A couple of weeks ago, I got a message from a friend,
requesting that I come to Queen’s Park about 4.00 pm the following Monday to
join a demonstration. The occasion for this was the attempt on the part of the
NDP to pass a bill declaring climate change an emergency.
But a striking fact about this invitation was that I was
requested to wear my clergy collar. Now
if, like me, you’ve been to many lefty- type protests, you often DON’T want to be identified as a
clergy person! But not this time. I was there were greeted with open arms,
invited to pray and then to pose for a group photo.
Walking back to the subway, I pondered on this turn of
events. It occurred to me that maybe it was because the organizers, mostly
university and high school students, are for the most part, “unchurched.” Their
parents likely didn’t bother baptizing them and regular church attendance was
not a part of their upbringing. So maybe this unchurched generation are not as
predisposed to regard the church as something alien.
Continue reading Listen and Learn
Readings: Isaiah 43:16-21, Psalm 125, John 12:1-8,
and “The Heavens Torn Apart” – John Terpstra
readings today are full of the promise of restoration. Isaiah has
rivers gushing in the desert; the psalmist sings of those who sowed with
tears reaping with joy and carrying home their sheaves; Paul tells us
to forget what lies behind and strain forward to what lies ahead; and in
John’s gospel, Mary of Bethany pours out a jar of costly ointment which
fills the whole house with its fragrance.
So we read about a God who breaks boundaries, does new things, a God of
surprises, and a God of extravagant love! This is the thread that runs
like gold through the readings of today, culminating in John’s account
of the anointing of Jesus’s feet by Mary of Bethany then drying them
with the strands of her lustrous long hair.
in this gospel, after the raising of Lazarus, Jesus has returned again
to the house at Bethany. It is possibly his last stop before he enters
Jerusalem for the Passover. Jesus feels safe here. Elsewhere Jesus has
spoken wistfully about the birds of the air having a nest to shelter
themselves, but he has nowhere to lay his head. But it does appear that
he was a familiar and much loved guest here. It was a safe refuge,
possibly the closest Jesus came anywhere to feeling at home and amongst
Continue reading God of extravagant love