July 4 2021

Learning for Life: Resumes in September 

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Listen to the sermon Joel Russell-MacLean

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The Picture of Health

Bulletin: Bulletin July 4

Newsletter: Weekly Letter July 4 2021

Scriptures: Psalm 1; Psalm 2; John 15.1-10



Joel Russell-MacLean

Growing up in Ontario, I took trees for granted. One summer, after a number of years of living in Regina, I travelled to Philidelphia for a friend’s wedding. The trees were unbelievable. I couldn’t get over the size of the tulip trees and the chestnuts in full bloom. However, the  Green Ash really stood out to me. This was how Green Ash were supposed to look: tall, straight, and full.

Returning to Regina, walking past our own Green Ash, I had two thoughts.

I had a new appreciation for how hard people had worked to get all these trees to grow, and how vulnerable our trees are. Can you imagine a tree-less Regina? Let’s take care of them and plant more!

I also had a picture of what a Green Ash is meant to look like in the best conditions. Our harsh winters, short growing season, and dry, hot summers have left many trees in our city twisted and stunted.

Sin has this same impact on every single human being and on this world. We are waiting for salvation, for our true selves to be revealed through the grace, healing, and forgiveness that is coming through Jesus.

At the fulfilment of God’s plans, people will be like

“trees planted by streams of water, which yields their fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.” (Psalm 1.3).

We are not there yet. While we wait for that day, God the Father has planted us in the river of the Holy Spirit (see how this river is described in Ezekiel 47). There is a way of life that helps us to remain connected to Jesus and the Holy Spirit through the good times and the hard times while we wait for God’s great day of restoration.

This summer, we will be reading through the Psalms. In most Christian traditions, the Psalms are part of the daily devotions or quiet times. They are the prayers of people trying to make sense of all the goodness as well as the suffering of life and trying to live a good life in obedience to God.

If praying through the Psalm every day is not part of your habits yet, give it a try this summer.

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