Archive for light

The Dawning of a Brighter Light in a COVID-19 Crisis

In this season of both Lent and COVID-19, we don’t want to lose sight of the true and much needed source of hope. Jesus is victorious over the worst this world can throw at us. When I (Pastor Jim) made Breaking New Ground the theme for 2020, I had no idea that we would be thrust into the fluid and frightening realities of a pandemic. I am therefore revising my preaching plans to focus on this sudden new event. Note that while we are no longer physically gathering together, we have not cancelled church – we are the church and we will continue to find expression in new ways. Please join us online.


May 31: Laughter (Psalm 126) Jesus is and calls us to be the light of the world. There are many ways for that to happen. Sometimes we can brighten and lighten the mood with a sense of humour. Don’t you enjoy a good laugh? We hope to bring a little levity into a heavy time.May 24: May Day (John 3:16-21 & 2 Peter 3) May day, may day is distress signal. Every day people and nations send out prayers and pleas for help. Jesus came and comes in response to these petitions. On this day in May, we are going listen and respond to the distress signals around us.



May 17: Groaning for a Better Day (Romans 8:18-39) The world is a magnificent and beautiful place. Well, almost. It has its flaws and troubles. It is the same with our lives. We are promised a better day – and it just can’t seem to come fast enough. In the wait, we groan, yes, but so much more. Can we live tomorrow, today?


May 10: Don’t Mess with My Mom (Isaiah 49:15) Happy Mother’s Day.  I trust we are all grateful for our mothers. We are going to look at something rarely considered. We will look at the mothering qualities and images used in the Bible to describe God’s committed love. These images will be instructive and empowering.

https://youtu.be/0N9BVdJJvNg

May 3: Strange Land (Psalm 137 & Jeremiah 29:4-14) The consequences of persistent rebellion against God and chronic unfaithfulness was exile. The people found themselves forcibly displaced to a strange place – a foreign country. Psalm 137 captures their utter sense of being lost. The prophet Jeremiah receives and delivers his response to their prayer. It is instructive for us as we navigate our current crisis and the strange place we find ourselves.


April 26: Wilderness (select passages from Numbers, Deuteronomy 29:5-6) Bad enough with the pandemic, but the senseless mass murder spree in Nova Scotia this week has left us, in the words of someone close to the scene, “shattered”. Last weeks message on lament was happening in the midst of it and gives us a model for prayer in our own horror at this carnage and crisis. It is an uncomfortable wilderness into which we have been thrown. I hope today’s message will help us. We look at the 40-year Israelite wandering in a wilderness of their own. Learn how God made himself evident and present to them. 


April 19: Spring (Lamentations 3: 10-26 & Isaiah 55:10-13) We are in the middle of spring and we are seeing the end of winter grey and the arrival of the green and colour of spring. These signs of new life should encourage us. They remind us of the promises of God realized and his renewing actions of grace.


April 12: Hope (Titus 2:11-14) In troubling times a light at the end of the tunnel helps. It points to the end of the trial and a brighter future. For some this can feel like wishful thinking but for the followers of Christ it is a sure thing. We have a hope rooted in the resurrection of Christ, his Kingdom come and his promised return. This has huge implications on how we live today.


April 10 – Good Friday: A Thorny Situation (John 19:1-16) We see just how far Jesus went, to enter and absorb the pain and brokenness of our world. Isaiah 53: 5 says, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” This is good news in a time of spreading pain.


April 5 – Palm Sunday: Faith over Fear (Luke 19:28-44) The day Christ rose into Jerusalem was a time of celebration, praise and prayer. It was also a time imminent danger and fear. In our time of disease and dis-ease. When uncertainty and crisis are the new normal, it is natural to be afraid. As people of faith, can we rise above the fear and put our faith in practice?


March 29Lessons of the Desert Fathers and Mothers (Mark 10:17-31) In a time when people are called to and even forced into isolation, how do we grow and express our faith? We look back to some early Christians who chose lives of seclusion for prayer and faith development. These early pioneers of the secluded life of simplicity and faith were the start of the monastic movement. These were uniquely revered and influential individuals and communities that positively lit and flavoured their times.  We will consider their practices.


March 22: Not the First Epidemic – Lessons of the Church in History (Matthew 25:34-40 & Luke 4:16-19) The Church over the centuries has faced epidemics many times before. There are lessons our brothers and sisters from the past can share that will help and inspire us now. We listen to the great cloud of witnesses as we respond to the call of Jesus to serve and not to flee. Finding the path between the avoidance of virus transmission and the practice of community care.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=867297380359817&ref=watch_permalink

The Dawning of a Brighter Light (March-April 2020)

When your eyes are accustomed to the darkness, it can be quite painful when you are faced with the sudden brightness of light. Lent is a time of growing and gradual exposure to the light of Jesus as we move to the full illumination of Easter. In this Lenten season – a time of prayerful preparation – we ready ourselves for the glorious light of Christ – his life, death, burial and RESURRECTION.

Please join us over the coming weeks and brighten your days and ways. Jesus claimed to be the Light of the World. He is the Light of life, love and hope. Don’t be left in the dark.

All Sunday service times begins at 10:30 am (unless otherwise indicated).


March 1 – First Sunday in Lent – CBOQ Sunday: Lessons in Prayer – The early church grew in the midst of a hostile context. It was dangerous to live for Jesus. What shape do your prayers take when things get tough? This is CBOQ Sunday and we will celebrate the shared ministry of our larger family.  

Devotional thought:  How confident are you that prayer moves us and God?


March 8: Forward with Christ – In our centennial year, we have affirmed that this Church was founded on Christ.For one hundred years, Christ has been our foundation and the head of this congregation. As we proceed, our commitment is to go forward with Christ. Thank you Gary for bringing today’s message. We are grateful to Gary and Carla Nelson for their years of friendship, leadership and support in our church.  

Devotional thought: What are the ways that you intentionally spend time with Christ?


March 15: Promise and Preparation (Joshua 1) The Lord readied the people to enter the Promised Land with significant words and actions. There were promises and preparations. As we seek to break new ground in our communities we will want to pay attention. How do we ready ourselves for such a venture?  

Devotional thought: What resonates with you in Joshua 1:6-9?


Fall 2017 Sermon Series: Jesus Today-A journey through the Gospel According to John (cont’d)

We will take a fresh look at John’s Gospel. Of the four accounts of Jesus’ life and teachings, John takes a unique approach. Written to the church it is an accessible story rich in significance and insight. He describes and demonstrates the great truths of salvation, creation\re-creation, incarnation, the kingdom of God, belief and practice. We will apply all this to today’s reality.


September 10 – Search Light (John 8:12-58) We come attentive to Jesus, the ‘Light of the World’ and humbly learn his ways. In a very volatile situation Jesus uses light and truth to expose some very dangerous and ugly realities behind the actions of those who oppose him. The longer one has been in the dark, the more offensive light feels. Jesus brings the light of his truth into these very dark places. There is a darkness that would blind people to the truth. Jesus comes to set us free.

Devotional thought:  Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.


September 17 – Work Light (John 9:1-12) In today’s remarkable story, Jesus gives sight to a man born blind. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” The story raises questions about justice and what is behind the brokenness of our lives and world. Jesus’s answer gives much to consider. The passage has good news for us all.

Devotional thought: Is it possible that some infirmity that you have might be a way through which you might experience God at work?


September 24 – Blind Sighted (John 9:13-41) The simple testimony of a person is a powerful witness to Jesus. “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” While this man was now able to see, it seems that others – even with sight – could not. This blindness is of a different sort and far too common. Gratefully, Jesus still gives sight to the blind. What is your testimony? 

Devotional thought: Can you think of a time when you were blind to the truth.  Open our eyes Lord.


October 1 – Known (John 10:1-21) Jesus has come to declare and demonstrate the coming of the Kingdom of God. The language and image used is that of a shepherd caring for sheep. Jesus declares, “I am the Good Shepherd.” This passage is a window to the kind of relationship Christ our Shepherd King seeks to have with us.

Devotional thought: Have you found a way to know and recognize the voice of Jesus? “…his sheep follow because they know his voice”


October 15 – Believe it or Not (John 10:22-42) What is the best answer? To give the answer people want to hear or to give them the truth? Jesus asks the crowd to not only hear his words but to also observe his actions. People are looking for answers. Do we leave them in suspense? What do our word and deeds declare about our Lord?

Devotional thought: “What good is it if a person claims to have faith but has no deeds?” James 2:14


October 22 – Jesus Wept (John 11:1-37) At a funeral, Jesus makes a bold declaration of life over death – that he is the resurrection and the life. Jesus invites the mourners to faith and to find hope in him and who he is. This account of Jesus facing the death of a friend and sharing grief with loved ones is of comfort in our own times of loss. Do you believe this?

Devotional thought: What about this story would help you in a time of grief?  That Jesus is the resurrection and the life gives us hope.


October 29  Rise Up (John 11:38-45) In this dramatic event Jesus calls a dead man back to life. It is one thing to say you can raise the dead – it is another, to actually do it. Life wins over death. One has to believe that this event reminded Jesus of his own approaching death and a more significant resurrection. This story brings us to the gospel.

Devotional thought: Jesus performed this miracle of raising Lazarus before a crowd.  That shows us the faith of Jesus. How do you make your faith public?


November 5 – Remembrance – One for All (John 11:45-57) In the passage we consider today Caiaphas the high priest says regarding Jesus, “…that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.” How Caiaphas understood this idea and how God intended it to be understood is something we need to address. At a time of year we remember the sacrifice of others for the whole we will consider the significance of the cross.

Devotional thought: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18 What is the significance of the cross to you?


November 12 – Extravagance (John 12:1-11) A dinner is held in honour of Jesus at the home of the now living Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary and Martha. Jesus is approaching the time of crucifixion. With tremendous reverence and devotion Mary pours out all her love in an act of extravagant worship. This is questioned by Judas who had other intentions. This could be an interesting story to find yourself in. What are the lessons for you?

Devotional thought: Consider what you spend the most time, money and energy on. What values do they reflect? Do you think any changes are in order?


November 19 – A Seed Planted (John 12:20-36) Up to this point in John’s Gospel Jesus has often said, “My time has not yet come.” But now he reveals, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” He speaks of a seed planted the need to walk in the light and of being lifted up. These things he speaks to his would be followers. We will consider the significance of what Jesus says and what it means for us today.

Devotional thought: The gospel is sometimes described a seed planted in the ears of a listener. Has such a seed been planted in you? Are you ready to experience the symbolic death of being planted and coming to new life in resurrection by receiving the gospel in decision and baptism?


November 26 – Chronic Disbelief (John 12:37-50) Jesus faced what we continue to face – disbelief. He reminds us that the ramifications between belief and dismissal if more significant than most realize. Disbelief can have a deadening effect and has you rebelling against your Creator. Jesus affirms that he has come as a Saviour of the world.

Devotional thought: If you are not yet convinced about Jesus are you ready to take a closer look?