From the Desktop of the Pastor – week of the 12th Sunday after Pentecost

Hi everyone,

I admit that last week I was feeling discouraged with how the world was going.  I was saddened by the news south of the border, and I was even more dismayed when I heard earlier this week that a similar “anti-immigration” rally was planned to happen here in Vancouver.  My sermon for today (found here) was actually written with this in mind.

But as things had it, it wasn’t so bad.

In fact, the turnout of the counter-rally, those who stand up against racism and oppression was massive.  Not just here in Vancouver, but around the world where similar rallies for racism and white supremacy were dwarfed by the droves of people who decided to voice their opinions and views towards inclusion and racial equality.  And all of this was very encouraging.  It was encouraging to see how while there are those few who stand on the side of hate, there are so many more who stand on the side of love.

And to me, that is God at work.  Whether those in the counter-rally knew it or believed it or not, God was present, filling the place with God’s Spirit of love and community, and revealing to all the light in the world that the darkness shall not overcome.

Here are the readings for next week:
Isaiah 51:1-6
Psalm 138
Romans 12:1-8
Matthew 16:13-20

“Who do you say I am?” A question that may not have been easily answered if taken off guard.  But Peter nailed it, Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God.  And while many believe that Peter is now literally at the gates of heaven deciding who does and doesn’t enter, or that Peter’s literal bones are buried under the Vatican (thanks, Dan Brown), I think the “rock” that Jesus builds his church upon is actually the fact that Peter confesses.

Jesus is the Messiah.  The Son of the Living God.

Because of this fact, we can be the church.  Because of this, we can act in gracious love and merciful welcome.  Because of this we are reminded of God’s redemption, forgiveness, and salvation.

Recognising God at work in the world, through the teaching of Jesus Christ and in our hearts and lives is what the church is built on.  Knowing that God is present among us is what helps us to live in community and serve our neighbour.  Believing that God loves and empowers us is what gives us the ability to defeat hate with love, to dispel violence with peace, and to shine light into the darkness.

Have a great week, everyone!

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