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Pentecost Ponderings IV

Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.Isaiah 43:18-19

From about 8:30 until about 10 this morning I spent working on the Dead Sea Scrolls in the waiting room of Kal-Tire. With today’s expected temperatures to top 30C, it was as good a time as any to have my winter tires removed and the summer tires back on. The trouble is –and a short confession time– the winter tires have been on my car for about 18 months. I had them put on in late 2014 and never got around to switching them for my summer tires in 2015. Already my car feels like it runs much smoother, because I have the right treads for the season, the right tools for the job. Unfortunately, when it comes time to put winter tires on in the fall, because I kept this group on longer than they should have, I am going to have to replace at least two of them. The softer rubber of the winter tire does not like warm roads. By not changing my tires to respond to the changing of the seasons, my car has had to work harder, and at least two of the tires are now worn out.

Okay John, fine, but aren’t these ministerial musings supposed to include some reflection on our faith?

I was getting to that. Tires gets me thinking of seasons, we are so used to their ebb and flow that we just build it into our routine, whether it’s the tires on car or working in the garden. Adjusting our routines and our tools to match the season is something we do in our lives, but not necessarily in our lives of faith. Partly because those “seasons” of faith aren’t yearly, but happen over much longer cycles.

If we pay attention to the history of our faith, the Biblical story is rife with periods of history that parallel winter and summer. There may be the physical examples, say from Joseph in Genesis, to times that caused a crisis of faith, such as the Assyrian destruction of the north kingdom, the Babylonian invasions and exile starting in 585 BC, or the Romans destroying the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD. Each time, the people had to re-evaluate their faith, and come to a new understanding, and a new sense of God’s purpose and mission. This cycle has continued throughout history, the ebbs and flows have come and gone. Most recently, while the 1950s may have marked a high water mark that many of us remember, we are now in a time of famine, winter, or exile. Yet it is in the time of exile when faith is re-forged and made stronger. The people of God find ways to be the people of God in new ways.

While we may lament that the church’s summer tires aren’t working anymore, maybe it’s a realization that we need to invest in something that will help us go off-road.

Yours in Christ,


Upcoming Events

  • The Dead Sea Scrolls Seminar – Mondays at 7:15pm– Main Sanctuary
    • Week 4: Who wrote the scrolls anyway? – May 30th
    • In cooperation with the Calgary Association of Lifelong Learners (CALL), I am offering a short course/seminar on the Dead Sea Scrolls. It continues today on 2 more sessions on Mondays from 7:15 to about 9pm. If you’re interested in joining me in this course/seminar, please email me to let me know. There is an optional online component that I am also developing that will also be helpful for those who may need to miss a session.
  • Neighbour Day! – Saturday June 18th, 2016 – 3-6pm.
    • Our neighbours are organizing an event for Calgary’s Neighbour Day, and St. Matt’s is getting in on it. More details to follow!
  • Spirituals Sunday – June 19th, 2016
    • The choir is just starting to prepare for our annual Spirituals Sunday set to take place on Sunday, June 19th. Watch this space for more information!
  • Congregational Membership Classes
    • If you or someone you know would like to formalize membership with St. Matthew’s, I am hoping to run a membership class in the next few months. If you are interested, please email me, call me at the church, or speak with me directly on Sunday mornings.

Church Office Hours

Wendy’s regular office hours are Mondays, 11am-3pm, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Friday from 9am-3pm.

My regular office hours are Sunday through Thursdays from 9:00 to 12:30. While I am likely to be in the office in the afternoons Monday through Thursday, I may also be out on pastorals visits or meetings.





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