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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
John 20: 18 “Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”.
‘Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!’ This is the joyous chorus Christians across the world sing out at Easter. Whether that chorus is heard at sunrise, in churches, or virtually at home, the truth remains that Jesus rose from the dead. When Mary Magdalene told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, it was only the beginning. As they came to understand that the powers of sin and death were overcome by the resurrection of Jesus, they began to spread the good news. But, on the that first Easter morning, they were still in a state of wonder, confusion, and hope. They were still edging their way into Easter.
We can probably relate to that feeling. The pandemic is not over, even though we see an end in sight. The vaccine roll-out has begun, but has a way to go. We are getting closer to getting back to normal, but we are not there yet. Despite everything we’ve gone through over the year, we move forward in hope. For people of faith, it’s a belief in the Risen Christ and the new life he brings that keeps us edging into Easter with hope, so that we too can say “I have seen the Lord”. Thanks be to God.
Mark 11: 9 “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!”
Two years ago, we marched around the church sanctuary waving our palm branches and singing Hosanna. Last year at this time, we began worshipping online and this year, as we face a third wave of the pandemic, we continue to worship virtually. Everything about this year has been unexpected and not the what we had planned or hoped for. When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem to shouts of Hosanna, the people expected him to be their Saviour, to lead them into a new future. He was their Saviour and he did lead them into a new future, but not in the way they planned or even hoped for. Instead, for the whole world, Jesus died so that we could have new life and healing in unexpected ways.
As we come to the end of our series Holy Vessels: A Lenten Season of Recovery, I pray that you have found it helpful to consider the ways we are in need of healing and the ways we can be healed. We have acknowledged that we have lost much over the year and that it was not what we expected, but at the same time we can be proud of our resilience and ability to take care of each other even when we couldn’t be together. Let us look to the future with hope and embrace the new life offered through Jesus.
Looking ahead to Holy Week, our recorded Good Friday service with a number of churches in our region participating, will be available on our website at 10am on April 2n and our Easter Sunday service will be available at 9am on April 4th. Please join us this Sunday at 11am as we sing, pray, and praise God as Knox Presbyterian Church continues to worship ONLINE only.
Matthew 8: 27 “They were amazed, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?”
In this season of recovery, we’ve looked at our physical, mental, and community health, but we also need to look at our environmental health. Often, we don’t see the connection to our environment and the planet where we live, to the other aspects of our health. The reality is that our environmental health affects our lives just as profoundly. Severe weather has the power to change lives, from a drought that affects food production to an ice storm that cuts off the electricity. Emissions from our industries destroy delicate ecosystems and pollute the air. Overuse of resources put our planet and ourselves at risk.
Because our lives are interconnected with our natural world, we have a responsibility to care for our planet and to be proactive in its healing. Christians believe that God is the author of creation, so that makes us partners with the divine to care for and restore the world to a place of sustainability for all life. As we work together for the health of our environment, our physical, mental, and community health improves as well.
Knox Presbyterian Church will continue to offer ONLINE worship services only. Please join us this Sunday as we gather virtually for a time of prayer, music, and worship.