I guess I should begin by saying UnHappy Anniversary. Who knew a year ago that our lives would be as restricted as they still are. Facial coverings and ZOOM meetings are still the norm. It’s nice to see/hear that the vaccination process has begun. We wait our turn; we wait to see what normal will be once everyone (who wants to be) is vaccinated. My hope for us is that we have learned to embrace slow . . . quietness . . . contemplation . . . mindfulness . . . awareness of the world and of the people around us. And that we (as people and as a society) will not immediately rush to return to busyness.
I ran across this thought from theologian Riehnold Niebuhr the other day and was captured by it – or should I say it captured me? It hit home in a way that surprised me, and opened my eyes to why we may act as we do when we are with other people and why – even though we say that we take a stand against evil (an early reference to our sermon recap) – we aren’t as bold to speak up as we think that we are. Niebuhr said I am a coward myself . . . and find it tremendousely difficult to run counter to general opinion.
In private gatherings Niebuhr was passionate in his denunciation of racial inequality, but his passion did not extend to “the marketplace”. He didn’t speak up for the marginalized and he didn’t stand up for the downtrodden even though he knew that he was called to do so as a follower of Jesus. It is easy to speak up when we are with like thinkers and condemn certain agreed upon sins; it is difficult to speak up when we are alone in our thinking to condemn societal sin. May we be forgiven should we be found to be silent.
I’m not sure if a two-part series is considered a mini (or mini-mini) series or if it is just a beginning and conclusion . . . and in our particular study of Joseph, a glacing look rather than a study of the man. We mentioned his family relationship and dynamic only briefly. We hardly touched on what happened in the beginning when he was sold into slavery. We’re not going to get to what happened when he rose to power and became the second most powerful man in the land of Egypt.
We’re also ignoring the family reunion and how he treated his brothers when he had the opportunity to “get back at them. And we won’t get to how things went for his people after his death. This could have easily become an extended series – perhaps we’ll return to Joseph some time in the future.
This week we looked at Joseph and his time in Potiphar’s house . . . at Joseph and his relationship with Potiphar’s wife . . . at Joseph and what happened when he took a stand for what he thought – for what he knew – was the right thing to do. And let’s face it – sometimes we are so caught up with things in our own lives that we don‘t take a stand for what is right when we know that we should. And sometimes we are so caught up with the things that we are doing or want to do that we don’t take a stand for what is right . . . might I say that there are times that we don’t want to do what is right. Not that we want to out-and-out disobey God – we just ignore His voice and push Him away so that we can go on with what we are doing. To our shame.
Joseph could have just given in to temptation. He could have accepted Potiphar’s wife’s invitation. It would have been easier than fighting back. It would have been pleasurable for him (is that not the appeal of sin – some form of pleasure?). But he didn’t. He stood firm (even though it eventually cost him his freedom). He went from favoured went to unfavoured when he took a stand against what was wrong to do what was right.
We too need to be willing to stand for what is right and true. There may be a price to pay. We may go from favoured people to unfavoured. But in the end, we need to decide whether or not we will be true to God. As difficult as it may be.
Thanks to those who “checked in” during our service yesterday. We do want to know if you joined us, either live or delayed (the feeds are saved so that anyone can go back to them later). Please use firstname.lastname@example.org to check in rather than the church e-mail address.
The transcript of yesterday’s message has been uploaded to our web site – click here to download a copy.
Yesterday’s service can be found on our Facebook page (click here) and on our YouTube page (click here); you can also link from our web site (click here). There was a bit of a glitch on the Facebook feed yesterday; for some reason it cut out partway through the service (but eventually came back on-line). A link to the full service is now on the page.
As well, for some reason the presentation pointer (the “clicker”) did not work as intended during yesterday’s service. Instead of advancing slides it changed the camera view (very strange!) so that at one point the feed was focused on the empty drum cage. Just another thing for our tech team to work on. David, Glenn, “and friends”continue to work to discover how best to stream our services – I appreciate everything they are doing.
This coming Sunday we’ll conclude our brief look at Joseph. To call them his “prison chronicles” might be a bit much; however we will be looking at his time in jail and at how God used him in difficult circumstances. And difficult they were, as he went from palace to prison and from favoured to unfavoured. How is it that one decision can make such a difference? And yet what we choose to do and how we choose to act can indeed be life-changing.
We will touch on but probably not go into great detail about the prison system – past and present. We don’t talk about it very often (if at all), though we probably should. As people of God we need to think about the reason for the prison system and the purpose behind “putting people in jail”/”throwing them into the slammer”. Is it for retribution? Revenge? Rehabilitation? Is there a better way? What should the Christian response be toward those who are sentenced to jail time? A fuller discussion is warranted at some point in the future.
This Sunday morning we’ll again gather on-line and in-building at 11:00 with our worship team leading in worship and praise. Those who will join us online through our streaming services rather than in the sanctuary can click here to find us on Facebook and click here to find us on YouTube. If there are problems with one feed or the other someone will post a cross-link once the problem is made known.
Beginning tomorrow evening our Tuesday time together will change from a Touch Time check-in to a time of discussion . . . we’ll call it Talking Tuesday or Talk-To-Me Tuesday. We’ll look at the previous Sunday’s message each week. It may be that the message has confirmed in you something that you held to strongly. It may be that the message has challenged to think in a new way. It may even be that the message has caused you to ask pastor, are you out of your mind? What were you thinking?
We’ll talk about themes and ideas and . . . and whatever else has been brought to mind! Click here to download a copy of the message, join us at 7:00 Tuesday evening -- please e-mail me at the church (email@example.com) for login information
Then Wednesday evening we’ll meet again to pray for one another in our "virtual (ZOOM) prayer room". Our God hears our prayers, whether they are audible or silent. To join us (the “room” opens at 7:00) please e-mail me at the church (firstname.lastname@example.org) for login information
I realize that life is busy . . . that expectations and obligations are many . . . but join us for one of these mid-week times of connection if you can.
Our “net presence” is growing: Trinity Church is now on Instagram. Chloe has set things up and is monitoring the app. Click here to discover a little bit more of us and to “follow our story”.
And our “building presence” continues. A while back we asked about your favourite Scripture passage – what verse is your favourite and what verse is “getting you through” this pandemic . . . and you responded! Richelle compiled the answers and created a bit of a display on our bulletin board.
His word . . . a lamp to our feet and a light to our paths [Psalm 119:105]
We appreciate your faithful and generous giving in support of our ministry at Trinity Church. We continue to receive our tithes and offerings through e-transfer (email@example.com) and through the Canada Helps web site (click here). You can also drop your tithe envelopes through the mail slot at the church or mail them to the church.
“The Church” is not perfect . . . in fact, she is merely (I am hesitant to use that word) a gathering of broken, hurting, yet growing people, searching together for a deeper and meaningful relationship with Jesus. Members of the universal church by a committed relationship with Him, there is something . . . special . . . about being part of a local church and part of a denomination . . . to be able to say this is my church; this is my home (even though it already may be).
We invite those who already consider Trinity Church their home church to “join” the church with official membership. We’ll hold a ZOOM membership class Thursday April 8 from 7:00 pm; please e-mail me if you are interested in joining us to discover more about the Church of the Nazarene (even if you think you already know!).
As we continue to open our hearts and find renewal in Jesus during Lent I offer a reading plan that walks us through the four Gospels during the season. We’ll read the complete story of Jesus' birth, life, death and resurrection to prepare for Easter from different perspectives:
- Matthew presents Jesus as the one who has come to fulfill the Law and the Prophets and to usher in God’s kingdom.
- Mark shows Jesus as the Son of God, come with authority to teach, heal and cast out demons, and the Son of Man, the true representation of what it means to be human.
- Luke presents Jesus as the prophet who has come to suffer for His people: healer, to the outcast, the suffering, and the oppressed.
- John shows Jesus is the Word made flesh – God present since the beginning of time.
Readings and special fasting take place during the week; Sunday is a regular fast day.
- Day 27 Luke 13-14
- Day 28 Luke 15-16
- Day 29 Luke 17-18
- Day 30 Luke 19-20
- Day 31 Luke 21-22
- Day 32 Luke 23-24
- Day 33 Sunday
Thoughts on Joseph
Looking to Easter
- Mar 28 The Rise and Fall of Jesus
- Apr 4 The Fall and Rise of Jesus
Post Easter Services
- Apr 11 Matt Speaking
- Apr 18 Oops . . . Not Oops . . . a message for Earth Day
- Apr 25 UN-chained
- May 2 Waiting for the Dove: our Annual Meeting
- May 9 Ah, Yes . . . a Mother’s Day message
- May 16 a service of music and celebration
- May 23 Pentecost
- May 30 Invasion
- Jun 6 District Assembly Service
We are back into phase one of our protocol regarding meeting together Sundays. Please note that entrance is through the Braydon Place doors only; the Avalon Place doors will be locked and can only be used to exit (you can also exit from the Braydon Place doors).
In order to help streamline our entrance you can use the screening questionnaire that is sent out Fridays – print it, sign it, and bring it with you; give it to your welcoming team when your temperature is taken and you won’t have to answer “the questions”. It will speed our entrance up. We ask that you please make your way directly to the sanctuary while practising physical distancing on entrance. If you're a bit late and no one is at the door to let you in please text Richelle at 613-295-9065.
We do appreciate all that Lisa and Richelle, our welcome team, do to make our arrival safe.