The Clock is Ticking


Our pastor gave an interesting (as always) sermon on Sunday titled, “The Clock”. He opened with, “The clock is ticking. Can you hear it?” He was talking about the clock Jesus heard, ticking away the last week of his life on earth…the divine clock…heaven’s clock, and how little time he had left to prepare those who loved him for what was to come.

Today we learned that our former mayor, Rob Ford, succumbed to the cancer that, in a sense, started his clock ticking eighteen months ago. Did Rob hear his clock ticking? I believe he did. A few months ago he made this statement: “If I pass before my time, I just ask people to please try to help out Dougie and Stephanie and Renata in any way you can,” he added, referencing the names of his wife and two children.

Likewise, when Jesus, from the cross, saw the anguish of his mother, he in effect told one of his disciples to look after her. This then from John:19: 25But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.

Here is a tiny passage from Sunday’s sermon:

Recently I received an e-mail. One of those that’s been forwarded a number of times. It was written by an elderly man approaching the end of his life. He said that he had “no questions, no doubts, no fear.”But then he went on: “A few [of you] let me know early in our friendship that religion would not be part of our conversation and I tried to respect this. To some, religions are a group of rules [which] if practised may make us good enough to earn eternal life. If that is the criteria, I would not qualify. My assurance is not based on religion but rather a gift with no strings attached, as described in Ephesians [“For by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not your own doing. It is the gift of God.”] The benefits of a gift are not realized until accepted. I accepted this gift years ago, so death is not something to fear.”

While the clock is still ticking let us remember to make each day and each minute count…live, love and be happy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Honor of Audrey


I attended another funeral yesterday. We lost thirteen members of our church in 2014, and so far two more this month. It has kept our Pastor pretty busy. He always does a wonderful service but this was one of his best ever.

The guest of honor had been a member of our church and choir for over fifty years, and had a special bond with our Pastor, having known his grandmother from a previous church congregation. Audrey’s pet peeve was that Duncan seldom wore his robe, preferring a clerical jacket and collar. I don’t think I have ever seen him in a robe.

Yesterday he mentioned the fact that he now knew that Audrey had always lamented that his sermons could have been better if he had only worn the robe. During his meditation, he stopped mid-sentence, peeled off his jacket and donned the clergy robe…in honor of Audrey.

It is the first time I have heard a round of applause at a funeral.

(Thanks, Alan, for suggesting this blog.)

Worry vs Lemons


Last night I attended a seminar on anxiety and depression, and the speaker touched on the subject of worry and how useless it is. This reminded me of a remark made by my Pastor in a sermon a few years ago.

“If you insist on worrying you begin to look like you were baptized in lemon juice.”

Need more be said?

The Face


In 1990, our then Pastor gave a sermon depicting the many faces of Christ. It was very interesting, and gave us another way of looking at Jesus. The lady sitting beside me gave me an elbow poke and whispered, “You could write a poem about this.” I am quite susceptible to the power of suggestion when it comes to writing anything and immediately thought, hmmm, I wonder…

And so, I came home, sat down with pen and paper and came up with this:

THE FACE

Evil, cruel, hardened,

set in grimaced scorn.

Flattened nose,

upslanted eyes,

with pointed ears was born.

Hollowed cheeks,

haunted eyes,

disease its toll has taken.

Wasted skin, hungered, thin,

in poverty, forsaken.

Criminal,

Down Syndrome child,

Aids victim,

Poor man’s tryst,

Look!

And then, please look again…

and see the face of Christ.

©1990

I gave a copy to the lady who poked me, and said, “Here you go, Christine, this is for you.” She took one look at the first few words and said, “Oh, I don’t want to read this!” But she did, and I do believe still has the poem in her possession all these years later.

As for me, that sermon and ensuing poem gave me the eyes to see all of God’s people in a whole new Face.

 

What Would You Say?


This will be a series of short posts tying in with everyday life.

A guest Pastor at our church, on Sunday, asked this interesting question. He was relating the story of how blind Bartimaeus received his sight in Mark 10:46.

Rev. Livingstone then asked us this question, “If Jesus asked you ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ (verse 51), what would your answer be?”

A question well worth pondering, would you say?

My immediate answer was, “Please heal my friend of her cancer.”

What would you say?