Love your neighbour as yourself

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In the Children's Story, we were reminded that tablets are used to store information.  However, tablets used many years ago were made of slate and the information recorded could be easily wiped out.  A new use/start could be made of the tablets.

The Scripture Reading: Matthew 7:1-5 included in verses 1&2  "1 Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  A reminder that none of us are perfect and without sin, and in need of forgiveness.

The theme of the sermon continued Half Truths #4 in the bible, included the often quoted “Love the sinner, hate the sin”.  The latter quote implies that the imperfect person is worthy of our love, but their imperfection is not.  To do this requires our judgment of what is imperfect or sinful.  It would also put each of us  at risk of being judged.  While we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  We have all been given a new start/beginning, by His grace.

God's commandment to us is to love our neighbour as ourselves.  We need to practice it.

Barbara S.

Jesus: Literally

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This Sunday we took a journey of discovery of the revealed word of God as Jesus taught us to read and review the old laws.

5.4 The Bible is to be understood in the light
of the revelation of God's work in Christ.
The writing of the Bible was conditioned
by the language, thought,
and setting of its time.
The Bible must be read in its historical context.
We interpret Scripture
as we compare passages,
seeing the two Testaments in light of each other,
and listening to commentators past and present.
Relying on the Holy Spirit,
we seek the application of God's word for our time.

We have known and read the old laws and have sought to understand the context and the perceived differences between the old and new Testaments. Jesus came to clarify where the teachers of the time had gone astray.

Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17).

The Greek word pleroo, translated “fulfill” in Matthew 5:17, means “to make full, to fill, to fill up,…to fill to the full” or “to render full, i.e. to complete” ( Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, 2002, Strong’s number 4137). In other words, Jesus said He came to complete the law and make it perfect. How? By showing the spiritual intent and application of God’s law. His meaning is clear from the remainder of the chapter, where He showed the spiritual intent of specific commandments.

Our reading today shows this process.

Mathew 5:38-48

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[a] 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

So we are learning today that Jesus came to make the laws full by ensuring the true understanding of God’s promise. We are Christian and thus the word of Jesus the great teacher helps us to understand where, why and how the word need to be seen and understood.

 We must then ensure we do not forget to whom we must look for interpretation and clarity.

John 3:2
2 He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.”

Honour the word of the Lord.

Noral R.

Finding "The Way"

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Mid -summer Sunday : blistering hot, dry days unroll daily but finally, today,  rain  is in the forecast .  And so  I go with flow and let the service unroll  and  bring me out of my reverie. Today, numbers are smaller, but yet we connect with our guest Minister .

Our first hymn reconnects me with my high school days  at  Morning worship--  "How sweet the name of Jesus sounds" ---as  lovely today as it was back then   and it still is .  But it is the message " Finding "The Way "  that stirs me .

 Based in  John 13.33-35, 14 ;1-7, we are reminded how many times we have had the "lost way experience"--taking the wrong turn ,confusion at different points of life,  that  spiritually lost feeling-- yea ! Can identify!  Jesus'  disciples  certainly were in that same place of  "the lost feeling"  and then Jesus pointedly declares "I am the way ,no man comes to the Father ,but by me ."  The early Christians were called  "People of the Way". But how  can we find this "Way "?  Perhaps ,it really is a combination of faith and trust in God, a belief in a God who leads us out of the confusion, gives us clarity and "has our back".

Yet,  it is even a little more --Love may just be The Way -- Love is from God, love is God and God is Love .  So finding  the Way must be encased in Love .  So when we  are reminded  to come and follow  Christ , we must first come ---with complete Love --Love  for God ,whom we cannot see and Love for our neighbour whom  we can see.

Beulah P.

A Complicated Grief

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Without even considering the scripture reading this morning we can question:
What is grief?  Why is it so complicated?  Complicated for whom? Is grief only felt from our perspective? I saw grief this morning in the face of a friend.  Grief involves loss, pain, regret.  One works through it but never alone even if we feel that way. 

On the other side is acceptance, processing and adjusting.  How do we get there? Sometimes we feel grief before a loss.  Grieving is part of being human. God doesn't tell us how we are to grieve or why we grieve but he offers us all compassion.  With God death does not have the last word.

Jeanie H.
 

All I need is a miracle

 Bronze Statue of David by Donatello

Bronze Statue of David by Donatello

Today we continued the readings of Samuel and the epic confrontation between David and Goliath.  For the story tells how the mighty Goliath came as Champion, giant and long skilled warrior to challenge and taunt the army of Israel. No champion would emerge for 40 days and this continued to demoralize the Israeli army.   

Now David arrived and knew not the fear nor terror that came with the sight of Goliath. He had youth, skill and most importantly faith in God. Where others felt trepidation, he felt the need to fight the battles set before him by his God. His king offered armor and support but David needed but the simple miracle of his Gods support. So chose but 5 smooth stones from the stream and his God’s favour to face the enemy.

 “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” - Samuel 1 17:45:27

So it was with the miracle of his faith in the Lord that David overcame the impossible odds and felled the enemy

So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him. - Samuel 1 17:50

Against the impossible there is always one miracle we can rely upon that faith in God will help us get through the most challenging times we face.

Let us celebrate with the refrain from a song that says it all.

All I need is a miracle, all I need is you (all I need is a miracle)
All I need is a miracle, all I need is you (all I need is a miracle)
All I need is a miracle, all I need is you

Noral R.

Won't You Be My Neighbour

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Having just enjoyed the documentary "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" I found it particularly interesting that Rev. Karen's children's story today was about the mustard seed.  She developed her theme of mustard seed moments of faith during her sermon and spoke about her arrival in Canada as a young child.  From small moments such as wondering which of the lights she could see from the airplane was her father when he was coming to meet her mother, her sister and herself on arrival in Canada to the stewardess who returned her dolly to her after dropping it on the floor and being unable to retrieve it for herself grew her larger impression of Canada as her new home.  Small things mean so much to us as children and continue to mean much to us as adults.  And from the very small start Fred Rogers had in television grew a wonderful community of children who knew, as God would have them know, that they matter, that they are entitled to their feelings, begin to know how to deal with those feelings and understand that God loves them just exactly the way they are. It may still require us to use the magnifying glass of faith to see and begin to comprehend the small things from which big things may grow but without that faith and examination, we cannot understand that God's love will never let us go. To quote 1 Samuel 16:7 "The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart". So while outward appearance may say to our children you are small and perhaps insignificant, out of these small vessels may grow great hearts and glorious human beings who personify God's best work. So won't you be my neighbour?

Laura M.

Psalm 72

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Give the king your justice, O God,
    and your righteousness to a king’s son.
May he judge your people with righteousness,
    and your poor with justice.
May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
    and the hills, in righteousness.
May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
    give deliverance to the needy,
    and crush the oppressor.

May he live while the sun endures,
    and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
    like showers that water the earth.
In his days may righteousness flourish
    and peace abound, until the moon is no more.

May he have dominion from sea to sea,
    and from the River to the ends of the earth.
May his foes bow down before him,
    and his enemies lick the dust.
May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles
    render him tribute,
may the kings of Sheba and Seba
    bring gifts.
May all kings fall down before him,
    all nations give him service.

For he delivers the needy when they call,
    the poor and those who have no helper.
He has pity on the weak and the needy,
    and saves the lives of the needy.
From oppression and violence he redeems their life;
    and precious is their blood in his sight.

Long may he live!
    May gold of Sheba be given to him.
May prayer be made for him continually,
    and blessings invoked for him all day long.
May there be abundance of grain in the land;
    may it wave on the tops of the mountains;
    may its fruit be like Lebanon;
and may people blossom in the cities
    like the grass of the field.
May his name endure for ever,
    his fame continue as long as the sun.
May all nations be blessed in him;
    may they pronounce him happy.

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
    who alone does wondrous things.
Blessed be his glorious name for ever;
    may his glory fill the whole earth.
Amen and Amen.