All posts by knoxalliston

June 13th, 2021

Growing by Leaps and Bounds

Mark 4: 30-32 “The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed… though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants.”

It’s that time of year again. The time when I decide what to plant in my garden and I find a package of zucchini seeds. I say, ‘I think we should plant two seeds.’ My husband says, ‘Don’t you think one is enough? Do you remember what happened last year and the year before and the year before that?’ Of course I do remember; we’ve had an over abundance of zucchini every year, some the size of a small child! It is always amazing to me how one tiny seed can produce a plant with vegetables that could feed a village.

In the Bible, Jesus told a story about how God’s kingdom will grow like the tiniest seed into a great plant. Like a seed planted in the ground, God’s kingdom begins with hope, hope in the good God has planned for the world. Next, just as a young seedling takes root in the soil, God’s kingdom is established with patience as evidence of the love and compassion of God is seen. Finally, the flourishing healthy plant provides a harvest just as God’s kingdom values of peace, grace, and joy are known and shared with the whole world.

If you want to know what God’s kingdom is like, take a look in the garden. It begins as the smallest seed of hope and grows to an overflowing harvest of love. By the way, there are two good-sized, healthy zucchini plants sprouting in my garden. Thanks be to God.

Please join Knox Presbyterian Church as we worship together.

June 6th, 2021

Different Kettle of Fish

Mark 1:17 “And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.”

Chumming, Spinning, Jigging, Trolling. You may know that each of those words are fishing terms. If you love fishing, you will be dusting off your rod, reel, hooks, and lures, as the summer fishing season begins. Maybe you fish from the shore or maybe you go out on a boat or maybe you stand in a river. For some people, fishing is a solitary activity, for others it’s a hobby shared with family, and for others it’s a good excuse to get together with friends. No matter how or with who it’s done, the ultimate goal of fishing is to catch fish.

Jesus had just begun his ministry and he called some men, who fished for a living, to follow him and fish for people instead. I don’t know what my reaction would have been, but those fishermen immediately dropped everything and followed Jesus. Together, they travelled to towns and villages preaching good news about God’s kingdom of love, peace, hope, and grace. They turned upside down ideas about caring for others, forgiveness, and justice. They were called to reel in a different kettle of fish and that’s what they did.

Through worship (even online), fellowship, and service to others, Christians today answer that same call of Jesus to fish for people. They invite others into a relationship with God, to experience the new life that Jesus made known in his life, death, and resurrection, to know the presence of the Holy Spirit, and to be part of the church, the Body of Christ. Happy Fishing!!

PCC Prays for the Lives Lost at Kamloops Indian Residential School | The Presbyterian Church in Canada

Rainbow Communion: Special LGBTQI Listening Committee | The Presbyterian Church in Canada

Please join us as we pray, sing, and praise God together at our ONLINE only worship service this Sunday.

May 30th, 2021

Don’t Stop Me Now!

Acts 2: 4 “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit…”

As this second year of the pandemic drags on, with a small glimmer of hope on the horizon, we’ve gotten used to doing things in a different way. Shopping, schooling, working, and going to church are just some of the activities that we’ve adapted to. Online church has become the norm and has the advantage of being available while we are staying safely at home and allows for some creative video production. However, it has been a big loss not to worship God together and to fellowship together. There have been times in this isolating year that it might have felt like God was not present, that we were enduring everything on our own. In the Bible, we learn that we are never alone because God gave an advocate, a guide, a helper in the Holy Spirit.

In the season of Pentecost, Christians celebrate God’s gift of the Holy Spirit. Fifty days after Easter, the first followers of Jesus gathered together where a rush of wind was felt and tongues of fire were seen and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. People of faith throughout the ages have experienced the Holy Spirit in prayer and worship, as a sense of conviction or conscience, and as feeling of peace and love. God’s Spirit is never constrained by walls or hindered by circumstances. Today, it is reassuring to know that nothing can stop the Holy Spirit from entering our lives, not a pandemic or isolation or resistance or even unbelief. Thanks be to God.

Join us here for a time of prayer, singing, and praising God at our ONLINE only service this Sunday.

May 23rd, 2021

Serving: A Way Out of No Way

Joshua 24: 15 “… but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve.” What does it mean to serve? There are a number of definitions that include: serving in the military or in a government position, working as a server in a restaurant or retail setting, being served a court document, or serving a ball in tennis. The biblical idea of serving is about giving your energy, resources, and your heart to love and care for God and for others.

For the last number of weeks, we’ve heard how God provided a way out of no way by saving, blessing, protecting, delivering, and consecrating people who were in difficult situations. As they found their way to new life and opportunities, their response was to serve God and to serve others. For us today, serving is just as important. Looking beyond our own troubles and recognizing that everyone has their challenges, helps us to take that first step to helping and serving. For Christians, serving God means serving others in the same way Jesus did. It requires a choice and a commitment and, as MLK Jr. went on to say about service; “You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

Join Knox Presbyterian Church this Sunday as our series “A Way Out of No Way” concludes with a call to service. Our ONLINE only worship services can be found here.

May 16th, 2021

Consecrating: A Way Out of No Way

Exodus 19: 4-5 “I lifted you up on eagles’ wings and brought you to me. So now, if you faithfully obey me and stay true to my covenant, you will be my most precious possession out of all the peoples, since the whole earth belongs to me.”

Now what?! How often have you worked to achieve a goal only to be left wondering, now what? What comes next? In the Bible, the Israelites were feeling unsettled and worried about the future after they were rescued from slavery, led to freedom, and began a journey through the wilderness. Yes, God had blessed them, protected them, and delivered them, but now they faced a new reality and they were unsure how to live their new life. So, God gave them another way out of no way to live together and thrive. In a classic scene from ‘The Ten Commandments’ movie, we see Moses coming down the mountain with the ten rules for living written on stone tablets.

God consecrated, or made holy, the commandments as an answer to the question ‘what now?’. Do not kill, steal, or lie, honour all your relationships, and worship God, only are the commandments that allowed the people to live together in freedom. For people of faith today, following these rules still allows us to live together as a community in a safe and healthy way.

We will continue our series A Way Out of No Way with the story of God’s gift of the Ten Commandments and how they guide our way today. Join us here!

May 9th, 2021

Delivering: A Way Out of No Way

Exodus 14: 13 “But Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today.”

We live in a society where just about anything you want can be ordered and delivered right to your door. We’ve relied on that kind of service this year in particular during the pandemic. The theme of deliverance is important in the Bible. Over and over God delivers people from situations and things that threaten to harm them, offering new opportunities and a chance to start over.

This Sunday, we explore one of the dramatic stories of deliverance in the Bible, the parting of the Red Sea by Moses. This story has been famously recreated in movies, think of Charlton Heston in the movie ‘The Ten Commandments’ or the animated film ‘The Prince of Egypt’. Just when it seemed all was lost for the people escaping slavery, at the shores of the sea with no where to go, God created a way out of no way. When the Red Sea parted, the people were delivered to freedom. Our own stories of deliverance from difficult challenges are probably not as dramatic, but through God’s faithfulness, we too can be delivered to freedom, joy, reconciliation, peace, and new life.

Please join Knox Presbyterian Alliston this Sunday morning for our ONLINE only worship service here.

May 2nd, 2021

Protecting: A Way Out of No Way

Genesis 39: 21” But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love.”

It’s always amazing to see small plants that grow in the most unlikely places. Little shoots coming up in the crack of a sidewalk, tulips blooming after a spring snowfall, or a tomato plant thriving in the compost pile. They seem to have the ability to survive and thrive against the odds. Human beings are the same.

In the Bible, one man, Joseph faced trial after trial: hated by his brothers, sold into slavery, falsely accused, and thrown in prison. Despite the odds, he firmly believed that God was with him, guiding his way, and protecting him. He had faith that he was meant for a special purpose and we learn from his story that he not only survived but thrived.

Join us this Sunday for our ONLINE worship service to hear more about Joseph and how God’s protection gave him a way out of no way. We will sing, pray, and hear God’s Word for us today. Our services can be found here.

 

April 25th, 2021

Blessing: God’s Way Out of No Way

Genesis 12: 2 “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.”

Has anyone ever told you to ‘trust the journey’? It’s a phrase, I think, used to help us cope with difficult situations when it seems there is no way out. There is an assumption that if one trusts the journey they will learn and grow from the experience, even if it is a risk.

In the Bible, God called an elderly couple to take a journey away from everything they knew with a promise that they would be blessed and would be a blessing for the whole world. Abraham and Sarah trusted their new path even though they were stepping into the unknown. When we journey with God, we too accept God’s blessings along with the responsibility to be a blessing to others. It is through these blessings received and given that we can trust the journey we are on, and find our way out of no way.

Join us this Sunday and the coming weeks, as we consider some well-known stories from the Bible where people learn to trust that God has “A Way Out of No Way”. We continue with the story of Abraham and Sarah and the journey God called them to. Our services are found here.

April 18th, 2021

A Way Out of No Way

Genesis 9: 12-13 “God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”

Have you ever been in a maze, wondering if you’ll ever find your way out? You know that there is an exit, but you just keep turning from corner to corner into dead ends that start to look the same. Sometimes in life, there are situations that feel like there is no way out. Maybe it’s the loss of a job, a challenging relationship, a goal that seems unreachable, or a pandemic that is causing yet another lockdown and closure of schools.

The phrase “A way out of no way” imagines possibilities and solutions that require inventive and creative thinking. For Christians, it is through trust in God that we find ways out of ‘no way out’ kinds of situations. Whether it’s with forgiveness to reconcile relationships, with hope to get through a pandemic, with compassion to bear grief, with joy to envision new possibilities, or with love to overcome isolation, people of faith trust that God will direct their path and lead them to “A way out of no way”.

Join us this Sunday and the coming weeks, as we consider some well-known stories from the Bible where people learn to trust that God has “A Way Out of No Way”. We begin with the story of Noah and the Ark and a sign of God’ promise, the rainbow. Our services are found here.

April 11th, 2021

Kindred Spirits

Psalm 133: 1 “How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!”

If you are a fan of author Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, you know about kindred spirits. Young Anne Shirley and Diana Barry formed a bond of friendship, a life-line to endure challenges and to share joys. Kindred spirits are those people in our lives who share common interests, beliefs, attitudes, and concerns. It’s not that we have everything in common, but in our differences, we have found common ground.

A description, in the book of Acts of the first followers of Jesus, said they were of one heart and soul. They shared with each other, took care of each other, and worshiped God together. Their common belief in the resurrected Christ brought them together as kindred spirits. Today, in our diverse world, even Christians sometimes have trouble finding common ground. In this Easter season, let us join our spirits together in celebration of the Risen Lord who overcame death to bring new life. Thanks be to God.

Knox Presbyterian Church will continue to worship ONLINE only. On Sunday, April 11th, we will enjoy our annual Camp Sunday to remember how important the Christian camping experience is for young people. Our weekly service can be found at here.