Last Thursday was Earth Day. Yesterday was Earth Day Sunday. While some wonder why we as the church of God should follow the lead of worldly teachers when it comes to climate change, a better question might be why the church is not taking the lead in creation care – after all, after God created all living things: He created mankind in His image and told them – us – to be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air, for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth [Genesis 1:28]
In yesterday’s service we not only discussed some of the differences in philosophy between secular climate concerns and Christian creation care concerns; we also touched on some of the differences in philosophy of between different Christian bodies. Here is God: The Master Creator who took His palate and from a blank slate – the earth was without form, and void [Genesis 1:2] – and said, “Let there be . . .”; and there was [Genesis 1:3]. Here is man, arguing about how to treat the creation: on the one hand some saying the earth is the Lord’s but He gave it to us for our pleasure and on the other hand some saying the earth is the Lord’s, keep your filthy paws off of it. The arguments ramp up; the sides become more entrenched; the discussion and debate become political.
I concluded that rather than arguing about the reality of climate change (which is where the discussion often heads) we should focus on the directive of the call: that we are responsible to God for what we are doing to His creation, and that we need to better care for this world.
You can find a manuscript of the message in the SERMONS section of our web site – click here to download a copy. You can also “revisit” yesterday’s service on our Facebook page (click here) and on our YouTube channel (click here).
One further thought: it seems that the more we try to fix things by “doing” the more mess we seem to make. Someone suggested that ecological consequences have followed the same depressing pattern: shipboard animals like rats, mice, and insects were virtually an ecological contagion that arrived automatically with the first vessels (to a new land). To rectify the ravages of these creatures, new animal species were introduced. Cats were brought in to keep down the rats, and toads to hold certain insects in check, particularly ion the sugar plantations. Soon these species became the greater pest a nuisance than the rats and insects had been. So another predator would be introduced. Eventually this animal would itself turn into an ecological catastrophe, not just for a number of bird species. But also for many of the unique, indigenous reptiles. So larger predators were needed. And so on and so on.
Rather than fix and repair perhaps we should stop and rest. We don’t do a very good job of that, though. When we sing of the Year of Jubilee (in the song Days of Elijah) we are singing of a Biblical command found in Leviticus 25. It is part of the law given by Yahweh to the Israelites. It was God’s intent that the Israelites should remain free from slavery for all time by instituting a Sabbath year every seven years. The Jubilee year – occurring after every seventh Sabbath year, thus, every 50 years – is an economic, cultural, environmental and communal reset, when the land and people rest, and all those who are in slavery are set free to return to their communities. The Jubilee laws are essentially concerned with social relationship, economic security, stability and the wellbeing of the community. They seek to ensure that people live in ways that reflect good relationships with God, with each other, and with creation.
However, it appears that Jubilee was not acted on. It was not practised. Rest for the weary, healing for the abused, hope for the oppressed was not given. I believe that financial considerations took precedence. I believe that rest for creation is not given for the same reason: financial considerations. Money will be lost if we step back and let the resources sit in the ground or shut down the factories or . . .
And while “Earth Jubilee” may not be possible (we do need to eat, so farming can’t stop), we can be more careful and more cautious in what we purchase and in the way we dispose of things we will not use.
Finally, click here to watch an interesting video on evangelicals and climate change.
Missing out is never a good thing. And Thomas missed out. Big time.
We don’t know where he was. We just know that he wasn’t with the other disciples that Easter Sunday evening when Jesus appeared to them. And it seems as if he held strongly to the idea that seeing is believing. The disciples told him we have seen the Lord. To which Thomas replied (this is the Pastor Frank translation): as if.
We call him Doubting Thomas because of that. But maybe . . . just maybe . . . it wasn’t that he was a doubter but that he was an unsure believer (splitting hairs? perhaps). This Sunday as we worship our Risen Lord we’ll look at Thomas – at Waiting Thomas – and at the blessing on waiting on and for God. We will conclude our service with the celebration of Holy Communion.
If you feel comfortable, join us in the sanctuary as we wait on God ourselves. 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 have been mobilized: members of our church in North America have been called to prayer. The hope is that everyone who is part of our denomination will commit to pray for God’s protection, direction, and revelation beginning Sunday, May 1 – Praying Our Way to Pentecost (June 5). The prayer: to see renewal and revival in our churches.
This Half-Million Mobilization a call to Nazarenes to experience unity as a region, to hear from the Spirit in our times of prayer, to share with each other what the Spirit is saying, and to discover His plans for our hope and future. A prayer journal has been developed to help us in our focus (click here or 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 or click here to download a copy). Print versions were made available but were sold out before we could order them; I am sorry that we could not have them for you.
An app for mobile devices has been developed, and will provide the daily devotionals:
Then again, why wait until Sunday? Let’s begin to pray together now!
We also meet every Wednesday evening at 7:00 through ZOOM for a time of prayer together. We share with one another, we discover the needs of others who are part of our church near and far, and we pray . . . some silently, some vocally. Why not join us this week? E-mail the church office for log-in information.
We do thank you 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) and through the Canada Helps web site (click here).
Every Easter we receive a special offering to support those who are sharing the Good News of Jesus around the world. Our Easter Offering is used to meet our World Evangelism Fund obligation. This year’s Easter Offering goal is to receive $3,000, giving that is over and above our regular giving/tithes and offerings. You can still give toward this offering to help us reach our goal – we will receive funds toward this goal for the remainder of the month. Thank you for giving!
Our annual spring Celebration of Worship through Music will be held on June 5. We would like to invite everyone to participate . . . talk with Matt if you would like to sing, to share some prose/poetry/a story, to play . . . to be part of a great time of praise.
It is also Pentecost Sunday . . . we expect a great time of blessing!
Also note . . . our Annual Meeting will follow our May 15 worship service . . . District Assembly will be a hybrid event again this year and will be streamed on the district YouTube channel as well as being in person at Rosewood Church in Scarborough June 10 . . . Pastor André of our Ottawa Haitian Church will have his credentials recognized by our denomination (he comes to us from the Mission Evangélique d'Haiti) . . . our June 12 worship service will tie in with the District “Family Reunion” service and will also be shown on the District YouTube channel (the sanctuary will be open for Trinity people to gather but we will broadcast the District Service) . . . the property committee will share a “spring cleaning needs” list soon; we ask that if you can you sign up for a cleaning need, to be completed at your convenience; this is instead of holding a work day . . . a pastoral transition team has been formed, made up of Barb, Emmanuelle, Matt, and Pierre; they will begin working with our District Superintendent in the days ahead and will be seeking input . . . a “transition handbook” is available on the district web site.
The Riverview Park Community Association has organized a spring clean-up of Coronation Park (on Station Blvd) as part of Ottawa’s Capital Clean program for this coming Saturday, May 7, from 9:30 am to 1 pm, to take place rain or shine.
The community garden clean-up is also May 7, from 9:00 am.
Elections Ontario is looking for people to staff polling stations for the June 2 provincial election. Advance poll work is available May 19 through 29 (11 hours per day). Election day (June 2) polling stations will be open 9am-9pm. Call Denise Kennedy at 613738-9724 if you are interested.
Jacob Moon will perform at Arlington Woods Free Methodist Church May 7 – a fundraising concert for Christian Counselling Ottawa. He will be featuring music from his newly released album, “Under the Setting Sun” as well as many of his past hits, and will also share his heart for mental health. Tickets can be purchased through EventBrite (click here).
Our Monday Musings is a place to celebrate significant events . . . and turning 95 years old is certainly significant! I am sure everyone joins me in wishing Jim Smith a very Happy Birthday (his birthday is tomorrow). Jim has been a faithful servant of God for many years and has been a blessing to those he has come into contact with.