Ask, Search, Knock

Learning for Life9:30 am
• Hope — discussions relating to aging

Worship Service11:00 am

Bulletin: February 24, 2019
NewsletterFebruary 2019

ScripturesPsalm 91Romans 12:12-21Luke 11:1-13

Songs:

Rev. Joel Russell-MacLean

 

The Angelus by Jean-François Millet

 

“‘Give me, give me’ never gets – don’t you know you manners yet?”

Did you ever hear this little song? It was a playground taunt we used when I was young whenever someone was demanding to be given something we had. Of course, we all knew what it was like to want something so much we just had to have it.

We choose either to grab, manipulate, fight, or harass, or to simply and honestly ask.

Which one of those strategies leads to good relationships?

The prayer Jesus taught people, called both the “Our Father…” or “The Lord’s Prayer”, can be read as four, straight-up requests:

Give us your kingdom and rule on earth
Give us bread from day to day
Give us forgiveness
Give us deliverance

There’s no negotiating, begging, manipulation, or threats here – but it is a list of needs.

Jesus taught us to come to the Creator and to simply and honestly ask.

Jesus’ promise? A close relationship with our Father, and the Holy Spirit drawing close to us.

Sometimes, however, I think I would prefer magic over prayer.

The student witches and wizards in the Harry Potter movies and books just have to say the right words and go through the right motions and then they get what they asked for, like in this clip from the first movie.

Should prayer be more like magic? The right amount of faith, the right idea, the right words, the right number of people and then we get what we ask for? Do we want that much control?

Instead of magic, can we trust God? Is knowing God worth the uncertainty and the waiting involved in simply asking and trusting?

God’s Fields of Grace Are Everywhere

Listen to the sermon Joel Russell-MacLean
Learning for Life: 9:30 am
• Hope — discussions relating to aging

Worship Service11:00 am

Bulletin: February 17, 2019
Newsletter: February 2019

ScripturesPsalm 99Romans 12:3-10Luke 8:1-15

Songs:

Rev. Joel Russell-MacLean

A paved alley runs the length of my backyard. There is a gate that leads into the alley and the ground around the gate is packed down and hard from years of us walking on it. We also have a little vegetable garden that runs down the side of our yard along the alley.

Now, it has never occurred to me to plant any seeds in the hard ground at the gate. I can’t imagine what would possibly motivate me to scatter seeds on the pavement. We do however plant seeds in the garden. Call me stingy and calculating.

How about the creator of heaven and earth? How cautious is God when it comes to planting seeds? How calculating was Jesus when it came to healing and teaching?

Jesus scattered God’s word and God’s blessing widely and freely. In the end, Jesus himself became a seed in the earth for all humanity and all creation.

If God is so free with love and blessing, what kind lives should Jesus’ disciples live?

A Life Well-Lived

Listen to sermon John Nelson
Learning for Life: 9:30 am
­­    • Hope — discussions relating to aging

Worship Service11:00 am

Bulletin: February 10, 2019
Newsletter: February 2019

Scriptures: Psalm 97:1-6; Romans 8:18-23; Luke 7:1-10;

Songs:

Rev. John Nelson

This powerful text from the Gospel of Luke is primarily dealing with the theme of discipleship- how to live a good life according to the teachings of Jesus. This passage also reveals the healing power of Jesus. The central characters in this amazing story are a Gentile (possibly a Roman centurion [a captain] in the employment of Herod Antipes), the centurion’s much loved and dying servant, the Jewish people, and of course, our Lord Jesus.

This centurion portrays a life well-lived that clearly demonstrates the core teaching of Jesus.
What qualities of this centurion’s life gained the Jewish peoples’ respect? How did this respect assist the centurion in his concern for his dying servant? Here are hints of four key characteristics of this centurion’s life that gained the respect of the Jewish people, and amazed and marveled Jesus:

  • L_ _ _E for God and others;
  • possessed an active and vibrant F_ _ TH;
  • he possessed a H_ _ BLE spirit;
  • possessed great C_ _ F_ D_ _ CE and C_RT_ _ NTY in Jesus.

Many lives were changed that day due to the action of the Jewish elders, the centurion, his friends, and our Lord Jesus. The dying slave was powerless…at the mercy of others. Thankfully for the life well-lived of his master, the outcome of this story for the slave was miraculous. Through this story we also understand that we can call upon the name of Jesus at any time, for any one, no matter wherever they might be in the world, and pray for their salvation, their healing and their wholeness. “The POWER behind you is GREATER than the CHALLENGE ahead.”

Forgive and You Will Be Forgiven

Listen to sermon Joel Russell-MacLean

Learning for Life: 9:30 am

  • Hope — discussions relating to aging
  • Thrive — how to equip your kids

Worship Service11:00 am

Bulletin: February 3, 2019
Newsletter: February 2019

Scriptures: Romans 8:12-17Psalm 102Luke 6:37-49

Songs:

Rev. Joel Russell-MacLean

There are a number of tasty fruit trees and shrubs that do well here in Regina. We have plums, cherries, and saskatoons in our yard. Some years they produce so much fruit that we can’t keep up or give enough away. They are healthy and watered, fed, and pruned.

If you want lots of good fruit, a healthy tree is what you focus on. If you have only bad fruit, there is no point in going to a garden centre and asking what can be done for this years’ crop. It is probably too late by that point. You must get to work on caring for the tree itself to see good fruit in the coming years.

Jesus talked about healthy trees producing fruit as a metaphor for healthy people producing forgiveness and love. If listening to Jesus makes us want to become more loving in some way, in forgiving others, the thing to consider is how we become healthier. And health comes from drawing close to Jesus and being filled with the Holy Spirit.

Sermons On a Plain

Listen to sermon Joel Russell-MacLean

Learning for Life: 9:30 am 
Worship Service: 11:00 am

Bulletin: January 27, 2019
Newsletter: January 2019

ScripturesRomans 8:1-6Psalm 148:1-6, 102:15-18Luke 6:12-36

Songs:

Joel Russell-MacLean

Instead of teaching from a mountainside, Jesus came down to a level space in a crowd of people. The crowd was made up of his newly chosen disciples and all sorts of other people. Jesus provided an inaugural address to this group that would lead the early church.

What was this new group all about? What set them apart from other groups? What activities were they to focus on day by day? Are churches today still characterized by Jesus’ words?

After Jesus called the disciples, but just before he began to teach, Luke squeezed in a noted that Jesus cleaned and healed people. Luke was not adding an interesting footnote. Luke was carefully connecting physical healing and spiritual cleansing with Jesus’ teaching. Jesus’ very words, his teaching also heals and cleans: “for power came out from him and healed all of them”.

Pay attention as you read the Gospels. Jesus’ very words can affect us for good in surprising ways. Has Jesus ever spoken straight to your heart?

 
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