• Curious George

Brrrr. A very cold Manitoba morning. Thank goodness the sun was shining bright. This gave us at least a little sense that things were not as bad as they seemed. One by one the band and I arrived at the Big Red Church. We chatted over cookies and coffee. The the band began rehearsing the selected songs. When they were done we began the recording of our service.

Here us our video:

The Texts for This Service:

Isaiah 60:1-3 / Luke 4:16-21 / Psalm 100

Isaiah encourages us to rise as the light of God shines in and around us; this shaping us to be vessels of God's glory. All while the earth and its peoples are covered in deep darkness. God is with us and we make present his goodness. This will attract peoples from all nations. Rulers will be drawn to the light rising in us and this will bring hope for healing. Luke presents Jesus at the outset of his work on earth. On the Sabbath day he reads a passage from the prophet Isaiah. The text speaks of God's spirit being in Jesus to announce good news for the poor, release for all who are kept captive, allow those who are blind to see, and set those who are oppressed free. When Jesus completes the reading of Isaiah all who are present are fascinated. Jesus responds by saying that the prophecy of Isaiah is now being fulfilled. Psalm 100 is a call to celebrate the presence of God. We are to follow God's way with gladness and joy in our hearts. We are reminded that God has shaped us to be who we are. We are the people of God. This leads us to enter the community of faith with gratitude. Thanksgiving is the key to our right relations with God. We are reminded that God is good and God's love will last for all time. God's faithfulness continues to all the generations of our human being.

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  • Curious George

We are now in a time of historic darkness. People all over the world are wondering where this will end. Thanks be to God who, by the Holy Spirit, is near to encourage and guide us forward in a good way. Trusting in the way of God we are made able to bring comfort and consolation to those we know who are struggling with the pandemic and other things.

Our recording time went pretty well this week. The songs and messages are intended to bring the grace of God into your experience. Perhaps you will notice some of the small errors. Hopefully, you will realize that none of us is perfect. Our limitations are covered by the grace of God at work in us and through us.

Here is the video:

Texts on which the service is based:

Deuteronomy 18:17-20; Mark 1:21-28; Psalm 111: 1-4, 7-10

Deuteronomy records the words of Moses as the people liberated from Egypt are about to enter the Promised Land. Those words instruct the people in the way that they are to live in the sight of God. Moses goes on to speak of a prophet who will speak words of truth to keep the people in the right way. We are warned that ignoring the words of the prophet will make us accountable before God. We are also told about the reality of false prophets, who speak words supporting the way of the world; which is the way of error. Those prophets will be held accountable and suffer the consequence.

Mark speaks of Jesus going about and teaching those he meets about the way of God. One day Jesus goes into a synagogue to teach the way of God. This surprised the listeners. They recognize that the words of Jesus are living. This is contrasted to the words of the teachers in the temple. As Jesus is speaking truth, a person with an unclean spirit disturbs him. That person recognizes that Jesus brings the holiness of God into our human experience. Jesus responds by saying that the dark spirit should be silent and let the possessed person be liberated. The dark spirit leaves the person and all who witness this are amazed. They are curious about the teaching and authority expressed by Jesus. That teaching and authority being able to clear away all unclean spirits. This action of Jesus causes his reputation to spread among the population of Galilee.

Psalm 111 is a song of praise and gratitude for the goodness of God. That goodness will be manifest in all those who reject the way of the world and choose the way of God. God's presence is celebrated as the core of all that is good in the earth. For this God is to be honored and praised. The goodness of God will never fade away and will last forever. God's creative presence is to be celebrated. Even though we do not measure up, God continues to bless us with grace and mercy. All that God makes manifest is good and trustworthy. God's goodness will never fail or fade away. Those who turn to God will never be disappointed. Wisdom, by which we will find our way forward, is to be practiced by the faithful. Those who do so will celebrate God's goodness for all eternity.

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  • Curious George

We are living in uncertain times. It seems that our ordinary experience of life has been overshadowed by uncertainty and insecurity. The main source of this is our exposure to the media. Everyday we hear more about the advance of the Covid virus, which is affecting persons all over the world. This constant stream of news is everyday a little more alarming. We are all wondering where this is going to lead. Thanks be to God, who offers us spiritual light to help us find our way forward confidently.

Gathering with the Band on Saturday mornings is a special part of my week. This week the room seemed to be filled with laughter. One person commented that laughter is good medicine for the soul in such dark times. Hopefully, you, your family and friends, are able to look at the remaining positive aspects of our world. Preferring these to the constant stream of bad news allows us to walk in the light and share that light with others.

Here is our video presentation:

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The Big Red Church

127 Cobourg Avenue

Winnipeg, Manitoba     R2L 0H4

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