We continue our series ‘Kingdom, Spirit, Presence,’ as Rod asks whether we are surviving or thriving in our Christian life. In particular we will talk with three people who work in Christian organizations and ask them where the Kingdom, the Holy Spirit, and Faithful Presence fit into their work and to what degree they are surviving or thriving.
Living out Kingdom, Spirit and Presence in Our Unpaid Work. Our current series called “Kingdom, Spirit and Presence” sums up the three big ideas we have explored in our preaching this year. This morning, I will spend some time reflecting briefly on how these themes have shaped my own life, and how I have come to understand them in new ways recently. Then we get the pleasure of listening to Cappers Sharon Lisette, David Strilchuk and Bev Wilson offer their own responses to Kingdom, Spirit and Presence from their experience of unpaid work.
Kingdom, Spirit, and Presence. As we live our lives personally and relationally, at home and at work, as well as every other sphere, there is one question worth asking: Do I live my life with a passion for the Kingdom, with the
empowerment of the Holy Spirit, and with a commitment to be a faithful presence wherever I am placed?
In this season of Easter rejoicing, three gospel scenes fascinate me: Luke 24 (the disciples walking on the road to Emmaus), John 20 (Mary at the tomb), and John 21 (the disciples on the beach). Each vignette features people encountering the risen Jesus, but they don’t recognize him right away. Despite the real (and, eventually obvious) presence of Jesus in each story, people initially experienced him as hidden. What were these people doing when Jesus encountered them? Did something prevent them from seeing Jesus at first? And how did they come to recognize Jesus? I hope that by answering some of these questions, we will learn how to catch glimpses of the risen Jesus (occasionally hidden) in our own lives.
This morning we welcome our good friend and brother in Christ, Moses Mwalye, Program Manager for Food for the Hungry in Mbale, Uganda. Our partnership with Food for the Hungry and specifically with the village of Bufukhula dates back to 2005. With the community of Bufukhula graduating in 2014, our partnership with the village of Nashisa is now just starting its 3rd year. We are excited to have Moses with us this weekend, and to hear both the good news of Jesus and news of our dear brothers and sisters in Uganda through him.
He is Risen! He is Risen indeed! We say it once a year but it doesn’t always seem to have much to do with any other day of the year—or it only means something to us here Sunday mornings, but not
anywhere else. But Jesus—alive, in our midst, making all things new—this is very good news! We will
celebrate this in a family-style
service today. (Kim Pierrot
This Lent, we are exploring both the idea of God’s Dream for the World—Shalom—and the way God has been working towards the realization of this dream—through His Faithful Presence. As we approach Easter, we now focus on the way that Jesus is the literal embodiment of both Shalom (He is our peace) and Faithful Presence (God with us). This morning, as we follow Jesus on His way to the cross, and as we consider the “divine parabola” in Philippians 2, we see that the faithful presence Jesus embodies and also calls His people to practice entails surrendering power, privilege and our ideas of “success.”
This Lent, we are exploring both the idea of God’s Dream for the World—Shalom—and the way God has been working towards the realization of this dream—through His Faithful Presence. As we approach Easter, we now focus on the way that Jesus is the literal embodiment of both Shalom (He is our peace) and Faithful Presence (God with us). Jesus’ presence at various tables in Luke’s gospel shows us this is true, and also shows us a way to be faithfully present with others as well.
(To view the video that Kim references in her sermon click here)
What sets Christ followers apart in the world? How do you know a Christian when you see one? Surely one way of practicing God’s dream of Faithful Presence here on the North Shore is that we, as baptized followers of the risen Christ, are known for our ability to forgive and reconcile broken relationships. We participate in this forgiveness not by our own strength but as fragile, fallible, sinful human creatures, we practice forgiveness as a means of grace and experience the wonder of reconciliation as an act of the Holy Spirit.
We are in the midst of our Lenten series entitled: “God’s Dream for the World.” We have been invited to participate with Father, Son, and Spirit in seeking God’s all-encompassing shalom for our world, including in the particular
neighbourhoods and places we inhabit day to day. Over the next 3 weeks, we will focus on 3 communal practices that form us into people of the dream – a people of faithful presence—those who enjoy the life-giving presence of Jesus with us, and bear witness to God’s work of renewal and restoration all around us. Today, John will share his experience of practicing faithful presence with children and youth, and invite us to encounter Christ in the space that is opened up as we bend ourselves to tend to the young people in our midst.