Monday, April 19, 2021

Easter 3

 The link for this week's worship service is here.

Here we are into the third week of Easter -- the time of resurrection, yet death still pervades our world. Deaths within our congregation, our families and our country continue apace, at latest count there are 3 million COVID related deaths worldwide. 

For some we've had small outdoor services with a maximum of ten, others have postponed any service until COVID restrictions end. This weekend I watched the service for the Duke of Edinburgh--lots of ceremony but within COVID restrictions that dictated a choir of only four, and only 30 members of the family in attendance, seated well apart, echoing the experience of so many mourners in this epidemic. It hurts to see people bearing sorrow alone.

Yet, whatever the circumstances of the deceased, prince or pauper, the same words of scripture are read for comfort, for inspiration, and for hope. 

Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God. . .In my Father's house are many mansions: John 14: 1-2

I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: John 11: 25

"The Lord is my light and my salvation, of whom then shall I be afraid?" Psalm 27: 1

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8: 38-39

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Rev. 21:4

These are just a few of my favourite passages, no doubt each of you can add many of your own. And here we come to the Good News. While COVID holds sway in our world for a time, Jesus Christ holds power forever. Whatever ravages death may inflict, Christ stands ready to heal the brokenhearted and welcome home His saints.

As we suffer through the remaining days of the pandemic, let us hold fast to God's promises. Christ will prevail. His kingdom shall know no end.

The Lord is My Shepherd                      

Monday, April 12, 2021

Reluctant Spring

 The link to last Sunday's livestream service is here.

We start this week with sad news. After a very long life, our friend Blanche, has been called home.

She'll be remembered for many things, including her fabulous shortbread cookies. There wasn't a single fellowship occasion at SPPC that didn't include at least one plate of Blanche's shortbread. Any that weren't eaten on Sunday mornings would carry over to Wednesday Bible Study.

She was a stalwart among the knitters at Friendship Coffee on Thursdays, often bringing supplies of yarn and batting for others as well.

At an age when most are stepping back from volunteer jobs, Blanche, along with her husband Bill, took on to produce The Shepherd's Way, our church newsletter. The Sunday a new issue arrived in our mailboxes was a happy day for the congregation.

Blanche was a saver. Her closets were stuffed with articles from all the decades of her life which meant, when we needed costume material, she was a "go to" source. Want a hat from the 1950's? Blanche had several. Need a flapper string of beads? Blanche had a boxful. A cane for the Christmas Musical? Ask Blanche.

Not only did she have all sorts of unexpected treasures she was eager and happy to share them. 

While the virus lingers as the worst of unwanted guests, spring has been a reluctant arrival this year. The odd warm day followed by weeks of frosty nights and chilly days. The death of our sister-in-Christ feels like another blast of winter. 

But spring is just around the corner and, though we will miss her, Blanche has arrived on the other side where flowers bloom, trumpets sound and friends rejoice to see her again.

Farewell, dear friend. Until we meet again.

The Day Thou Gavest Lord is Ended

Monday, April 5, 2021

Easter 2021

 There was no sunrise service this Easter, nor was there breakfast in the hall or an in-person service in the sanctuary.

We did manage an out-door Maundy Thursday communion. 

The Good Friday service was live-streamed 

Easter Sunday service is 

Rev. Irwin has mentioned some upcoming birthdays, Janet, Hal, Leona, and Linda as well as an anniversary for the Lloyd and Lee. However, there was one person missing from his list. On April 11, Rev. Irwin will celebrate his birthday. 

Best wishes to all our celebrants.

Our Jewish friends traditionally end their Seder supper with the words, "next year in Jerusalem."  I will end this blog with the hope, "next year in the sanctuary."