Sermons & Blog

Wake Up!

On this first Sunday of Advent we begin by looking forward. And I don’t mean that we’re looking forward to Christmas, no, we’re looking way beyond December 25th. Today we begin our new Christian year by looking forward to the end. To the day when God will create a new heaven and a new earth, to the renewal of all of creation, to a time when every tear will be wiped away, every wrong will be made right and even death will be no more. To the day when Christ will come again. You see, our fundamental orientation as Christians is to be a forward looking, not backward looking people. We begin with the end in mind. And right off the bat, that generates for us two colliding realities: Hope, b

The Story of A King in 3 Acts

Today, on the last Sunday of our church year, we celebrate the Reign of Christ. And so I suppose it is appropriate that in the two readings that we heard this morning from the Gospel of Luke, we find the Story of a King, presented in three Acts. Act One is The Prophecy. Act Two is The Enthronement. And the third and final Act is The Reign of the King. So let us begin with Act One, The Prophecy. The prophecy is spoken even before the king is born. Zechariah, the father of the one who will come to be known to us as John the Baptist, is filled with the Holy Spirit and speaks this prophecy: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favourably on his people and redeemed them. He ha

Witnesses among the Stones

“Look at those great stones!” My tour guide pointed at the temple wall in Jerusalem. Massive stones weighing as much as 80 tonnes could be seen towering above us. We marveled at their size and grandeur. We love great stones. The temple in Jerusalem. The pyramids in Egypt. The Great Wall of China. All of them testaments to human ingenuity and engineering. All of them major tourist destinations. All of them admired for their size and beauty. All of them testaments to human terror. The fear of invasion. The fear of death. The fear that God will forsake us. Because, when earthquakes, famines and plagues occur, when humans arrest, persecute and betray one another, when families are divi

The End is Where We Start

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.” We begin with not just one, but two great visions of the end, one from the Wisdom of Solomon, the other from the Revelation to John. How appropriate it is on this evening of new beginnings, that we begin with the end in mind. Now, many of you will recognize that phrase. If you’re of my generation, it’s likely that at some point you will have read, or at least heard of, Stephen Covey’s influential book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. And in that book you’ll find it there, h

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