low, sweet chariot, Coming for to carry me home.

“Swing low, sweet chariot” is a historic American Negro spiritual. It was written by Wallis Willis who lived in Oklahoma sometime before 1862. He was inspired by the Red River, which reminded him of the Jordan River and of the prophet Elijah’s being taken up into heaven by a fiery chariot. Many sources claim that this song, more than just being a reflection on Elijah’s story, and more than just being a hopeful song about going to heaven, was actually also referring to the Underground Railroad, the resistance movement that helped slaves escape from the South to the North and Canada.

Listen to the words of the … Read more »