News and Info

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Canada 150

Canada 150
                The flyers and posters are starting to go up; social media is also seeing a frenzy of activity announcing another special gathering being planned and prepared to mark Canada’s 150th birthday celebration on July 1. The logo is available to download with your
promise to use in celebration of a nation of people of many cultures, many faiths and many stories. The logo represents the maple leaf and has been stylized to reflect the changes our country has endured and continues to face. With 10 provinces and 3 territories with two official languages and the freedom to worship in speak various languages we truly are blessed to share this land.
                But not everyone will celebrate the joy of Canada. Our brothers and sisters of the First Nations peoples were here first. This was their land and settlers from away came and made this ‘little village’ of Kanata theirs. We learned from our indigenous friends how to live and cope in the ruggedness of the land- the rocks, trees, rivers and prairies were the source of all life. But we often forget that this land is not owned by one people but several.
                Yet as a country we will wear our red and white, wave our flags in numerous parades and sing joyfully the words of our anthem for we are the true north strong and free. We will sing and share food of our heritage, we will eat Canadian treats and we will be together as a country sharing in a celebration worthy of our history.
                Yet our history in these 150 years has not been easy—crises, wars in faraway lands, questions of leaving or staying within the confederation, and welcoming more people from around the world. As Canadians we strive for peace, look to the good in others and continue to be mindful and gracious over the blessings we have in this country.
                Canada’s 150th anniversary invites us to look at what makes us uniquely Canadian and what calls us to be together now. It is a time when we might reflect on those men and women who fought for freedom so that we could celebrate this milestone in history. And it is a time when we pray for the future.
                Psalm 72:8  Sir Leonard Tilley suggested the “Dominion of Canada” as the name of the new nation when confederation talks were being considered. Tilley was inspired by this verse from the Bible: God shall have dominion from sea to sea and from the river unto the ends of the earth. Under the British North America act of 1867, the Dominion of Canada was formed uniting the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
                Let us pray for our country and its leaders now and always.

REFLECTION:
 Is it important to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday? Why?
How will you acknowledge this important moment in time?

PRAYER

Holy God as we rejoice in our celebration of Canada’s birthday help us to remember the losses, the tragedies, the pain and hurt of the many people who fought and died, whose lives were known and unknown for the sake of this country and its future generations. We thank you for faithful people who envisioned a country that would expand across the land and to the northern waters. We pray for our country, its people and its future. Show us how to live in love for others. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

The Power of Weakness

Continuing in our study of |The Power of Weakness, one must
reflect upon God strengths and where his power lies.  Erwin Lutzer wrote” God is not in the business of helping the humanly strong become stronger, rather he takes the weak and makes them strong in himself.”
                But how do we find strength when we seem to be so weak. What is our purpose? The Westminster Shorter Catechism reminds us that “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.” How are we to understand this? To seek personal power for ourselves is an unworthy goal but to seek His power to glorify Him in our lives is a mark of spiritual maturity (p.78)
                How do we glorify God? If we change our ways and grow in our faith and understanding of who God is in our lives. God wants us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds—it is his will for us (Romans 12:1-2) But we must be willing and open to receive this and we can only receive the change if we allow God to act in us. We cannot do it alone.
                Three stages of Life—Isaiah 40:31 Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
3 stages:1) soar and fly like an eagle; -- on top of the world  2) run and don’t grow weary—go through the routine 3) all we can do is to walk and not faint.
                But where is hope? It is different from strength because it is the light at the end of the tunnel with the belief that  the horrible circumstances I’m experiencing now won’t last; or that I won’t feel the same way I do about them now.
                Even Jesus did not face his death alone- he called out to God.  So can we.
REFLECTION:
Under which circumstances are you needing to be strengthened? Is it continuous or when you have a crisis or question of faith?
What do you do? Do you glorify God or do you sit and mope? Do you praise God with prayers of hope? Or do you pray to God asking for the strength you need to overcome this situation you are facing?
PRAYER:

God help us in our moments of weakness to be strengthened by who you are and what you are doing in our lives and in our world. Renew our strength so that we can ‘soar like eagles’ again. Help us we pray. Amen.