6/24/14

will god provide

The text for the sermon this coming Sunday is Genesis 22:1-14 - the binding of Isaac. It is at once a strange and yet foundational text for a people of the Bible. As I wrestle with the text (or, more to the point, as it wrestles with me) I am reminded of the last time I preached on this passage. It was June 29, 2008. Here is the sermon from that occasion ...

6/13/14

our refuge

Psalm 46:1-11

“Selah”. Don’t know what it means? Neither do I. “Selah”. It is a mysterious instruction, written in the margin of this – and other – psalms. No one knows how to translate the word “selah”. Perhaps it means “Amen, we agree, that’s right”. Those who have thought about this much more than I argue that it stands for “chorus” or “refrain”. That is how Gerald Hobbs lined out Psalm 46 when he translated it for Voices United. Notice the letter “R” for “Refrain” repeated three times in the 46th Psalm (p. 770). In each case it appears in place of the word “selah”. And, in each case, the refrain – like the word “selah” – comes at a turning point in the song. So here is how we will host the text this morning. Each time the sermon is about to turn a corner from one section of the Psalm to the next we will become the choir singing the refrain:“The God of Jacob is for us a refuge strong and sure.” That’s one way to be kept on our toes. Listen for the “selah”.

6/10/14

call for submissions - christian seasons calendar 2014/2015

Artists are invited to participate in the upcoming issue of "Salt of the Earth - The Christian Seasons Calendar for 2014/2015." This unique calendar follows the seven distinctive seasons of the Christian year and is distributed worldwide. View a sample of the current Christian Seasons Calendar online here.

Interested artists are encouraged to offer artwork that interprets scripture readings and themes within the Christian Year. A list of the scripture readings used in Year B of the Revised Common Lectionary can be found here. There is one page available for an image for each of the following seasons: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Holy Week and Easter. There are five pages available for art in the Season after Pentecost. On these pages we seek images that portray Pentecost, All Saints Day and the Reign of Christ as well as images particular to biblical texts included in the lectionary readings during this season of growth in discipleship.

6/8/14

bewildered, amazed & astonished

A sermon preached at the Celebration of Ministry Service during the Annual Meeting of the Maritime Conference of The United Church of Canada in Sackville, New Brunswick on Pentecost Sunday, May 30, 2004.

Acts 2:1-21

It all begins at a Conference. Pentecost is an annual meeting. Everyone returns every year like clockwork, fifty days after Passover. Everyone knows what to expect. Old friends. Business. Worship. Crowded agenda. Not enough time. And then something totally unexpected occurs. The Holy Spirit - the vital energy of God - charges the community with voltage, with juice, that catches the neighbourhood off guard. Do you see? Pentecost is not locked in history like a fly trapped in amber. This dangerous text in Acts tells the story of a church being overtaken by God here and now.