Sunday Reflection – Ascension Sunday, May 21, 2023


Jesus offers prayer

John 17 After Jesus had finished speaking to his disciples, he looked up toward heaven and prayed:

Father, the time has come for you to bring glory to your Son, in order that he may bring glory to you. And you gave him power over all people, so he would give eternal life to everyone you give him.  Eternal life is to know you, the only true God, and to know Jesus Christ, the one you sent. I have brought glory to you here on earth by doing everything you gave me to do. Now, Father, give me back the glory I had with you before the world was created.

You have given me some followers from this world, and I have shown them what you are like. They were yours, but you gave them to me, and they have obeyed you. They know that you gave me everything I have. I told my followers what you told me, and they accepted it. They know I came from you, and they believe you are the one who sent me. I am praying for them, but not for those who belong to this world. My followers belong to you, and I am praying for them. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine, and they will bring glory to me.

11 Holy Father, I am no longer in the world. I am coming to you, but my followers are still in the world. So keep them safe by the power of the name you have given me. Then they will be one with each other, just as you and I are one. 

Sunday Reflection – May 14, 2023


Promise of the Holy Spirit

John 14 15  Jesus said to his disciples:

If you love me, you will do as I command. 16 Then I will ask the Father to send you the Holy Spirit who will help you and always be with you. 17 The Spirit will show you what is true. The people of this world cannot accept the Spirit, because they don’t see or know him. But you know the Spirit, who is with you and will keep on living in you.

18 I won’t leave you like orphans. I will come back to you. 19 In a little while the people of this world won’t be able to see me, but you will see me. And because I live, you will live. 20 Then you will know I am one with the Father. You will know you are one with me, and I am one with you. 21  If you love me, you will do what I have said, and my Father will love you. I will also love you and show you what I am like.

Performed by Margaret Whisselle

Kids Korner: Promise of the Holy Spirit (May 14th)

Read John 14:15-21 with your family.

Jesus knew he was leaving. His friends knew he was leaving, although they didn’t know the rest of the Easter story like we do. Everyone was sad.

But in the middle of all those feelings of worry and loss, Jesus gave them hope and love. He told them another would come to help them understand God. One who would make them feel better and help them really live the only commandment Jesus every gave his followers – that they love everyone. This was not romantic love or family love, but love for our neighbours and love for the world.

The promise was the Holy Spirit.

Jesus promised we would never be alone, and as long as we lived love for each other, we would always know God.

Sunday Reflection – May 7, 2023


Jesus is the way

14 Jesus said to his disciples, “Don’t be worried! Have faith in God and have faith in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s house. I wouldn’t tell you this, unless it was true. I am going there to prepare a place for each of you. After I have done this, I will come back and take you with me. Then we will be together. You know the way to where I am going.”

Thomas said, “Lord, we don’t even know where you are going! How can we know the way?”

 “I am the way, the truth, and the life!” Jesus answered. “Without me, no one can go to the Father. If you had really known me, you would have known the Father. But from now on, you do know him, and you have seen him.”

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father. That is all we need.”

Jesus replied:

Philip, I have been with you for a long time. Don’t you know who I am? If you have seen me, you have seen the Father. How can you ask me to show you the Father? 10 Don’t you believe that I am one with the Father and that the Father is one with me? What I say isn’t said on my own. The Father who lives in me does these things.

11 Have faith in me when I say that the Father is one with me and that I am one with the Father. Or else have faith in me simply because of the things I do. 12 I tell you for certain that if you have faith in me, you will do the same things I am doing. You will do even greater things, now that I am going back to the Father. 13 Ask me, and I will do whatever you ask. This way the Son will bring honor to the Father. 14 I will do whatever you ask me to do.

Performed by Margaret Whisselle

Kids Korner: I am the way (May 7th)

Read John 14:1-14 with your family.

Did you know that the very first Christians did not call themselves “Christians”, but rather People of The Way? That name comes from this story in the Bible, where on the night before he died Jesus told his followers all sorts of important things, including that he was the way to the new world, the new kingdom, the new way to live as God’s followers. So it seemed reasonable to call their new lifestyle The Way.

These new followers were not interested in creating a religion, they wanted to change how people behaved so everyone would take care of everyone else. ‘The Way’ of Jesus means feeding the hungry and giving the homeless someplace to live.

Because it is a lifestyle, and not a belief system, people who don’t call themselves Christian could still be followers of The Way simply by doing good things for others and helping to work for a better world for everyone.

Sunday Reflection – April 30, 2023


Follow the Shepherd

John 10 Jesus said:

I tell you for certain only thieves and robbers climb over the fence instead of going in through the gate to the sheep pen. 2-3 But the gatekeeper opens the gate for the shepherd, and he goes in through it. The sheep know their shepherd’s voice. He calls each of them by name and leads them out.

When he has led out all of his sheep, he walks in front of them, and they follow, because they know his voice. The sheep will not follow strangers. They don’t recognize a stranger’s voice, and they run away.

Jesus told the people this story. But they did not understand what he was talking about.

Jesus said:

I tell you for certain that I am the gate for the sheep. Everyone who came before me was a thief or a robber, and the sheep did not listen to any of them. I am the gate. All who come in through me will be saved. Through me they will come and go and find pasture.

10 A thief comes only to rob, kill, and destroy. I came so everyone would have life, and have it fully.

Performed by Margaret Whisselle

Kids Korner: I am the doorway (April 30th)

Read John 10:1-10 with your family.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus uses a lot of “I am” statements to explain who he is and how he knows about God’s world. In today’s story the “I am” statement can either be “I am the gate” or “I am the doorway” (the Greek word is better as ‘doorway’, but since we are talking about sheep outside the term ‘gate’ makes more sense).

Often we think of a gate as the only opening in a pen or other fenced in area. Too many people before us have decided that means there is only a narrow opening to understand God’s message. The scripture doesn’t say that. The scripture says Jesus is the doorway or gate, the way out into a new world of understanding. That gate is huge, bigger than any of us can imagine. Liars and thief try to jump in and take us away from God’s love, but Jesus is confident we know better because we can all hear God’s voice.

Jesus shows us the way we are to live, and by saying “I am the doorway” Jesus is telling us living the way God wants us to live is how we get to all the great things life has to offer, like love and community.

Sunday Reflection – April 23, 2023


Road to Emmaus

Luke 24 13 That same day two of Jesus’ disciples were going to the village of Emmaus, which was about eleven kilometers from Jerusalem. 14 As they were talking and thinking about what had happened, 15 Jesus came near and started walking along beside them. 16 But they did not know who he was.

17 Jesus asked them, “What were you talking about as you walked along?”

The two of them stood there looking sad and gloomy. 18 Then the one named Cleopas asked Jesus, “Are you the only person from Jerusalem who didn’t know what was happening there these last few days?”

19 “What do you mean?” Jesus asked.

They answered:

Those things that happened to Jesus from Nazareth. By what he did and said he showed that he was a powerful prophet, who pleased God and all the people. 20 Then the chief priests and our leaders had him arrested and sentenced to die on a cross. 21 We had hoped that he would be the one to set Israel free! But it has already been three days since all this happened.

22 Some women in our group surprised us. They had gone to the tomb early in the morning, 23 but did not find the body of Jesus. They came back, saying they had seen a vision of angels who told them that he is alive. 24 Some men from our group went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said. But they didn’t see Jesus either.

25 Then Jesus asked the two disciples, “Why can’t you understand? How can you be so slow to believe all that the prophets said? 26 Didn’t you know that the Messiah would have to suffer before he was given his glory?” 27 Jesus then explained everything written about himself in the Scriptures, beginning with the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets.

28 When the two of them came near the village where they were going, Jesus seemed to be going farther. 29 They begged him, “Stay with us! It’s already late, and the sun is going down.” So Jesus went into the house to stay with them.

30 After Jesus sat down to eat, he took some bread. He blessed it and broke it. Then he gave it to them. 31 At once they knew who he was, but he disappeared. 32 They said to each other, “When he talked with us along the road and explained the Scriptures to us, didn’t it warm our hearts?” 33 So they got up and returned to Jerusalem.

The two disciples found the eleven apostles and the others gathered together. 34 And they learned from the group that the Lord was really alive and had appeared to Peter. 35 Then the disciples from Emmaus told what happened on the road and how they knew he was the Lord when he broke the bread.

Performed by Margaret Whisselle

Kids Korner: Road to Emmaus (April 23th)

Read Luke 24:13-35 with your family.

After Mary Magdalene and all the other women visited the tomb and found it empty, the Bible tells us stories about other people who met Jesus after he was alive again.

One of these it the Road to Emmaus. It tells the story of two people who didn’t recognize Jesus until Jesus broke the loaf of bread apart like he had done on the Thursday before with his followers. Then Jesus disappeared while they tried to figure out what had happened.

This story reminds us that sometimes Jesus is with us on gentle walks down the road. There doesn’t always have to be big drama when Jesus is around. Sometimes we can feel Jesus with us just while we are talking.

And sometimes it’s not until after something happens that we realize God was with us all along – we were never alone.

Sunday Reflection – April 16, 2023


Jesus visits the disciples

John 20 19 The disciples were afraid of the Jewish leaders, and on the evening of that same Sunday they locked themselves in a room. Suddenly, Jesus appeared in the middle of the group. He greeted them 20 and showed them his hands and his side. When the disciples saw the Lord, they became very happy.

21 After Jesus had greeted them again, he said, “I am sending you, just as the Father has sent me.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23  If you forgive anyone’s sins, they will be forgiven. But if you don’t forgive their sins, they will not be forgiven.”

24 Although Thomas the Twin was one of the twelve disciples, he wasn’t with the others when Jesus appeared to them. 25 So they told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But Thomas said, “First, I must see the nail scars in his hands and touch them with my finger. I must put my hand where the spear went into his side. I won’t believe unless I do this!”

26 A week later the disciples were together again. This time, Thomas was with them. Jesus came in while the doors were still locked and stood in the middle of the group. He greeted his disciples 27 and said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and look at my hands! Put your hand into my side. Stop doubting and have faith!”

28 Thomas replied, “You are my Lord and my God!”

29 Jesus said, “Thomas, do you have faith because you have seen me? The people who have faith in me without seeing me are the ones who are really blessed!”

30 Jesus worked many other miracles for his disciples, and not all of them are written in this book. 31 But these are written so that you will put your faith in Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God. If you have faith in him, you will have true life.

Performed by Margaret Whisselle