Don’t you just hate it when you are made to jump through hoops? When it seems like you’ve just cleared one hurdle only to find another one in your way? It doesn’t matter what you call it: bureaucratic red tape, necessary prerequisites, rules and regulations, …, I think we’d all agree that we hate it when organizations, schools, government or workplaces put obstacles in our path, obstacles that we often consider to be unnecessary or even petty, that interfere in helping us achieve our goal.
Sometimes, even in church, we have put barriers in people’s way that keep them at arm’s length, or we’ve insisted that they “perform” in specific ways in order to be welcome and accepted. What would Jesus think of our insistence on enforcing certain traditions and following certain rules? Join us Sunday to find out what it really means to be followers of Jesus.
Everybody follows someone. We follow trends, the news, sports figures, movie stars, politicians. Why? Motivation varies. We follow news reports so we are up-to-date on current events. We follow individuals because we value their wisdom, admire their work, or find them entertaining. Much of social media is devoted to individuals who are called “influencers” and have a sizeable following. Increasing your follower “base” has good financial rewards. Yet so often these influencers, and other famous individuals have let us down and betrayed our trust. Corruption, scandal, lies among other human foibles have shown them to have succumbed to temptation.
Long before having “followers” was an industry, Jesus Christ, God’s own son, came to earth to recruit and teach disciples about his father, himself and the Holy Spirit. These disciples are also known as Jesus followers. Yet Jesus asks us to follow him not to exploit or manipulate us for his own ends — financial or otherwise, but for our own benefit. What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus…and can we trust him? Join us this Sunday for a rich discussion of this topic!
At the start of each new year many of us take the time to do some reflection on the year just past and to set some goals or intentions for the year that stretches before us. Often we hear about the desire to lead a more “balanced” life — one in which our time is evenly portioned out according to the various spheres and needs of daily life: sleep, diet, work, relationships, hobbies, faith. If only we can live this way, we imagine we will be healthy, enjoy harmonious relationships and be fulfilled.
The difficulty is, very few remarkable achievements arise from well-ordered, balanced lives. Health researchers Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness authors of The Passion Paradox go so far as to say that balance and passion are incompatible.
This Sunday we will consider the story of the Magi who had a burning desire (aka passion) to meet the Christ child. They had to abandon balance to undertake an arduous journey with an uncertain outcome.
Of course, we do need to have self-care and not burn ourselves out by abandoning all and everything to our passion for Christ. Is there a way to have “balanced” passion? Join us Sunday as we explore this more deeply.
“Happy New Year!” It is a greeting of change filled with mixed emotions – excitement of a fresh start, hope for new opportunity and experiences, yet also apprehension and fear of the unknown. Where do you stand as we welcome a new year? Where do you find insight and peace, forging the path ahead?
This New Year’s Day, our own Brenda Roxburgh joins us again in the pulpit with the message “God Lights The Way”.
On Christmas Day we will talk about re-gifting. Where do you stand on re-gifting? Is it a sleazy, deceptive way of pawning off unwanted gifts on others? Or is it a practical way to give gifts you’ve received that you otherwise would not use? How would God feel about us re-gifting Jesus?
On Christmas Eve we will consider how the sacred and the secular blend together during the Advent/Christmas season. We put up Christmas trees, string lights, bake cookies and much much more. These secular activities bring excitement and joy to our celebration of the season. But when does the mixing of secular and sacred become problematic? Sometimes artists and others intermingle images that are well-intentioned, but add confusion to who God is and what his gift at Christmas means!