This is my favourite time of the year: autumn (I like the word “autumn” more than I do “fall”). I like the colours of the season. I like the smells of the season (especially the aroma of turkey as it cooks, but I’m a little ahead of myself). I like the promise of the upcoming hockey season! Ah, there is much to like . . . much to enjoy . . . even if it does mean that I have end-of-summer clean up to soon worry about.
Yesterday we continued our fall series on Keys to Kingdom Living. We look to find our way in Jesus as people of God. We already know that following him can be difficult at times (so much so that when some of His disciples heard His teaching they said, “This is tough teaching, too tough to swallow.” . . . and left. [John 6:60]. But not you. As challenging as it may be to be a follower, you have made a commitment to stay with Him and to grow.
In yesterday’s message we dared look at one of those difficult and almost unmentionable subjects: personal finance and our stewardship of what we have. We don’t like to talk about money, and we most certainly don’t want others talking about our money. And yet Jesus spoke about it often . . . so occasionally we do as well. Yesterday we looked at what Jesus had to say about those who had much and those who had little – rather, we looked at the attitudes shown by some who had much and one who had little. We looked at the rich, the poor, and the rest and Jesus’ challenge to lavish generosity – the story of the widow’s mites from Mark 12.
Generosity does not come to us naturally. Not that we are hoarders; we’re givers . . . or at least we want to be. Too often, though, we may identify with John Stott, who wrote I am a disciple of Jesus. But if I am honest with myself, I am probably more of a selective disciple. I find myself, sometimes unknowingly, but again if I am honest, knowingly, “choosing areas in which commitment suits [me] and staying away from those areas in which it will be costly.” Finance can be one of those “stay away from” areas. Giving can be one of those “stay away from” areas. Tithing can be one of those “stay away from” areas. But as people who have given God everything we can’t “stay away”.
Our message can be downloaded from elsewhere on our web site (click here).
As we talked about lavish generosity, we were given an opportunity to put being generous into practice. September’s special giving emphasis is the Alabaster Offering. Based on the selfless giving of the woman who broke a flask of expensive perfume and poured it on Jesus [Matthew 26], we received this offering which is used for the work of the Kingdom world-wide.
Money raised through this offering is used to purchase land and to build churches, schools, medical facilities, and homes for missionaries and national workers. We will receive funds for Alabaster again this coming Sunday.
The first praise and worship service led by the musical group JCL (Jesus Christ Living) took place last evening, and it was a great time of celebration! Although there are still limits on the number of people who can attend in person, many were able to watch on line (and did). We appreciate the time and energy the group invested in preparing for the evening, and look forward to the next time they share (there will definitely be a “next time”). In fact . . .
mark the following two dates on your calendar: December 5 and (tentatively) January 9. The January date would be JCL “in concert”, sharing in music again as they did last night. December 5 is a Christmas Carol sing – or, if we can’t “legally sing”, a Night of Christmas Music, with special song – and (of course!) carols. Our music celebration will begin both evenings at 7:00.
Last night’s service was streamed on our YouTube (click here) and Facebook (click here) sites.
We continue to meet Wednesday evenings for a time of prayer together, though ZOOM – e-mail the church office for log-in information. Please feel free to join us as we unite our hearts to meet with God (and He with us).
Our “Discussion of Biblical Proportions” would normally be the last Tuesday of the month; however, I am unable to lead tomorrow night, so for September only we will meet together this Thursday (September 30). E-mail the church office for log-in information and join our ZOOM discussion on Misunderstood Verses in the Bible.
We will look at Brant Hansen’s Blessed are the Misfits in our October book study. Starting with a chapter titled It’s Not Just You, Hansen reminds us that God is for and with us all . . . not just with the spiritually perfect (what great news!) but for all those who struggle, who question, who doubt, and who wonder. Order your copy from Chapters (click here) or from your favourite book store . . . and join us for a great evening of discussion.
Did you notice the church sign as you drove up for service yesterday? For those who were not able to attend . . . we want to thank Pierre for the latest “update”, as we are once again identified as Trinity Church (we waited a long time for the lettering to come in, but once it did Pierre was able to finish the job). We do appreciate all that he does around the building!