Archive for Sermons

Advent 2017: Immanuel – God with us

At Christmas God came to us in a most unexpected yet wonderful way.  He came accessible as a human – arriving as a baby and growing up with us. He would be called Immanuel – God with us.  How do we experience “Immanuel” in our lives now? Over the Advent and Christmas season we are going answer this question as we explore and celebrate the presence of God among us.


December 3rd: “Hope – A Promise Realized: (Luke 1:67-80) In Zechariah’s song we are brought from darkness to light. He announces the coming to fruition of the many promises of old about a coming king and kingdom. His own son, John would be the one to prepare the way for the coming Christ. Our Hope is rooted in God being with us.


December 10: “Peace – Coming to Peaces” (Luke 2:14 & Luke 2:29-32) The Angel song announces peace upon those living in the favour of God. Simeon held the baby Jesus and now knew the peace he sought. Come enter and experience the peace of Christ and learn how to live in his grace. Learn of the very real hope of peace on earth.


December 17: “Joy – Cantata – Night of the Father’s Love – The Awe and Mystery of God with Us”  A presentation in song and word of the story of Christ’s birth. This service is a joyous celebration.


December 24: “Love – God’s Embrace” (Luke 1:46-55 & John 3:16-17) The coming of Christ is the embrace of God’s love on the world and his embrace of love for you. Mary’s song is a glorious celebration of God keeping his promise to bless the world. John 3:16 reminds us of the depth and breadth of God’s love.


December 24, 6:30pm “Christmas Eve Family Candlelight Service – Christ – Here Now” (Luke 2:1-20) Our service takes us back to the hidden and humble animal shelter where Jesus was born to experience his coming to us. Why did God come among us in this way? We will also try to be attentive to his presence now. Are you aware of the evidence of Jesus among us? The first Christmas helps us with today’s Christmas.


December 31: “The End and the Beginning” The end and the beginning can be at the same time and place. At midnight, 2017 ends and 2018 begins. What will you leave behind and what will you keep as you move into a new year. Having seen the hand of God at work let us go forward with a courageous faith and attentiveness to where and what God might be leading us to.


January 7: “Epiphany – The Star” (Matthew 2:1-12) In this famous but peculiar story some foreign star gazers are strangely and miraculously directed to the one born King of the Jews. These Magi came to Jesus in a most unexpected and surprising way. We are reminded that God is a seeking God and that his ways are not our ways. Maybe we can expect to be surprised.

Thanksgiving service 2017

October 8  – Pass Word  (Psalm 100) We come as those who have already received so much. We therefore come with gratitude and generosity. One of the many expressions of gratitude is enthusiastic worship of our Provider. An ancient Psalm gives voice for us and teaches us too. We take time to unwrap and remember our gifts before God and one another in prayer and praise. 

Devotional thought: Next time you enter the Church facility, pause at the door and think about what you are grateful for.

Fall 2017 Sermon Series: Jesus Today-A journey through the Gospel According to John (cont’d)

We will take a fresh look at John’s Gospel. Of the four accounts of Jesus’ life and teachings, John takes a unique approach. Written to the church it is an accessible story rich in significance and insight. He describes and demonstrates the great truths of salvation, creation\re-creation, incarnation, the kingdom of God, belief and practice. We will apply all this to today’s reality.


September 10 – Search Light (John 8:12-58) We come attentive to Jesus, the ‘Light of the World’ and humbly learn his ways. In a very volatile situation Jesus uses light and truth to expose some very dangerous and ugly realities behind the actions of those who oppose him. The longer one has been in the dark, the more offensive light feels. Jesus brings the light of his truth into these very dark places. There is a darkness that would blind people to the truth. Jesus comes to set us free.

Devotional thought:  Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.


September 17 – Work Light (John 9:1-12) In today’s remarkable story, Jesus gives sight to a man born blind. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” The story raises questions about justice and what is behind the brokenness of our lives and world. Jesus’s answer gives much to consider. The passage has good news for us all.

Devotional thought: Is it possible that some infirmity that you have might be a way through which you might experience God at work?


September 24 – Blind Sighted (John 9:13-41) The simple testimony of a person is a powerful witness to Jesus. “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” While this man was now able to see, it seems that others – even with sight – could not. This blindness is of a different sort and far too common. Gratefully, Jesus still gives sight to the blind. What is your testimony? 

Devotional thought: Can you think of a time when you were blind to the truth.  Open our eyes Lord.


October 1 – Known (John 10:1-21) Jesus has come to declare and demonstrate the coming of the Kingdom of God. The language and image used is that of a shepherd caring for sheep. Jesus declares, “I am the Good Shepherd.” This passage is a window to the kind of relationship Christ our Shepherd King seeks to have with us.

Devotional thought: Have you found a way to know and recognize the voice of Jesus? “…his sheep follow because they know his voice”


October 15 – Believe it or Not (John 10:22-42) What is the best answer? To give the answer people want to hear or to give them the truth? Jesus asks the crowd to not only hear his words but to also observe his actions. People are looking for answers. Do we leave them in suspense? What do our word and deeds declare about our Lord?

Devotional thought: “What good is it if a person claims to have faith but has no deeds?” James 2:14


October 22 – Jesus Wept (John 11:1-37) At a funeral, Jesus makes a bold declaration of life over death – that he is the resurrection and the life. Jesus invites the mourners to faith and to find hope in him and who he is. This account of Jesus facing the death of a friend and sharing grief with loved ones is of comfort in our own times of loss. Do you believe this?

Devotional thought: What about this story would help you in a time of grief?  That Jesus is the resurrection and the life gives us hope.


October 29  Rise Up (John 11:38-45) In this dramatic event Jesus calls a dead man back to life. It is one thing to say you can raise the dead – it is another, to actually do it. Life wins over death. One has to believe that this event reminded Jesus of his own approaching death and a more significant resurrection. This story brings us to the gospel.

Devotional thought: Jesus performed this miracle of raising Lazarus before a crowd.  That shows us the faith of Jesus. How do you make your faith public?


November 5 – Remembrance – One for All (John 11:45-57) In the passage we consider today Caiaphas the high priest says regarding Jesus, “…that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.” How Caiaphas understood this idea and how God intended it to be understood is something we need to address. At a time of year we remember the sacrifice of others for the whole we will consider the significance of the cross.

Devotional thought: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18 What is the significance of the cross to you?


November 12 – Extravagance (John 12:1-11) A dinner is held in honour of Jesus at the home of the now living Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary and Martha. Jesus is approaching the time of crucifixion. With tremendous reverence and devotion Mary pours out all her love in an act of extravagant worship. This is questioned by Judas who had other intentions. This could be an interesting story to find yourself in. What are the lessons for you?

Devotional thought: Consider what you spend the most time, money and energy on. What values do they reflect? Do you think any changes are in order?


November 19 – A Seed Planted (John 12:20-36) Up to this point in John’s Gospel Jesus has often said, “My time has not yet come.” But now he reveals, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” He speaks of a seed planted the need to walk in the light and of being lifted up. These things he speaks to his would be followers. We will consider the significance of what Jesus says and what it means for us today.

Devotional thought: The gospel is sometimes described a seed planted in the ears of a listener. Has such a seed been planted in you? Are you ready to experience the symbolic death of being planted and coming to new life in resurrection by receiving the gospel in decision and baptism?


November 26 – Chronic Disbelief (John 12:37-50) Jesus faced what we continue to face – disbelief. He reminds us that the ramifications between belief and dismissal if more significant than most realize. Disbelief can have a deadening effect and has you rebelling against your Creator. Jesus affirms that he has come as a Saviour of the world.

Devotional thought: If you are not yet convinced about Jesus are you ready to take a closer look?

Summer Services 2017

July 2: “Walking the Waves” (John 6:16-24) with Pastor Jim

July 9: The composer of “Abide with Me” wrote a line many of us can relate to. “Change and decay in all around I see.” In our world we see changes happening so quickly and constantly. Some change is good: but at the same time, we need things in our lives that are permanent, that we can count on. In Malachi 3 :6, God says, “I am the Lord, I change not.” We will look at what that means for us. With Jan Thomas (our Choir Director and author of two books)
Devotional thought: What things about God’s unchanging nature do I appreciate most?  What changes has God performed in my life?

July 16: “Keep Building” (Haggai 1) Atrophy can be defined as “gradually decline in effectiveness or vigor due to underuse or neglect”. Summer can sometimes lead towards spiritual atrophy. This morning, we join the Israelites in Haggai’s call towards atrophy. May we respond as they did. With Alvin Lau

Devotional thought: What’s one practice you learned in the last couple of months that you need to keep building on?

July 23: “Good Ol’ Days .. Days to Come” (Haggai 2) Do you remember the good ol’ days? How does it compare to the present? Sometimes, we look back with fondness to what happened before. We may even lament why it isn’t like that now. We’ll continue with Haggai and the return of the Israelites and see what God’s word to them was … and is for us today. 

Devotional thought: How do you think God will continue to spur you forward? (What do you need to be involved)?

July 30: “Missing the Point” (John 6:25-70) with Pastor Jim


August 6: “The Real Showbread” (John 6:35) Bread is a significant part of our Christian understanding. In the NIV
Bible, it shows up 271 times. Let’s explore the richness of what Jesus meant when he said he’s the bread of life. With
 Alvin Lau


August 13: “Still Looking” (John 7) with Pastor Jim

August 20: “Trapped?” (John 8:1-11) with Pastor Jim


August 27: “Ancient Paths” (Jeremiah 6:16) Holiday Club Service with Pastor Jim


September 3: “Remember These” (Joshua 3-4) “Do you remember …” To reminisce is to recall what’s happened
before. Around your home, you probably have pictures or other memorabilia that bring back fond memories (and maybe some not-so-fond ones). We’ll look at an event in Israel’s history, and explore how God cements that specific point in time for generations to come (and why). With
 Alvin Lau

Devotional thought: What helps you to remember God’s faithfulness and promises? (Be specific as you list them.)

Under Construction Series (April to June 2017)

From April 23 to June 25, we will be worshiping at the Hendry Hall at the Presbyterian Church while our building receives a new entrance.
While our building is under construction to make it more accessible and to expand the possibilities of ministry we thought it would be a good time for our congregation to do a little rebuilding too. We will be in a new venue for our worship services giving us opportunity to try some innovations. During the weeks of displacement we will review what it means to be disciples of Christ using our church discipleship document.
1 Peter 2:4-5 says, As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
The strength of our house/congregation depends to a large degree on you. Please plan to participate in the coming services.  

1. A committed follower of Jesus – Step 1: meeting Jesus

April 23: “My feet on a Rock” (1 Peter 2: 6-7a, Psalm 40:1-3) Jesus tells a parable about the wise and foolish builders. The wise builders established their building/lives on a rock – a solid foundation. As we rebuild our lives we want to start at the base. There are some foundational issues that need to be addressed. It all starts with Christ who is our cornerstone and our foundation. Where are you in relation to Jesus?

April 30: “A Work in Progress” (Matthew 7:24) Before the walls go up the footings are laid to provide solid and level support. The first weight bearing layers of wall need to be well placed to set the course of what follows. There are first steps to be considered and followed. If obedience is building on the Rock of Jesus, what are the next steps for you?

 


2. A practitioner of the Christian disciplines – Step 2: following Jesus

May 7: “Built to Last” (2 Cor. 3:18, Acts 2:42-47) It is the walls that help to give shape and define the building. At this stage we need to consider the building materials; the building blocks that give shape to who we are and our character. It is in the practice of the Christian disciplines that give strength and definition to our faith and living. Consider the importance of prayer, knowing the bible, worship and giving. 

These are some of the building blocks of a healthy Christian life.

May 14: “Getting the Word In: There are essential Christian disciplines or practices that help to form and transform us in redemptive life giving ways. Last week we received some teaching; now let’s put our lessons into practice. Today we’ll focus on the Scriptures and how to listen and absorb them. Get the Word out and in. This should be both beneficial and fun.

May 21: “GraceChat” Sometimes it is easier to talk about prayer than to actually pray. This essential practice needs practice. We will explore and enter into various models of prayer.


3. A Witness to the Kingdom Building work of Jesus – Step 3: becoming like Jesus

May 28: “Rooms with a View” (Acts 1:8) It is the windows, doors and other features of the house that enables a relationship between those in the building and those outside. As we construct a new entrance to make our building accessible, we need to think about accessibility in broader terms. How do we make the presence and ministry of Jesus accessible to others? We will consider for a while what we see when we look out. How well do we know our neighbours and community? If we like windows provide a view of the heavenly, what will that look like?

June 4: “Inside Out” (Acts 2:42-47, Acts 4:13) What do people see when they look at us? Does the presence of our people and place have an impact on the lives and community around us? What is it that gets noticed?


4. A faithful member of the Church Step 4: sharing Jesus

June 11: “Pentecost” (Hebrews 10:24-25) The church of course is a people – the Body of Christ. No matter how wonderful and accessible our building, what really matters is us. 1 Peter 2:5 describes us as, “like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” We each are called to both be and to do something as well we together are called to be and do something. We need to be all in for this to truly work.

June 18: “Restoring the Rhythm” (Hebrews 10:19-25)

June 25: Celebration service with Mimico Presbyterian Church

Easter 2017

April 2: Sunday is a Comin’ (John 5:16-30) Jesus talks to his persecutors to try and help them understand that they are witnessing the greatest moment of history. God was doing something amazing in their midst and they were missing it. Jesus speaks of renewal and life as he alludes to the resurrection. What is the message for us as we approach the celebration of Easter? 
Devotional Thought: Have you considered that some of the hardest things to believe about Jesus seem to be among the most important and wonderful? 

April 9: Palm Sunday – Your King has Come (John 12:12-19) A week before Jesus was to die he rides humbly into Jerusalem on a donkey. The people greeted him with waving palm branches and shouts of praise. Their King had come. Today in our worship we honour Jesus as our King and invite others to join the celebration. “Look, the whole world has gone after him.” We are pleased to welcome the Mimico Children’s Choir and their families.   
Devotional Thought: How do you show your allegiance to the King?

April 16: Easter Sunday will be a glorious celebration of the resurrection of Christ and the promise of a new world. Our choir will present a cantata, Lift High the Cross, by Lloyd Lawson. It is an invitation to take the journey of faith. It is a powerful message filled with hope. “Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim till all the world adore his sacred name.”

Devotional Thought: Consider that the cross took on life giving significance after the resurrection. Before that is was a sign of death and horror. What does the cross of Christ mean to you?

Rethinking Church with Cid Latty (March 19, 2017)

Rethinking Church

Guest speaker Cid Latty will share a bit about his experience of planting over 100 Café Churches in England. Let us consider what obedience to Jesus might look like for us in our time and place. Cid is the Congregational Development Associate for the CBOQ.   
Devotional Thought: What are some ways we can give our neighbours and friends a taste of the Kingdom of God?

97th Anniversary Service (January 22, 2017)

Guest speaker: Rev. Denise Gillard.

Denise is the Founder, Executive Artistic Director of The HopeWorks Connection and The Toronto Children’s Concert Choir & Performing Arts Company (TC3). She is known for her gifted preaching and inspiring motivational speaking, she has dedicated herself to inspiring youth and the people who love them to work toward achieving their full potential in the context of faith, service and transformational living. Come and celebrate with us what God has been doing among us.

Jesus Today (January-March 2017 series)

Jesus Today

We will take a fresh look at John’s Gospel. Of the four accounts of Jesus’ life and teachings, John takes a unique approach. Written to the church it is an accessible story rich in significance and insight. He describes and demonstrates the great truths of salvation, creation\re-creation, incarnation, the kingdom of God, belief and practice. We will apply all this to today’s reality.

January 15: Among Us (John 1:1-18) The message of John 1 is that God took on human flesh and moves among us. This is remarkable news with huge implications for how we live and how we do ministry.  What is Jesus doing today and how can we be a part of it?  Together I expect we will make some exciting discoveries.
Devotional Thought:  At the end of each day this week consider when you may have sensed Jesus at work.

January 29: Voice in the Wilderness (John 1:19-34 & 3:22-36) To prepare the way for Jesus, a messenger was sent in advance to get people ready. John the Baptist, the ‘advance man’ called people to turn their lives around so that they could face Jesus when he came to them. His credibility was evident and his reputation wide. He introduced many to Jesus.
Devotional Thought: What does it mean for us to be God’s voice in today’s wilderness? What would it look or sound like?

February 5: Follow Me (John 1:35-51) The call still stands – continues to be extended – and sometimes to the most unlikely. As Jesus gathers disciples, we see the call extended, sometimes by Jesus directly, and sometimes through another. How are people responding to this call today?
Devotional Thought: How have you heard the call of Jesus in your life? Give thanks. 
(Sorry, a recording is not available.)

February 12: Glory Revealed (John 2:1-11) Jesus performs his first miraculous sign at a wedding.
Devotional Thought: Can you think of a time when you witnessed the glory of the Lord? Did it result in greater faith?
(Sorry, a recording is not available.)

February 19: This Temple (John 2:12-25) The temple holds a central and significant place in Judaism and uniquely in Christianity too.
Devotional Thought: In the New Testament both the Christian and the Church (Christians in community) are described as temples where God dwells. 

February 26: Seeing the Kingdom (John 3:1-21) A curious Pharisee comes to question Jesus at night. Before he can ask the question, Jesus gives him the answer. Jesus shares some truly important and revolutionary information.  The Kingdom is about being born from above; being born again. Jesus was bringing heaven to earth; light and life.
Devotional Thought: Do you want to see the Kingdom of God?

March 5: Another Good Samaritan (John 4:1-42) A most unlikely encounter and conversation brings about a major faith impact on a Samaritan village. It is said the God works in mysterious ways.  Who knows what God might do in your community? And who knows how he will do it? This is CBOQ Sunday, so we will focus some time on our extended family.  
Devotional Thought: If you have a personal encounter with Jesus, who would you tell?
(Sorry, a recording is not available.)

March 12: Miraculous Signs (John 4 ;43-54) For some people to believe they want some kind of miraculous proof. Ever wonders why some believe in Jesus and others don’t? Do you wonder what it would take to turn a life around to face him? 
Devotional Thought: What moved/or moves you towards Jesus?

March 26: A Sign of the Kingdom (John 5:1-15) A man with a disability gets what he wants but only later does he learn that it was Jesus who healed him. Are there people who have met Jesus, even been helped by Jesus without realizing it?   
Devotional Thought: Have you ever looked back on a time in your life and only realised with hindsight that it was an experience of the hand of God?

New Years sermon series

January 1: 360 Degrees (Isaiah 43:18-19) We’ll take some time in the presence of God to look back, to look around and to look ahead.  This will be a time of reflection, prayer and anticipation.

Devotional thought: Will you commit to going with God in 2017?


January 8: Epiphany Service Inside Out (Matthew 2:1-12) In this story, men who studied the immense vast array of stars are found looking for the very small – a baby born king of the Jews. What was in the stable was larger than the world. Be in awe of this great revelation of God.
Devotional thought: Can you think of a personal epiphany; a time when God revealed himself?