It Is Finished

April 2nd, 2021 – Good Friday – Tony’s Message

Greeting:
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glory of God and the power of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Scripture Reading:

It is Finished

The Gospel According to John, Chapter 19, Verses 28 to 30
(New Revised Standard Version)

v. 28 – After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty.”
v. 29 – A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth.
v. 30 – When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Having fulfilled every command of the Father and every prophecy of scripture, Jesus voluntarily died. This was not a cry of exhaustion, but one of victory as He had done what He had agreed to do!

The death of Socrates, peacefully philosophizing among friends seems to appear as the most agreeable way to die that one could wish for; that of Jesus expiring in agony, abused, insulted and accursed by a whole nation is the most horrible one could fear. Socrates, indeed, in receiving his cup of poison blessed the weeping executioners who administered it; but Jesus, amid excruciating torture, prayed for His merciless tormentors. Yes, if the life and death of Socrates were that of a teacher and a sage, the life and death of Jesus Christ were those of a God!

Sermonette:

It is Finished

It was 3 ‘o’ clock in the afternoon. Jesus called for water; He could hardly speak. A soldier fixed a sponge on a spear and held it to His lips. It was terribly bitter but it was enough. He strained His head and looked up to Heaven. “It is finished”, He cried and then He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

Paul writes, “God has shown us how much He loves us – it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us! We were God’s enemies, but He made us His friends through the death of His Son. That’s how much God loves us – Jesus died for us, even though we didn’t deserve it. His death brings us closer to God.

Jesus’ announcement that “It is finished” is clear and simple. Jesus has completed His task. The reason why He came to earth as a human has been fulfilled. He came so that you and I can have forgiveness and salvation. He came to give us victory. He came to ensure that we can enter His kingdom and live forever.

Because of Jesus’ sacrifice for each one of us, if we trust in Him and look to Him for Salvation, our punishment is borne by Him. Our stained robes are washed clean in the blood of the lamb.

It is finished… or is it? …Wait two days
Amen.

Salvation Prayer:

Loving God, what You have done for us in Jesus’ death on the cross is far more than we deserve. His death has given us forgiveness and the hope of life forever. Everything is complete; We thank You from the depths of our souls.

Amen.

Let us repeat the Lord’s Prayer, either in our hearts or out loud:

The Lord’s Prayer:
Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
For ever and ever.
Amen.

Come Along for the Ride, EVERYONE is Welcome.

March 28, 2021 – Palm Sunday – Bob’s Message

(Thanks to Jen Dresser, Gatherings Magazine, United Church of Canada, 2016 for the Lent liturgy.)

Scriptures that were used as lyrics in Hallelujah

Revelation 19 6 Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunderpeals, crying out,

“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.

Revelation 11 15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying,

“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord
and of his Messiah,[d]
and he will reign forever and ever.”

Revelation 19 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, “King of kings and Lord of lords.”

Cultivate, Irrigate, Nourish and Reap.

March 14, 2021 – Tony’s message

Greeting:
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glory of God and the power of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Scripture Reading: The Parable of the Lost Sheep

The Gospel According to Luke, Chapter 15, Verses 1 to 7
(New Revised Standard Version)

v. 1 – Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him.
v. 2 – And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
v. 3 – So he told them this parable:
v. 4 – “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it?
v. 5 – When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices.
v. 6 – And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’
v. 7 – Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

This first parable in Chapter 15 tries to explain Jesus’ association with despised groups, something which the Pharisees and the scribes found to be at the very least, misguided. It is interesting to note that the parables in Luke are not found in any other books of the Gospels. The scribes and the Pharisees did not feel that they needed to repent because they were not lost!

Sermonette: No Exemptions

Today’s Thought:
“Man is born broken,
He lives by mending.
The grace of God is glue.”
Eugene O’Neill.

We do not grow physically by standing on tiptoe and stretching ourselves or by anxiously exercising our muscles. Neither do we grow in grace by troubling ourselves with rules and anxiously observing traditions. The gardener puts a plant into the ground hoping to reap a beautiful rose. But he does not grab the plant and stretch it up to make it grow. Rather, he attends to the conditions surrounding the plant, conditions which are normally conducive to the health of the plant and which seem to encourage growth. He cultivates, irrigates, and nourishes the plant; and he prunes it. By the mysterious processes of nature, God gives the growth and a beautiful rose appears. Our growth in grace is like that. We do not grow in Godliness by groaning within ourselves and anxiously keeping the commandments outwardly. We only attend to the conditions of growth, and God through the mysterious ministries of His Spirit gives the blessing, and in time, a beautiful character unfolds.

This point is not just a nice story; it is the Gospel in miniature – a gospel extensive enough to include both the most despised and the most respected … and all the rest of us in between!

Amen.

And now let us close by repeating the Lord’s Prayer, either in our hearts or out loud:

The Lord’s Prayer:
Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
For ever and ever.
Amen.

Lent Meditation (3)

March 10, 2021 – Sonja’s Message