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We are living in a time of change. The epidemic affecting our whole planet has given us opportunity to reconsider our values and priorities. In some sense, we may think of God's spirit calling us to face the future without fear. As it is written: "Perfect love casts out all fear." That perfect love is a freely given gift of God. We will do well when we open our hearts to hear what God is saying at the very center of our personal and collective being.


Our services have been a bit irregular. Even so, we trust that the spirit of God is offering you insights allowing confidence and courage.



Texts on which the service is based:


Psalm 89:1-4 - I will sing of your steadfast love, O LORD, forever; with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations. I declare that your steadfast love is established forever; your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens. You said, "I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to my servant David: 'I will establish your descendants forever, and build your throne for all generations.'"


Romans 16:25-27 - Now to God who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings is made known to all the Gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith -- to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever! Amen.


Luke 1:46b-55 - "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever."

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  • bigredchurch

We are now in the third week of Advent. The theme for this week is joy. I am sure that each of you has fond memories of joyful times in your life. It is good to remember such times. Doing so is a little like medicine, specially in these days of testing. My hope is that each of you is getting on well. I say this fully aware that some of you are going through challenging times just now.


The message below begins with a memory from my childhood. As a Dutch family, we did not really celebrate Christmas as folks do today. Our basic gift giving was done on December 5. Christmas day was considered as the time for remembering the gift of God's love given in the birth of Jesus. It seems that Jesus has been replaced by Santa Claus for many people. This reflecting the pattern of change from spiritual reality to material reality. For me this is sad. I understand that healthy spiritual being is the key to a good life.


The video is a bit of a patch work. Getting together as a full group is no longer possible. Hopefully, the spirit of God will bless you as you watch. Grace and peace be with you each and all.


Here is the video:


These are the texts on which the service is based:


Isaiah 61:1-4 - The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to provide for those who mourn in Zion-- to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, to display his glory. They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.


1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 - Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil. May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.


John 1:6-8 - There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.

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  • bigredchurch

Greetings to you each and all. It is nice to have you in my thoughts as I write these words. Hopefully they will bring you a sense of peace. That is the heart of my prayer for you. We are passing through a dark valley. Thanks be to God for the light of the Holy Spirit, by which each of us and all of us are led forward.


Our service preparation is pretty much unsteady. Each week there is a new restriction regarding our health and safety. So we are more and more confined to our homes. With this in view the video below is offered as an encouragement, and incentive to the practice of peace.


Here is the video:


These are the texts in which the service is rooted:


Isaiah 40:1-5 - Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins. A voice cries out: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."


2 Peter 3:9-13 - The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed. Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.


Mark 1:1-8 - The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, "See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,'" John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, "The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

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The Big Red Church

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Winnipeg, Manitoba     R2L 0H4

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