Sermons & Blog

The Big Picture

A few days ago, my soccer team had a little pre-Christmas get-together, and one of my soccer buddies was telling me how much he enjoyed Christmas. He’d started a new job this year, and he’d been kind of head-down, working hard, doing what he had to do. But he was looking forward to Christmas, he told me, because he would have a few days off work, and that would give him the opportunity to think a bit, to put his life in perspective, to look at the big picture. Earlier this year I walked the Camino de Santiago, an 800 kilometer pilgrimage across northern Spain. One of the people I walked with was a young man from Kelowna. He’d graduated from a business program at university, and he’d lande

Finding Your Voice

What would it be like to suddenly realize that the very thing you’ve been hoping for, the very thing you’ve been dreaming of for years is now happening – and it’s happening in you? That’s Mary’s story, and it’s amazing and special and unique. But we risk losing something if we overemphasize the uniqueness of Mary. What we risk is the recognition that Mary’s story is also our story. That what happened to Mary also happens to each one of us. That the God who acted in Mary’s life continues to act in our lives today. Now, it’s not like I’m expecting a rash of pregnancies to break out in this congregation. But I do believe that, like Mary, each one of us is made for a purpose, and that God

Point (Advent 3)

"Among you stands one whom you do not know" Quite a few years ago now, as part of my training for ordained ministry, I was fortunate enough to have an internship in the Seychelles Islands. The Seychelles are a small group of islands way out in the middle of the Indian Ocean. It’s a special place, and the ocean around the islands is teeming with life. And among the amazing creatures that are found in the waters of the Seychelles are giant sea turtles. And I wanted to see them. So one day while I was there, I asked one of the locals to take me out in his boat. It was a windy day, big waves with whitecaps all around. And as we were motoring along, the driver said to me all of a sudden, “Lo

Wilderness

The good news begins in the wilderness. Now I want you to set aside for a moment any romantic notions you might have about nature, forget about your pleasant memories of hiking or camping. That’s not the wilderness we’re talking about. This wilderness is harsh. The wilderness is a dangerous and threatening place, a place of poisonous snakes and wild animals. The wilderness, the Judean desert that is the setting for today’s gospel, is not fit for humans to live. There is no food, there is no water. To be in the wilderness is to be at risk, to be isolated, to be lost, to be overwhelmed, to be powerless. This is where you go to die. The wilderness is where people cry out. When Hagar is se

Awake!

I have a friend that I went to university with, we played hockey together, lived in the same residence. He liked to take naps in the afternoon, in fact he liked to take naps all day long, and he had this expression that he was fond of repeating: “sleep is never a waste of time.” And you know, part of me agrees with him, mostly because I like taking naps too. Sleep is good for us, and besides, saying “sleep is never a waste of time” is a great way to justify taking a nap. But the problem with sleeping, especially if you’re sleeping at the wrong time, is that you can miss things. Pity the doorkeeper, the greeter, the security guard who falls asleep. Someone might come and they would never

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