Sunday, September 19, 2010

Community - We’re all in this together

John 15:12-17

“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.
You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. This I command you, that you love one another.”

When you watch the Saskatchewan roughriders play you see more than just a football game. You see a province that is excited about their team. You see what people call “Rider Nation”, and you see exciting football. They had a couple overtime games last year. They were so close to winning the Grey Cup. And now they have their own loonie! On game day you see green shirts and sweaters all over the place. The Riders are known across Canada for many of these things.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Abide in Christ - Foundations

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.
These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

You have been friends for a long time. But something has come up and you need to leave for a long time. The time draws near and you have one last opportunity to say something. What will you say? Michael W Smith wrote a contemporary chorus some 20 plus years ago sung widely at separations - Friends are friends forever if the Lord is the Lord of them. We host funerals here at the church from Mourning Glory Funeral homes, and people share and speak from their hearts about the people they will miss in the days and years to come. Shortly before His death, Jesus had the same opportunity. It is significant what He deems important to share with His last quiet time together with His friends. We read some of that earlier, so let’s return to it

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Year of Jubilee: Community - Communitas

 “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. For each one will bear his own load. The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” Galatians 6:1-10

The Cirque du Soleil is like a circus and Broadway rolled into one. It has the contortionists and strength shows, the trampoline and trapeze acts of the circus, plus the costumes and live music of a theatre show. And you get to eat popcorn. Watching the 8 man trapeze act was amazing. Two guys were sitting on this swing thing, their legs locked in through bars, going back and forth using one another’s weight to get to great heights. Above them on a framework of bars another guy would start the dipsy doodling circling and rolling around the bars and then fling himself into space, timing it just right so he could grab the wrists of one of the two men on the swing. It really was fantastic. It is also a wonderful metaphor for church. Yes, there were clowns and such, but that is not what I refer to. What I saw was amazing teamwork. These men were strong each and every one as individuals, but they all came to points in the performance where they totally relied on someone else to be there for them. There was the sense that they were a team, a community.