April 11 2021

Learning for Life: 9:30 am

JOIN our Worship Service: 11:00 am

Eternal Life and Friendships

Listen to the sermon Joel Russell-MacLean

Watch the recent Worship Service

Bulletin: Bulletin April 11

Newsletter: Weekly Letter Apr 11 2021

Scriptures: 1 John 1.1-7; Acts 4.32-56; Psalm 133; Mark 3.7-27



Joel Russell-MacLean

Old ruins of St Mary’s at sunset

I sometimes wonder if we talk so much about community because we hope that if we talk about it enough, then maybe we won’t actually have to do anything about it.

I’m struck by CS Lewis’ insight that relationships are hell. No, he didn’t quite put it that way. In The Great Divorce, Lewis imagines a trip to hell and to heaven. What he finds is that no one is trapped in or sentenced to hell. Instead, hell is populated by people who find it a torment to be with angels, a torment to be near God, and a torment to be near others. Hell exist only because some people keep moving further and further apart from God (they think) and from each until they are utterly alone.

Jesus died to establish the church. Jesus rose from the dead so that we might be born again in the church. One day, Jesus will return to earth with the church, pure and whole.

Establishing the church, a new family, was not just a “strategy.”

The church is part of salvation, part of the resurrection, part of eternal life.

John wrote, “we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us.”

It couldn’t be more plain. We do not have a message of private salvation. Our message is meant to bring people into relationships within the church.

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