Another Sunday . . . another day of rejoicing. Although it didn’t start that way. It started with three women going to a borrowed tomb to finish embalming the body of their closest friend. It started with despair and sadness for a life that was – a life ended too soon; a life ended horrifically. It started with even more tears as they couldn’t find the body that they had planned to give just a bit of dignity to. But the words He is not here; He is risen renewed their spirits, their joy, and their hope. Easter!!! Their lives were instantly changed . . . as was the world.
The great creed of the Christian faith – the Apostles Creed – states that He was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and buried; He descended into hades; the third day He arose again from the dead.
Professor and biblical scholar N. T. Wright reminds us that the bodily resurrection of Jesus isn't a take-it-or-leave-it thing, as though some Christians are welcome to believe it and others are welcome not to believe it. Take it away, and the whole picture is totally different. Take it away, and Karl Marx was probably right to accuse Christianity of ignoring the problems of the material world. Take it away, and Sigmund Freud was probably right to say that Christianity is a wish-fulfillment religion. Take it away, and Friedrich Nietzsche was probably right to say that Christianity was a religion for wimps. Put it back, and you have a faith that can take on the postmodern world that looks to Marx, Freud and Nietzsche as its prophets, and you can beat them at their own game with the Easter news that the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
We are reminded of and hold on to the words of the Apostle Paul:
Death is swallowed up in victory.
“O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?”
The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ [1 Corinthians 15:54-56].
Hope has – is – the final word. The best of times . . . the worst of times . . . the best of times again. Our message looked at the resurrection story – at the fear and the dismay of those women who went to the tomb, and then at their joy in hearing the announcement of Jesus’ resurrection. And it reminds us that we are Sunday people – people with great hope because of God’s great love.
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). The transcript of yesterday’s message has been uploaded to our web site – click here to download a copy.
Thanks to those who “checked in” during our service. 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.
We’ll meet this evening at 7:00 for Talk Together Tuesday . . . a time to discuss Sunday’s message together. It may be that the message has confirmed in you something that you held to strongly. It may be that the message has challenged you 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? Please . . . bring your insights to the table.
We’ll talk about themes and ideas and . . . and whatever else has been brought to mind on Sunday. Click here to download a copy of the message, then join us at 7:00 Tuesday evening. E-mail me at email@example.com for log-in information.
Wednesday evening we’ll meet to pray with and for one another in our “virtual” (ZOOM) prayer room. Our God hears our prayers, whether they are audible or silent. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for log-in information.
There are still some people who believe that worship is not “true” unless the whole of the congregation gathers in the sanctuary on a Sunday morning. I wonder . . . are those who are shut in on a weekly basis then not able to “truly” worship? Of course not! God is not in “a” place . . . He is. So those who join us online through our streaming services rather than in the sanctuary on Sundays can be and are in a place of worship wherever they may be (yes, I am speaking to those who flout provincial guidelines). Click here to join us on Facebook this week; click here to join us on YouTube. If there are problems with one feed or the other someone will post a cross-link once the problem is known.
Our worship team will lead this week’s service from the sanctuary (a limited number of people can join us for the service). We look forward to another great time of celebration and praise through song; Matt will share our message this week, speaking on Resurrection Power. Thank you for following all of the necessary COVID protocols.
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. Thank you!
Our response to Jesus’ instruction in His Great Commission – go into all the world (be witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth) and make disciples – is obedience. We go. We share. We might not be able to physically travel the world sharing the Good News of the resurrection, but we can help others as they go. That is the purpose behind the World Evangelism Fund, which we support through a special offering at Easter.
We extend the opportunity to give to this offering and support our missionaries to this coming Sunday. Thank you for your generosity in giving to this fund.
“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!).
- Apr 11 Matt Speaking
- Apr 18 Oops . . . Not Oops . . . a message for Earth Day
- Apr 25 Red and Yellow Black and White
- 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
Jun 13 UN-chained
We are anticipating . . . and we have to do that, don’t we? COVID fatigue is very real and we are becoming (we have become?) worn out with everything that is going and with everything that is not going on. So we are anticipating that there will be a little more freedom this spring (especially since people are receiving their vaccinations) and that we will be able to move ahead with our planned church schedule. Which includes . . .
Our yearly spring service of music and celebration! We invite everyone to participate by sharing one song or reading or musical performance. Barb has already told me that she will share a song story – I’m looking forward to knowing more of the background of the song she has chosen (you’ll have to wait to find out what it is). Others have indicated they’ll participate. Let me know if you want to be part of this great day. Because of the number of participants, please chose one song and let me know what it is. Matt and I will work on a “program order”. The date: May 16.
The following Sunday we hope to host the third annual (although the second actual) Misfit Motorcycle Rally Day. When we began this outreach to those in the Ottawa Misfits group we had a full day, starting with breakfast, followed by a service and a “blessing of the bikes”. In all likelihood breakfast will not “be on the menu” this year; however, we will invite our “misfit friends” to our service for a blessing (personal as well as bike).
The date: May 30
This year’s District Assembly will be a condensed virtual gathering on Zoom and will be live streamed on the District YouTube Channel. Local churches will elect delegates to the Assembly. A District Online “Family Reunion” service to be held Sunday, June 6th will be our worship service, again streamed to the District YouTube channel.
The date: Saturday, June 5th between 9:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.