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Justice Prayers - Prayers Against Violence in Word, Deed, and Indifference

Jesus Christ rules over all.
To follow this Lord is
to serve him wherever we are
without fitting in,
light in darkness,
salt in a spoiling world.

- Our World Belongs to God Article 43


Nigerian Church Massacre

A church in Owo, Nigeria was attacked by gunmen on Sunday who killed over 50 people at the end of Pentecost services.   No group has claimed responsibility but the horrendous violence towards people at worship has terrified a region.  We pray for safety, justice and healing for every person affected:

Ism’s and Phobias – Part 1

One of the calls of the deacon (as is with all Christians) is to participate in God‘s mission in the world. This work has reformed beyond mere charity and saving of souls; into a much more layered contribution to community. Service looks at physical, emotional and spiritual needs. If Christian faith communities are to have a strengthened relationship with others, we should consider our public witness. Have Christians done the difficult work of self-reflection, with a willingness to hear and examine criticISM’S?

Bring Us Together

Christians live in "already but not yet" time. The kingdom of God is already here through Jesus’ life, teaching, death, and resurrection. It is present today in this world and it is spreading like "yeast" (Matt 13:33). At the same time, the full manifestation of the kingdom is not here yet. It will be fully established in the eschaton, on the end of the day when Jesus returns with his angels to redeem all the believers and renew everything. So, as the church witnesses and participates in God’s kingdom, we know that it is imperfect.

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Justice Prayers - June 1, 2022

As you walk the good road with me, you are the salt of the earth, bringing cleansing and healing to all.  - Matthew 5:13 (FNV) 

End of a journey or only just begun

Last weekend marked the final gathering of our formal meeting together as the Hearts Exchanged cohort in Classis Niagara.  Because of our relatively close proximity the majority of our meetings were held in person.  This was a blessing as it was a physical reminder that we need not journey alone. I am grateful for my fellow travellers and guides.

Justice Prayers - May 25, 2022

You alone have strength to carry this people.
Carry us now, O Lord.
You alone have wisdom and power to heal the wounds of a nation.
Heal us, O Lord.
You alone have compassion enough to enter our widespread grief, and turn it to hope.
Be merciful, O Christ!

- Grieving a National Tragedy (Every Moment Holy)

A Church For Whom?

Greg Paul from Sanctuary Church in Toronto once said something to this effect: “If you plant a church for the middle class, the poor will not come. However, if you plant a church for the poor, the middle class will come”. Planting a church which celebrates socioeconomic diversity is a picture of God’s kingdom to come and a means by which we can participate in the Kingdom of Jesus now.  At the same time, socioeconomic diversity in churches is brutally hard. Most churches in North America grow through affinity groups.

Making Space for Joy in Justice-Seeking

“Joy is not made to be a crumb”.  So ends Mary Oliver’s short poem ‘Don’t Hesitate’.  Oliver’s poem is a playful but fierce insistence that joy is integral to a full life – even in the face of despair, pain, and human suffering.  But implied in Oliver’s poem is the acknowledgement that joy can be hard; we do hesitate to live joyfully in the face of the world’s pain and so need reminding. 

Justice Prayers - May 18, 2022

We are confident
that the light
which shines in the present darkness
will fill the earth
when Christ appears.
Come, Lord Jesus.
Our world belongs to you.

- Our World Belongs to God (Article 6)

Absurd Generosity

As a Christian growing up in the evangelical Midwest, I studied the New Testament much more than the Old Testament. Sure, I knew the stories of Moses, Ruth, Esther, Jonah and David, and I prayed with the Psalms, but I confess I have never read or studied the more “obscure” books like Leviticus. I saw it as a bunch of old laws that don’t really apply to me. Take for example Leviticus 25, much of it has to do with farming, land sale and ownership. I don’t own a house and have never farmed. 

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