Read James 4:13-17 and 2 Kings 5:1-8 to start.
A couple of weeks ago was New Years Eve, and as it happens on that day my family and I had gone to a festive gathering. There were some good friends there, some slight acquaintances, and some complete strangers. One of the strangers, who, as it turns out, is the brother-in-law of one of my best friends, because that’s how things go in PEI, is a pastor at a church in Charlottetown, and I chatted with him for a bit about sermon topics. I told him about the topic that I had chosen for this morning, and how it was an important and valuable topic, and also based on a passage that I don’t think I had ever heard anyone speak from before.
This is not that sermon. Maybe some month soon I will preach that, but not this morning. My original plans, my well considered outline, it went out the window in favour of something else. That is often the nature of plans, though. We make plans, sometimes simple and straightforward plans, other times elaborate and complicated plans with multiple stages that run over months or years, then things change, and those plans go down the drain.
Continue reading Best Laid Plans
Read John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Not long ago I read an article about the end of the conflict in Columbia. Specifically, the article described it as the last armed conflict in the Western Hemisphere, and a peace deal brokered in 2016 was supposed to have brought an end to an internal war that had simmered since 1948.
The thought that once that peace deal was in place there would be no ongoing war in the Americas or the Caribbean was hailed by this article as a great accomplishment, something that we should be happy about, something that we should take as a sign of increasing peace throughout the world. Continue reading Peace and Rest
Read Psalm 37:1-9 1 Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. 2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. 3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. 4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. 6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. 7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. 8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. 9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
Sometimes I choose a sermon topic a week or so before speaking. This time, I had my subject picked out a while ago, pretty much from the last time I spoke, as it was a topic that’s been on my bulletin board as a possible sermon topic for a while now. So having decided, I looked up a number of scripture verses to act as possible starting points, which is always a good place to start when you are preparing a sermon. Wouldn’t you know it, more than one of the passages I chose has been spoken on, or at the very least referenced, from this platform, since I came up with my list. As recently as last Sunday one of the key verses I had found was featured in the Sunday sermon.
Continue reading The Problem of Anger