LEANING TOWARDS LENT

Posted by Christ the King Lutheran Church on January 30, 2015 under Pastor's Message | Comments are off for this article

How did your New Year’s resolutions go? Hmmm…..

Well, there’s good news – Lent is coming! Or does that sound like another chance to see how our desire for change doesn’t match up to our actions for change? Yet the disciplines of Lent – prayer, fasting, and giving – are part of the good news.

The God who calls us close in Jesus Christ never intended for us to be do-it-yourself projects. The Ten Commandments and other lists of behaviour throughout the bible are not heavenly check lists, as though God said, “Okay, here’s the program. Get with it, and I’ll check back at the end to see how you did.” Only our failure or delusional arrogance could result.

Lent does remind us of the “things we have done and the things we have left undone,” but even more it reminds us of our baptismal identity. The cross of ashes marked on Ash Wednesday re-traces the cross of our baptism, when we are named and claimed in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. As always, the cross shows God’s willingness to get involved in our lives for our good.

As we hear the stories of Jesus we see how he took the time to get deeply involved with a handful of people. The deep involvement continues through the work of the Holy Spirit so that we can admit what has gone wrong and try again because forgiveness, restoration, and renewal are promised to us.

We won’t find perfection this side of resurrection, but Jesus didn’t come to the perfected. He came to those who were struggling, to those who needed a friend, to those who were willing to look up from life-as-usual and follow him. He still comes to such people -to us.

May Jesus Christ be made manifest (obvious) to you during this season of Epiphany and the days of Lent that follow.

Crossing my heart

Crossing my heart

Pastor Susan Horton

PEACE

Posted by Christ the King Lutheran Church on December 23, 2014 under Pastor's Message | Comments are off for this article

Wednesday, Dec. 24 – 7:30 Christmas Eve Worship at Timberlea School
Sunday, Dec. 28 – 10:30 Worship for the First Sunday of Christmas
Sunday, Jan. 4th – 10:30 Worship with Holy Communion and Confirmation. Potluck lunch to follow.

The Christmas rush can be so consuming that we think more of Christmas collapse (semi-comatose on the couch) rather than Christmas peace. That makes it a good time to pray for all kinds of peace: a calmness in our hearts and minds, as well as between people and between nations. Not just a Christmas truce, so the busyness and the bombing can resume later, but Christmas peace so we can let go of bitterness, arrogance, and prejudice.

This prayer from the Taize community asks for that gift.peace nativity

Come and fill our hearts with your peace,
You alone, O Lord, are holy.
Come and fill our hearts with your peace, Alleluia!
Confitemini Domino quoniam bonus.
Confitemini Domino, Alleluia!

Christmas peace!

Pastor Susan Horton

HOPE

Posted by Christ the King Lutheran Church on December 3, 2014 under Pastor's Message | Comments are off for this article

SUNDAY, DEC. 7th – 10:30 a.m. Congregational Christmas Program with music, skits, and recitations. (2 Corinthians 4:13….we also believe and so we speak….)

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 24th – 7:30 p.m. Christmas Even Worship

HOPE is fragile thing, seemingly held together with prayer, craft glue and light-weight wire. Hope is not about what we can prove but about who we can trust. Advent promises that we can trust the God who comes among us as a vulnerable child. The baby is a most unexpected answer to war and despair, to illness and disaster. Yet, he is a sign that life is worth living this day and the day after; that life is worth giving of ourselves in the necessary care and nurture. The baby is a sign that good things take time to grow and that they are worth waiting for.

So we gather during the weeks of Advent, the “little Lent” that leads to Christmas Day to remind each other of glimpses of hope, to talk about the reasons we keep on getting up in the morning to engage with the world for another day. In the midst of the practical things — “the dog needs to be feed, the plants need to be watered” — there is the possibility of surprise. This day we may be just the surprise the someone else needs. It could be a smile, a kind word, a helping hand that reminds another person that they really are “visible” and that they really do matter (like the police officer I saw lifting a heavy package to the counter for a young mom with a tired baby).

Hope is a fragile thing, a gift of God in the waiting time. May you recognize that gift today.hope

Pastor Susan Horton

A ROSE EXPLAINED

Posted by Christ the King Lutheran Church on October 10, 2014 under Pastor's Message | Comments are off for this article

What’s that rose all about? In stained glass, on shirts, or mugs, or decorative wall plaques, the “Luther Rose” often appears in Lutheran settings. It’s really a strong statement of faith, a reminder of what we have received. Thanks to oldlutheran.com here’s an explanation.

Blessings in this season of thanksgiving and of reformation.

Pastor Susan Horton

What do YOU see?

Posted by Christ the King Lutheran Church on September 6, 2014 under Pastor's Message | Comments are off for this article

When you look up at the sky, what do you see? There’s an old the Peanuts cartoon where Snoopy and Charlie Brown are looking at the clouds and identifying different animals. Snoopy sees some very exotic animals and scenes, which leaves Charlie Brown too embarrassed to say that he sees a duckie and a horsie (or something like that). Perhaps they should have stuck to a discussion of the varieties of cirrus, cumulus, or stratus clouds. ( I promise myself that one day I will learn the names of the various types and how wind and water create such beauty.)

That old cartoon could be the basis of a meditation about believing in yourself and offering the thoughts you have. But instead, it’s the lead-in to an actual picture that I took of clouds over Fort McMurray.

Take a look at the picture below. What do you see? I stopped the car to take the picture because I saw a cross in the clouds, a reminder to me of how much God loves the people in this city. A lot of people in the world sees us as evil money-grubbers bent on destroying the environment; God sees us as people of value who need love and hope and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. That’s a much different starting point to help us grow and change in ways that bring the greatest good to our neighbours.cloud cross

Which leads me to an old prayer for the church which also seems appropriate for our city and the people in it:
Gracious God, fill us with all truth and peace.
Where we are corrupt, purify us;
where we are in error, direct us;
where in anything we are amiss, reform us;
where we are right, strengthen us;
where we are in need, provide for us;
where we are divided, reunite us;
for the sake of Jesus Christ, your Son our Saviour. Amen.

Pastor Susan Horton

Remember – now that it’s September, we’re back at Timberlea School at 10:30 Sundays!