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.

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.