Go!

April 25, 2021 – Tony’s Message

The Fourth Sunday of Easter

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:
A Living Hope

The First Letter of Peter, Chapter 1, Verses 1 to 4
(New Revised Standard Version)

v. 1 – Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
v. 2 – who have been chosen and destined by God the Father and sanctified by the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ and to be sprinkled with his blood: May grace and peace be yours in abundance.

v. 3 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
v. 4 – and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,

Our salvation is grounded in God’s mercy, His act of compassion towards us despite our condition of sinfulness. God has given believers a new spiritual life which enables us to live in an entirely different dimension than the one allowed by our physical birth. God has already determined that we will one day experience our own part of paradise. God has set aside in heaven a wonderful inheritance that is waiting for us even now. If we would know the glories of it, we must go and see it.

Sermonette:
The Magic of the Word – Go!

The word “Go” can be used in so many ways:
• Go team go!
• Go for broke;
• Go for it;
• Go to the devil;
• Go for the gold;
• Go in peace;
• Go tell it on the mountain; and
• Go with God.

Go was an important word to Jesus as well. He used it to send forth people He had helped:
• “Go and sin no more”;
• “Go thou and do likewise”;
• “Go preach the kingdom of God”; and
• His famous send-off to the disciples as He prepared to leave them – “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the same name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always to the close of the age.”

To be ‘sent out’ includes all who send out their daily witness of concern, love, honesty, and hope where they labour and minister in the by-ways of life. A mother sends out her love to her children, husbands and wives send out their faithfulness to each other, employers send out their confidence to their employees, who in turn, send out their labour and loyalty to “the boss”. In such ways all believers are conduits of Christ – ‘ordinary’ Christians participating in an extraordinary mission.
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.

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.”