I get myself into trouble. Too often. By what I say. And by what I don’t say.
For example, I once said that I don’t like country music. I may have been harsher than that in my comment. I know that I have joked that country music is an oxymoron.
Since that time, I have had to either backtrack or try to make excuses. If something that we sing is the slightest bit countryish someone will raise an eyebrow at me. I’ve been told “Gone are the days of classic country music! Now it sounds more like pop music with the occasional twang thrown in!“ (no, the twang is more than occasional). And I’ve said things like “that’s more folk than country”.
I tell you this because as we planned for yesterday’s service, I was reminded of a song from . . . from my earlier days (that’s the way I’m getting away with not saying that the album was recorded in the 70s). I looked it up on YouTube. It sounds a lot different than I remember. It is kind of . . . countryish. But that makes sense, when you see the album cover. To listen to the song – Jesus is Coming Soon – click here (I just listened to it again – it gets more countryish every time I hear it – it is the twang!).
The song reference points to the title of this week’s Musings and to our message yesterday. The linear progression of the work of Jesus was ignored again. A few weeks ago, we started with Him, toward Jerusalem, but then skipped to a post-resurrection visit He had with His disciples. Then we went back to a stop He made on His journey to Jerusalem. And yesterday we skipped (again) past Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, and the Ascension, to that which has not yet happened!
It was a pre-Easter post-Easter message. I called it An Early Look at the Promise. It is a promise not yet fulfilled. The promise: His ultimate return. His followers (that’s you and I) have been waiting for His coming in glory since His ascension – the angels told the disciples This very Jesus who was taken up from among you to heaven will come as certainly – and mysteriously – as he left.” [Acts 1:11]
Books have been written and charts developed trying to decipher when this will happen (ignoring His teaching that no one knows – or can know – when it will happen). Rather than focussing on trying to discover the undiscoverable there are more practical things that we can do with the time we have been given on earth. Even though we say come quickly Jesus, is He saying I want to save just one more soul? Perhaps the hymnwriter says it best when she says we’ll work till Jesus comes and we’ll be gathered home. We should indeed work as we wait.
You can “revisit” the service on our Facebook page (click here) and on our YouTube channel (click here), and download the sermon manuscript (click here).
The time of discipline and self-denial through Lent is nearing completion. Its purpose is to help us create space in our lives so that we can “feast on the presence of Jesus” directly. Fasting during Lent is an experiment in grace – a time to focus on God’s presence as He shows us some of the things (habits) that hold us and control us, and to strive for a greater awareness of what Christ wants of us. Continue to seek Him in the days ahead.
Excitement and expectation grew as Jesus neared Jerusalem – ordinary people waited to see what Jesus would do. Apprehension and agitation also grew as Jesus neared Jerusalem – the religious leaders waited to see what Jesus would do. The Triumphal Entry was the declaration of who He was . . . though no one understood it (at the time).
This coming Sunday is Palm Sunday . . . the beginning of the end and the end of the beginning. Within the space of a week Jesus would be hailed as champion and derided as failure; He would be hailed as Messiah and rejected as pretender. We call the week between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday “Holy Week”, but attitudes were anything but holy. That was after the Triumphal Entry though. This Sunday we celebrate and remember the entrance of the King. Join us for our time of worship and praise at 11:00.
Face coverings are no longer mandated. Vaccine passports are no longer required. Capacity limits have been removed. However, not every one may yet feel comfortable joining us in person on Sunday without a mask . . . and that’s just fine. Face covered or not, we respect the choice made. If you do feel comfortable, join us in the sanctuary this week . . . and bring someone with you!
And if you do not feel comfortable joining with others in the congregation in person please join us through our Facebook feed (click here) or our YouTube feed (click here) – or link directly from our web site (click here). Please “check in” – let us know if you worship with us “live or delayed”.
We continue – and will continue – to meet Wednesday evenings at 7:00 – gathering for a virtual prayer time through ZOOM. John Wesley said that God does nothing but by prayer, and everything with it. Join us for this important part of the life in the church, as we search for God’s direction and power as a congregation. E-mail the church for log-on information.
Our District Sunday School Ministries board has developed a daily prayer and Bible reading schedule for the 40 days of Lent . . . a guide to help in renewal in Christ. Each week we will pray for specific zone churches and for district boards and leadership in Ontario. The reading schedule is based on the Psalms and is a re-introduction to biblical Wisdom Literature. Be sure to download your copy if you haven’t yet done so.
Members of our church in North America have been called to prayer in a half million mobilization. The hope is that everyone who is part of our denomination will commit to pray for God’s protection, direction, and revelation. The prayer: to see renewal and revival in our churches.
To that end, we are Praying Our Way to Pentecost beginning Sunday, May 1 (through June 5). The dream of the Half-Million Mobilization is that we will experience unity as a region, that we will hear from the Spirit in our times of prayer, that we will share with each other what the Spirit is saying, and that we will discover His plans for our hope and future. A prayer journal has been developed to help us in our focus (download your copy from the main mailing page). A Holiness Today Special Edition devoted to prayer is also available (please e-mail the church to receive a copy). Print versions were made available but were sold out before we could order them.
Thank you again for your faithful support of the work we are trying to accomplish for Christ through what we do as a church . . . for giving generously of your tithes and offerings to the meet the needs of our local church. We continue to receive our tithes and offerings through e-transfer (email@example.com) and through the Canada Helps web site (click here).
This month we will receive a special offering for our missions work in other countries. Those who have been part of the Church of the Nazarene will recognize the call to give through an Easter Offering for the World Evangelism Fund, which supports those who are sharing the Good News of Jesus around the world. This congregation has always been supportive of missions and of the WEF – thank you! This year’s Easter Offering goal is to receive $3,000, giving that is over and above our regular giving/tithes and offerings.
We have begun to prepare for our yearly celebration of music and would like to invite everyone to participate. Talk with Matt if you would like to sing or share some prose/poetry/a story in our service June 5. Yes, it is Pentecost Sunday . . . so we’ll be filled with praise!
Oh . . . regarding 1 look for 2 in the near future . . . with explanation