June 20, 2021

Mark 4:35-41

“Let Us Go Across”

Mark chapter four begins with Jesus teaching a very large crowd of people beside the sea. In fact, the crowd got so big that Jesus got into a boat on the sea and taught them from there, while the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land.

And Jesus taught them in parables. Wonderful little stories about lamps that shouldn’t be covered up, and seeds that grow in surprising and wonderful ways. Stories that have one meaning on the surface, with a deeper layer of meaning underneath about God’s Word, and love and justice coming into the world in Jesus and growing among those who follow him.

So, last Sunday I preached about the Parable of the Mustard seed, and then I pointed out some metaphorical “seeds” being planted through the church’s ministry and mission, as well as some signs of “growth” as love and justice and inclusion bring us closer to the Kingdom of God reality that is coming in the world.

But after teaching the crowd with parables, on that same day when evening had come, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go across to the other side.” He meant that they should row to … Read more »

June 13, 2021

Mark 4:26-34

“A Resting Place for All”

You may have noticed that I only included one Scripture reading this morning. The lectionary each week provides four – one from the Hebrew Scriptures, one Psalm, one from the Epistles of the New Testament, and one Gospel passage. That’s a lot to hear, to consider, and to digest. Often, I drop one reading just to make it a bit more manageable. Sometimes I drop two of them so that we can have a little more focus to the service. Today I dropped everything except the Gospel text.

It seemed in keeping with the Gospel reading itself – two little parables about tiny seeds that grow to produce abundant harvests and wonderful big plants that provide a home for all the birds of the air. It’s just one short passage from Mark’s Gospel, but it is full of wonder, and inspiration, and hope for the Kingdom of God that is planted, and growing, and coming up in our world. One little passage today should be more than enough to satisfy our spiritual hunger.

In the parables today, Jesus is teaching about the Kingdom of God. It was his absolute favourite topic of conversation! He didn’t talk much … Read more »

June 24, 2018

Psalm 133
2 Corinthians 6:1-13
Mark 4:35-41

“O Look and Wonder!”
(With Psalm 133 sung refrain #2 from the PCC Book of Psalms, melody by Pablo Sosa.)

O look and wonder how good it is! O look and wonder how good it is!
How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!
It is like water poured out over the head of an infant,
cleansing her from sin,
welcoming her into the family of God,
gifting her with the Holy Spirit.

O look and wonder how good it is! O look and wonder how good it is!
How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!
It is like a couple preparing for marriage,
gathering their friends,
making their vows of faithfulness and love,
receiving God’s blessing on their life together.

O look and wonder how good it is! O look and wonder how good it is!
How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!
It is like our church family coming together Sunday by Sunday,
learning to walk in the way of God,
caring for each other in Christian community,
reaching out in mission and service,
knowing that we are “in the boat” together with Jesus.

O look and wonder how good it is! O look and wonder how good … Read more »

June 17, 2018

1 Samuel 15:34 – 16:14
Mark 4:26-34

“Sleeping While the Kingdom Comes”

Last Sunday afternoon I had a three-hour nap. I haven’t done anything like that in a long time, but I guess I needed it. A few hours later, I went back to bed and slept right through the night, so I guess there was no harm done in sleeping away the afternoon.

Perhaps it was my need for catching up on sleep, or my mood of slowing down for the summer, but when I started to study the familiar gospel text for today, I noticed something that I had always missed in the past: The gardener goes to sleep.

Okay. Let me step back a bit. Jesus is describing what the Kingdom of God is like. He does this quite a bit in his teaching… trying to explain to his friends and followers what it will be like when God’s Reign has taken hold of all people and the whole of creation. And he doesn’t just describe what the Kingdom of God will be like, but how it will come to be.

You see, like us, Jesus’ earliest disciples were probably pretty worried about the state of the world – about the violence, oppression, … Read more »

June 24, 2012

1 Samuel 17:32-49
2 Corinthians 6:1-13
Mark 4:35-41

Each of the National Events of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission have had a theme based on one of the First Nations “Seven Sacred Teachings”. And the theme for the Saskatchewan National Event has been “TRUTH”. And it has been a very appropriately theme, as thousands of former students of the Indian Residential Schools have come forward to tell their stories to Canadians – to speak the truth about what happened to them, to speak the truth to each other, to their families, to the government, and to the churches.

A lot of truth has been told over the last few days. A lot of truth has been heard. Through the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, that truth has become a part of the public record so that it will not be forgotten, and so that the mistakes of the past will not be repeated.

But truth-telling is not easy. When the truth that must be told brings up terrible traumatic memories of physical, emotional, spiritual, cultural, or sexual abuse, telling the truth becomes ever so difficult. And we have heard stories over the last few days of former students who held on to their … Read more »

June 17, 2012

1 Samuel 15:34 – 16:13
2 Corinthians 5:6-17
Mark 4:26-34

GOOD NEWS for our Children:

Jesus liked to tell stories to help people to understand his teachings. One very important topic that Jesus wanted to teach everyone about was the “kingdom of God.”Do you know about the kingdom of God? The kingdom of God is the time and place where everyone knows God, and everyone loves God, and everyone is kind and loving towards each other.

One day, when Jesus was teaching a bunch of people he told a little story to help them to understand what the kingdom of God is like. He said, “The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed. You know how small a mustard seed is? It’s really tiny!

The kingdom of God is like a tiny mustard seed. When you plant it in the ground, it grows up and becomes much, much bigger. It becomes a big shrub. It grows branches and leaves, and birds come and make nests in its shade.

Jesus said that the kingdom of God is like a seed… It starts small. Maybe it starts with one person doing a good deed. And then someone else joins in. … Read more »

June 21, 2009

Sermon by the Rev. Amanda Currie

1 Samuel 17:32-49
Psalm 9:9-20
2 Corinthians 6:1-13
Mark 4:35-41

When we read the stories of the bible, one of the first questions we often ask is “What kind of story is this?” Is it something that really happened historically? Or is it a mythic or symbolic story shared to teach us a deeper truth?

A good example would be the parables that Jesus told. He told a story about a prodigal son — how he took his inheritance and spent it in wild living — and how he later came to his senses, realized the mistakes he had made, and returned home to find himself welcomed and embraced by his forgiving father. Of course, we know that the story is not historical. It is told not to teach us “what happened” but to show us “what God is like” — loving, forgiving, and ready to celebrate over each of his children who return to relationship with him.

Today’s Gospel story is one that most Christian bible readers would put in the category of history. It’s a story about something that happened to Jesus and his disciples when Jesus decided it was time to cross over to the other side of … Read more »