The cover of a plaster sarcophagus in the catacombs of Rome circa 200’s A.D., with the inscription “Severa—may you live in God”

As I prepared to continue this series on the ‘journeys of grace’, I thought first of course of the journey of the magi, those ‘gentiles’ and ‘foreigners’ being led by a star to the Christ of God in that manger of Bethlehem. It is a story that speaks so movingly of the great embrace and sovereignty of the Holy One.

But then I saw this image of an early Christian tomb, and was struck by the presence of the man behind Mary and the Child. It is Balaam, the gentile and foreign diviner whom God raised up to speak to the King Balak of the Moabites. In one of his oracles, Balaam says ‘I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near – a star shall come out of Jacob’ (Numbers 24:17). On this sarcophagus lid, Balaam has been brought forward several centuries to stand by the Child of Bethlehem, and there he points to the star. Balaam now declares that this child is the Anointed One of God promised long.

What if we were to think of this scene anew, imagining that the star now represents Christ? If the star of old led the magi to the Christ Child, where might the Living Lord be leading us today? Where is Christ to be found in our lives, in this world?

If you are in the area, we warmly invite you to join us on this Epiphany Sunday. Certified child care is offered during the service and a programme for young children also. There is free parking on the streets around (please note that the time-of-day restrictions on Clergy Street north of Queen are not in effect on Sundays) and in the surface civic lot just behind the church off Queen Street. There is a wheelchair lift inside the doors to St. Andrew’s Hall from the church parking lot mid way along Clergy Street, and hearing assist devices are available upon request from an usher.

Have a look at the Order of Service and bulletin below (just click the link to download), and consider each hymn and prayer and announcement a personal invitation to join us in Christian worship, community and service.

And next week join us as we continue our journey as we ponder the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt.

Albrecht Dürer,1512

Albrecht Dürer, 1512
The National Gallery of Canada

It is Reformation Sunday. It is good to look back and thank God for the reformation of the Church, for the return of … the Bible to the people, the singing God’s praise to the congregation, grace and sovereignty to God and God alone. I look forward to the hymn of Martin Luther ‘A mighty fortress is our God’ and joining in the prayer of John Calvin ‘I greet thee, who my Redeemer art’.

But I know this Sunday also challenges me with the truth that the Church is to ‘reformed and always reforming’. Yes, there are dimensions of Christian faith that are eternally valid. But how they are experienced and communicated change from one generation to another, from one context to another. And these changes must not only be acknowledged, but welcomed.

As we continue to journey through the Gospel according to Mark, we arrive at a scene in which Jesus speaks of overcoming ‘a strong man’ (Mark 3:20-27) and plundering his possessions. If this strong man were the Evil One, then it would be humanity that was in bondage. If Jesus has broken in and released us, how do we live this new and gracious freedom in our generation and culture? 

Albrecht Dürer engraved this scene in 1512, just five years after Martin Luther began his service of Christ in the Church. It shows Christ ‘harrowing hell’, liberating God’s people who had died before his life, death and resurrection. I have enjoyed meditating upon this print with relation to this parable of Jesus early in his ministry. After all, is the resurrection life something lived only the other side of the grave? Is freedom not a particular way of life now as well as from the ultimate hold of death?

If you are in the area, we warmly invite you to join the worship of God. With great joy we will be welcoming new members. And after the service, if you have time to linger, have a seat at our monthly congregational lunch and allow us the opportunity to introduce ourselves.

Certified child care is offered during the service and there is free parking on the streets around (please note that the time-of-day restrictions on Clergy Street north of Queen are not in effect on Sundays) and in the surface civic lot just behind the church off Queen Street.

Have a look at the Order of Service and bulletin below, and consider each hymn and prayer and announcement a personal invitation to join us in Christian worship, community and service. If you have any questions about forthcoming events and opportunities, please call the church office Tuesday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – noon, 613-546-6316, or email anne@standrewskingston.org

Download (PDF, 412KB)

Join us next Sunday, November 3, for the Celebration of the Lord’s Supper.

PLEASE JOIN US Sunday March 24th!

If you are in the area, we warmly invite you to join in the worship of God. Have a look at the Order of Service below (and also the announcements – please consider each a personal invitation to join us in Christian worship, community and service).

During the service there is offered a nursery for infants and a programme for young children if desired. There is free parking on the streets around (please note that the time-of-day restrictions on Clergy Street north of Queen are not in effect on Sundays) and in the surface civic lot just behind the church off Queen Street. There is a wheel chair lift available in the doors of the church closest to the manse (the courtyard is entered from the driveway half way along the St. Andrew’s block of Clergy Street) and a wheelchair ramp is available by ramp and door along Princess Street.

A special welcome to the Rev. Dr. William Morrow who is our preacher this morning. Bill received his Masters of Divinity from Knox College Toronto, is Full Professor in the Queen’s School of Religion, and is non-stipendiary priest of the Anglican Church, currently serving at St. James Church on Union Street.

If you have any other questions, please call the church office Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. – noon, or email anne@standrewskingston.org For matters of pastoral care during the Minister’s absence, please contact Alberta Saunders, Clerk of Session – alberta@standrewskingston.org

JOIN US Sunday March 17th!
If you are in the area, we warmly invite you to join in the worship of God. Have a look at the Order of Service below (and also the announcements – please consider each a personal invitation to join us in Christian worship, community and service).

During the service there is offered a nursery for infants and a programme for young children if desired. There is free parking on the streets around (please note that the time-of-day restrictions on Clergy Street north of Queen are not in effect on Sundays) and in the surface civic lot just behind the church off Queen Street. There is a wheel chair lift available in the doors of the church closest to the manse (the courtyard is entered from the driveway half way along the St. Andrew’s block of Clergy Street) and a wheelchair ramp is available by ramp and door along Princess Street.

A special welcome to the Rev. Dr. William Morrow who is our preacher this morning. Bill received his Masters of Divinity from Knox College Toronto, is Full Professor in the Queen’s School of Religion, and is non-stipendiary priest of the Anglican Church, currently serving at St. James Church on Union Street.

If you have any other questions, please call the church office Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. – noon, or email anne@standrewskingston.org For matters of pastoral care during the Minister’s absence, please contact Alberta Saunders, Clerk of Session – alberta@standrewskingston.org

If you are in the area, we warmly invite you to join in the worship of God. Have a look at the Order of Service below (and also the announcements – please consider each a personal invitation to join us in Christian worship, community and service).

During the service there is offered a nursery for infants and a programme for young children if desired. There is free parking on the streets around (please note that the time-of-day restrictions on Clergy Street north of Queen are not in effect on Sundays) and in the surface civic lot just behind the church off Queen Street. There is a wheel chair lift available in the doors of the church closest to the manse (the courtyard is entered from the driveway half way along the St. Andrew’s block of Clergy Street) and a wheelchair ramp is available by ramp and door along Princess Street.

If you have any other questions, please call the church office Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. – noon, or email anne@standrewskingston.org For matters of pastoral care during the Minister’s absence, please contact Alberta Saunders, Clerk of Session – alberta@standrewskingston.org

A special welcome to the Rev. Dr. Karen Bach. Karen has served as ecumenical chaplain at the University of Toronto, and with the Yonge Street Mission, and as an Interim Moderator of St. Andrew’s. Welcome back Karen!