As we live through the COVID-19 pandemic, we find ourselves in the same story as Mary and Martha as they await Jesus at the time of their brother's, Lazarus, death.
'The Raising of Lazarus' by Sadao Watanabe was obtained at https://www.artworkarchive.com/profile/theintersectionatunited/artwork/81-the-raising-of-lazarus.
Is the Lord really with us or not? At times such as these we might well ask such a question. But at times such as these the answer is the same as it has been since the beginning of creation: The Lord is really with us.
The image was obtained from http://stphilipsoconnor.org.au/calendars/lent_a/lent2014/lent2014_s3.php on 14 March 2020.
Lent is not for the faint-hearted. Rather than avoid struggle, the disciples of Christ face moral struggles knowing that there is blessing to be found in these challenges. Rather than fear self-examination, the disciples of Christ recognize that self-examination opens us to God's perspective and the presence of the Spirit.
The icon of Adam and Eve being given clothing by God was obtained at https://skete.com/product/adam-and-eve-given-clothing-by-god-cf989.
Transfiguration is never easy for any of us and can generate a whole range of emotions. What happens to Jesus is what happens to all disciples.
Image obtained at http://clipart-library.com/clipart/895006.htm on 24 February 2020.
In today's gospel reading from Matthew, Jesus challenges his disciples to follow him on the difficult journey of growing in integrity and courage.
Clip art found at http://www.mscperu.org/grafic/graficoslit/aTO/06_to_a.htm and retrieved on 16 February 2020.
We live in a world that needs the seasoning of the Spirit God gives through the salt of the Christian people. Let's be who we are!
Clip art obtained at http://www.servicioskoinonia.org/cerezo/dibujosA/12OrdinarioA5.jpg on 10 February 2020.
Simeon and Anna expected to see God's promises fulfilled. They prepared through prayer and contemplation. They were patient. Contemporary Christians can do no less.
Just as Jesus called the first four disciples, so does he call us to participate in his saving ministry. It is not an easy vocation to undertake and it requires a life-long commitment to discernment.
Image obtained at https://summitview.thecalvary.org/follow-me on 27 January 2020.
Just because we are people of faith does not mean that we don't feel disheartened from time to time. But feeling disheartened does not mean that God has forgotten us nor that our ministry as disciples of Jesus is in vain.
Clip art found at http://www.mscperu.org/grafic/graficoslit/bTO/02_to_b.htm on 19 January 2020.
Within every child of God there rests God's divine image which responds to the magnetic pull of God's love. We who have been baptized know this and our ministry is to link others to that divine love.
Image from https://brentkuhlman.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/baptism-of-jesus-clipart-7.gif and accessed on 12 January 2020.
God touches us in the solitude of our lives. Are we listening?
Image accessed on 8 January 2020 at https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/348114246169753753.
How are you growing in wisdom and understanding? 'Showing up' is a good place to start.
Image accessed at https://21centurypilgrim.com/2015/12/28/jesus-calling-have-you-heard-jesus-today/attachment/2013060441 on 30 Dec 2019.
Tonight we celebrate hope in a world where many of our sisters and brothers live in uncertainty. In the birth of this Child we are given a vision of the world as God means it to be and invited to be bearers of that hope.
Image of the Nativity painted by Andy Warhol and accessed at http://nottoomuch.com/all-too-much/international-art/fat-cat-gaudette-andy-warhol on 24 December 2019.
One of the ways God gets our attention is by interrupting the regularly-scheduled program of our lives to make a special announcement to us, for us and, sometimes, through us. Interruptions such as these may be, as Henri Nouwen writes, our ministry not obstacles to our role in God's saving work.
Image accessed at http://www.mscperu.org/grafic/graficoslit/adviento_navidad/4_adv_a.htm on 30 December 2019.
It's not yet the kingdom of God --- yet! But there are plenty of signs that it is breaking in upon us.
The Ven. Richard Geoffrey Leggett
Clip art accessed at http://www.servicioskoinonia.org/cerezo/dibujosA/03AdvientoA3.jpg on 16 December 2019.
In preparation for our Lord's birth, reflect on how we can be better attuned to what Jesus Christ is calling us to be and do. Do good where you are.
The Rev'd Carole Neilson
Clip art accessed at http://www.servicioskoinonia.org/cerezo/dibujosA/02AdvientoA2.jpg on 16 December 2019.
We are all subject to conflicting allegiances. As we come to the end of the liturgical year, however, we are reminded of our primary allegiance to the crucified and risen Servant Lord who lives, who reigns and who will come again.
Image found at http://www.hanna-artwork.com/batik/3561644.htm on 24 November 2019
No one ever said that being a disciple of Jesus was easy. But by God's grace we extend to others the loving compassion we have received and, in more ways that we can imagine, touch their lives in difficult times and seasons.
Remembrance is not about assembling a nostalgic jigsaw puzzle of memories. It is an act of re-presenting the past so that we join with God in shaping the future. The eternal life that Jesus promises his disciples in John's gospel is life in the here and now that is filled with God's promise.
When we remember the saints, we are proclaiming how the good news of God in Christ is made present in their lives and in the lives of the many others, known and unknown, in whom Christ has lived.
Clip art accessed on 4 November 2019 from http://clipart-library.com/clipart/1707188.htm
Perhaps the judge is not 'unjust'. Perhaps he's just weary of hoping for the best and finding himself constantly confronted by the fact that his hopes are not realized. The same thing happens to many disciples of Jesus as we strive to meet what seem to be the ever-increasing demands made upon us.
Image accessed on 20 October at
Family stories are important because they not only tell our history but our aspirations as well. On this Thanksgiving Sunday let us remember our stories so that we can aspire to justice, steadfast love and humility.
Although we enjoy pet videos on Youtube and Facebook, our love for our pets and their love for us is something more. It manifests God's love for the whole creation.
Icon of Saint Francis accessed at
on 7 October 2019
We sometimes think of angels and archangels as distant spiritual beings. Carole invites us to consider how we live in the company of angels and archangels.
As Jacob fled his brother, Esau, he had no idea that God was waiting for him at Bethel to change his life. Nor did Nathanael expect God to surprise him in the person of Jesus, the rabbi from Nazareth. God often shows up in unexpected places and in unexpected people. Our task as disciples of Jesus is to learn how to discern God's presence in such places and peoples.
Photograph of Michael and the Devil
accessed on Monday, 30 September 2019.
Every disciple of Jesus lives between two masters: the necessities of the world as it is and the vision of the world as God wishes it to be. How we use our resources of time, talent and treasure will reveal which master is drawing us closer.
Clip art retrieved from www.servicioskoinonia.org/cerezo/dibujosC/49ordinarioC25.jpg on 24 September 2019.
In Luke 15.1-10 Jesus presents a view of the world that many would find upside down, but it may well be the world right side round. It's an understanding that might inform us as we listen to the platforms of our political leaders during the current federal campaign.
Image accessed at http://www.servicioskoinonia.org/cerezo/dibujosC/48ordinarioC24.jpg on 15 September 2019.
We sometimes are reluctant to let people see our cracks and chips. But they are, as Leonard Cohen says, 'how the light gets in' to us. As Christians they are also how the light goes forth from us into the shadows of the world.
In English 'tradition' and 'treason' come from the same Latin root 'trahere'. As Christians we are called to be faithful to the tradition and to avoid the treason of traditionalism.
The photograph is of the New Westminster Customs House where the first Anglican service in New Westminster was held on the 2nd of September 1859 under the leadership of the Rev'd John Sheepshanks, later Bishop of Norwich.
Both Sirach and Luke address the dilemma of human pride. When does healthy self-love or 'pride' cross the boundary and become chauvinism and 'pridefulness'? After all, we are called to love our neighbours 'as we love ourselves'. Hear what Richard's thoughts are by clicking on the link below.
Clip art from http://www.servicioskoinonia.org/cerezo/dibujosC/46ordinarioC22.jpg on Monday, 2 September 2019.
It is not ritual that Isaiah and Jesus condemn. It is ritual that does not lead into acting as God's agents in the world. Worship is not play-acting; it is rehearsing our roles that God asks us to exercise when we are not gathered as a community.
Image: Christ healing the crippled woman who was bent over, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=51253 [retrieved August 26, 2019]. Original source: Collection of J. Patout Burns and Robin M. Jensen.
We often hear only the softer words of Jesus. Tasha invites us to hear the harder words as well. In them we learn more about the challenges of discipleship.
‘Teach us to pray,’ an unnamed disciple asks Jesus in today’s gospel from Luke. Beneath those words I hear the desire to have the same rich spiritual life that Jesus has with God, that same sense of connectedness that enables Jesus to radiate God’s life into the hustle and bustle of the disciples’ everyday lives, that ability to meet the reality of our human condition confident in God’s purposes to bring us all into life-giving, life-sustaining relationships.
Being a witness to the good news is not without cost. It often means opening oneself up to the criticisms of others, to ridicule by so-called ‘reasonable people’, to charges of being unfaithful to the ‘tradition’, to the struggle to make a go of this rag-tag bunch of folk we call Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral. It means suffering, not suffering in place of Christ, but suffering with Christ for on-going work of reconciliation and renewal begun so long ago.
Mary Magdalene discovered that clinginess to the past is not the same as faithfulness to God's future. The church in every age has to de-clutter in order to move into the glorious light of the resurrection.
Despite the failure of the General Synod to pass the revised Marriage Canon, Holy Trinity Cathedral is and will remain 'an inclusive communit of faith where all are welcome'. Since 1995 I have affirmed and have worked for the full inclusion of all people into the life of the Christian community. This has been and remains my commitment as your Vicar. We can and we will disagree about how we live our lives as disciples of Jesus, but we will not abandon our commitment to Jesus as Lord and the covenant of our baptism.
On the occasion of Parker's baptism, Tasha Carrothers, our Assistant Curate, offers some baptismal reflections in the style of Godly Play.
All believers want to know how to discern the presence of the Spirit of God in the events and experiences of their lives. In his letter to the Christians in Galatia, the apostle Paul give a straightforward set of criteria to guide us in discerning the Spirit's presence --- Straightforward, yes --- Simple to discern, not always.
While it's tempting to think of faith only as set of beliefs or an attitude towards life and the world, faith is a verb. We act on our confidence in what God has achieved through Jesus of Nazareth.
Emily, today you are being gathered into the loving community of Jesus’ friends. For a very long time we have brought together all sorts of people, young and old, women and men and children, so that they can know how much God loves them and how much God loves the whole world. But there’s more to being a friend of Jesus. To be a friend of Jesus we have need to be transformed, to be inspired, so that the love we have found here can be shared with others.
The ministry of Jesus is to gather people of every race and nation, people of all genders and ages, people of every social status and experience, into a beloved community, a community at one which each other just as Jesus is at one with the Holy One our God. In this beloved community diversity is not something to be feared but to be embraced. In this beloved community questions are encouraged rather than discouraged. In this beloved community love means being always prepared to say, ‘I’m sorry’, and to work towards restored life-giving relationships.