Sunday April 19, 10:30 a.m.

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A couple of years have now passed, but the time is deeply etched on my heart. For almost two weeks I was privileged to be part of a group from the Presbyterian community in Canada who were invited to learn about the lives and witness of Palestinian Christians. We were welcomed by the ‘living stones’, the people who have kept the Christian faith alive and real ever since our Lord himself walked that land, and now find themselves a besieged minority, neither Muslim nor Jewish.

This is a photo of large stone, one of three by the shores of the Sea of Galilee. These stones lie where it is said the Risen Lord asked Peter ‘Do you love me’, not once, not twice but three times (John 21: 15-20) – graciously offering that all-so-human disciple the opportunity to reverse each of the times he had denied Jesus on the way to the cross.

This morning we will formally welcome a wonderful group of new members into our congregation. Together we will be reminded that Christian fellowship is based upon the repeated forgiveness and enduring embrace of our Lord. Ours is not a great and pure holy love, but a humble, sincere, growing love that is willing to learn from our failures and be open to new beginnings.

We are like that heart-rock with our Living Lord is still working upon us, by water and the Word, to be living testimonies of the grace of our Lord in this corner of humanity.

Join us! A nursery for infants, a programme for children during the service. And after the service this Sunday a pot-luck congregational lunch – bring something if you can, but your presence will be the gift.

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Sunday April 12, 10:30 a.m.

Running north of Iqaluit is the famous ‘Road to Nowhere’. Whether or not we have had the privilege of visiting Nunavut and its people, we have all had the experience of walking this road. Two friends of Jesus are walking it as we meet them in Luke 24. They had given up everything to follow Jesus, and all their hopes they had seen crucified. They are overwhelmed by confusion, frustration, and perhaps even anger, as all their hopes were now dead and buried. They are walking home, back to where they had come from, back to normalcy, and as Bruce Cockburn sings, ‘the trouble with normal is, it always gets worse’.

Christ and Disciples George Rouault (1936-1939) National Gallery of Canada

Christ and Disciples
George Rouault (1936-1939)
National Gallery of Canada

It is a wonderful gospel scene, the Risen Lord coming to walk with those two disciples along that road. He came not to palace or market or temple, but to his friends. And as he spoke and broke bread with them, he renewed their lives. Any road, even the roads to nowhere, are now roads on which we are accompanied, and transformed.

Whatever road you may be walking just now, may it bring you to join us in the breaking of bread with the Risen Lord this morning!

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Sunday April 5, 10:30 a.m.

Easter Morning by He Qi

Easter Morning
by He Qi

 

As the women at the tomb were told ‘He is not here, but has risen’ (Luke 24:5), this Easter morn we also hear the gospel of the resurrection of Jesus, and of our resurrection. And our joy overflows – ‘Jesus Christ is risen today’, ‘Alleluia, alleluia’, ‘Now let the vault of heaven resound’, ‘Thine be the glory’. Join us!

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As snow fell last night, yet again and some more here in Kingston … the palms are ready to be waved. The weather varies from year to year, but I always look forward to this Sunday, for the way this scene of Jesus riding into Jerusalem elicits the joy, the excitement and the strength of our Christian faith.

Wilhelm Morgner - Entry Into Jerusalem, 1912

Wilhelm Morgner – Entry Into Jerusalem, 1912

I love the way the early 20th century artist Wilhelm Morgner captures the intensity of the scene – the humble king on a donkey, the palms of the people’s praise arching like sound waves to eternity – but also the darkness all around and between. I notice at the very centre of the canvas a figure of solid black. We are reminded of what lies ahead for Jesus as he enters Jerusalem. But I also notice that the dark figure is surrounded by a circle of light.

As this Holy Week begins, I am moved once again by the determination of our Lord to live the love of God at all costs. And I celebrate the amazing gospel that this is the life the Sovereign God will redeem and raise, promising that life is the last word for him and for all who would follow him.

Palm Sunday, 10:30 a.m. Join us!

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