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  • Called to Covenant III - March 8, 2015
    piled high with triple and quadruple boilers with each level containing food for each meal for the Sabbath day and the burners were just kept on low for 24 hours to cook it all through She might be going to hell for her sins but hey we ll pay her a quarter a Saturday to take the bullet for us sound fair Next can t carry a burden outside on the Sabbath day Well I d heard that in cities like Venice or Warsaw or even Brooklyn conservative Jewish neighbourhoods might well have had ropes strung between the houses and apartment buildings to form a roof over the street below packages and burdens could then be carried in a place that we would consider to be outside but which because of the roof the inhabitants could consider as inside It s gotten even better apparently now an entire neighbourhood or a cluster of houses all by themselves out in the countryside can be surrounded by posts of a prescribed height with a rope going around the top and bingo the entire area is now one contained dwelling place come and go from building to building carrying whatever at your leisure because you re always inside My favourite though concerns the Sabbath Day s journey which was the rule that you could only walk so far on a Sabbath day unless you somehow had a meal at a place where you stopped Say the Sabbath Day s Journey was two miles I m not sure of the distance but you wanted to go visit your friend who lived three miles away after worship was over So what you did on Friday was pack a small sandwich wrap it up and take it just past the halfway point along your walk and hide it away behind a rock or in a tree or someplace Then when you got to that point on the Sabbath day you would stop find your sandwich eat it and be allowed to complete your journey guilt free And God because all He cared about was that you stayed within the rules and gave you points for cleverness would look down upon you and smile indulgently at His shrewd little children Uh huh Living well with each other isn t supposed to be about how much you can get away with It s supposed to be about living in right relationship with each other A right relationship isn t concerned with petty issues and staying within the rules it s about finding a balance between what s acceptable and what s not and the commandments are a guide to that a perfect and wonderful guide They show us how to love God with all we have and how to love our neighbours as ourselves the distilled version that Jesus explicitly approved when questioned and tested by that young lawyer so long ago Now we do have to remember that Jesus did believe in the power of the Law of Moses to point people in the right direction in Matthew 5 17ff he says 17 Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets I have come not to abolish but to fulfill 18 For truly I tell you until heaven and earth pass away not one letter not one stroke of a letter will pass from the law until all is accomplished 19 Therefore whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven 20 For I tell you unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees you will never enter the kingdom of heaven Note that carefully the scribes and the Pharisees had spent their entire lives trying to fulfil the expectations and demands of the Law and now Jesus is saying that unless your righteousness exceeds theirs you will never enter the kingdom of heaven If anyone could have earned their way to heaven with their righteousness it would be the scribes and the Pharisees and they couldn t do it And if they couldn t do it no one could So while the Law itself has a purpose it itself is not enough No schedule of rules coupled with a strict observance of them will get us to heaven It takes more It takes grace and an accepting of God s grace as shown to us through Jesus Christ His Son Now I want to talk for a minute or two about Jesus actions in the Temple Even though He taught there several times there s one incident that tends to stick out in people s minds and that was when He lost it and started wrecking what was assembled in the forecourt of the Temple grounds I had someone ask me once to not allow tickets for a youth group fundraiser to be sold in the sanctuary of the church it was a small building and all of upstairs was the sanctuary He said I don t want to turn the church into a marketplace And after a moment s thought I agreed with him What happened in the Temple probably started small just a transaction or two for convenience but by the time Jesus got there as an adult something much larger was taking place in the forecourt of the Temple itself You see according to the Law sins required offerings for penance and celebrations required offerings for thanksgiving If say you swore in public you were required to offer up two pigeons to clear your standing with the Lord If you gave birth to a male child it would be two pigeons for the mother for the sin of being made unclean by his birth which couldn t have been avoided but that s for another day but the father would also offer up

    Original URL path: http://www.knoxgeorgetown.ca/dev/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=695:called-to-covenant-iii-march-8-2015&catid=40:sermons&Itemid=80 (2016-02-13)
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  • Calld to Covenant II - March 1, 2015
    them whoever we choose them to be This is a problem the world over Consider the cross today with flags on it representing just a few of the nations of the world In the world today we have almost seven billion people struggling with their identity struggling with who they are by their geography racial background or ethnic background by the language they speak and they food they eat or don t eat in the case of so many or by the god they worship either human or divine Wherever there is a cluster of people who see themselves as different from those around them there is a quest for independence for freedom of some kind and they feed each other and reinforce each other with their differences and the things that set them apart from others rather than their similarities Historians and political scientists call this Tribalism and as our world has gotten smaller in some ways with the advent of instant communication and the information avalanche of the internet so too has tribalism grown this desire to be recognized as a smaller independent group or republic or country of one s own The Basques of northern Spain the Tamils of Sri Lanka the Quebecois in Canada the whole business with this supposedly revived caliphate of the self proclaimed Islamic State and so many others around the world want to be the next Pakistan or Armenia or Kosovo or Croatia don t lump us with them we are not them we are us It seems so senseless to me that as we are dealing with things like the current economic situation and crises such as the Ebola outbreak that should require us to come together as a single unified interdependent world there seem to be so many who are trying harder than ever to break themselves apart from their brothers and sisters and go their own way a way that is somehow better simply because it is different A few years ago there was a movie based on a comic book in which one of the major themes is one character s misguided quest to unite the nations of the world and he plans to do this by obliterating a city and making it seem as though something not belonging to this world had done it humanity will be united he declares to be ready to push back these supposed invaders The ploy fails however the city is destroyed but humanity does not unite as he had intended They re simply too independent even in the face of fear to do that Churches are unfortunately also very tribal and I say Church with a capital C indicating an institution an independent denomination of believers who say that they follow the life and teachings of Jesus Christ Care to guess how many As a guide there are something like two hundred independent countries in the world and many of them have separate branches of a particular tradition that are under

    Original URL path: http://www.knoxgeorgetown.ca/dev/index.php?view=article&catid=40%3Asermons&id=692%3Acalld-to-covenant-ii-march-1-2015&tmpl=component&print=1&layout=default&page=&option=com_content&Itemid=80 (2016-02-13)
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  • Knox Presbyterian Church
    Close Window E mail this link to a friend E mail to Sender Your E mail Subject Send Cancel

    Original URL path: http://www.knoxgeorgetown.ca/dev/index.php?option=com_mailto&tmpl=component&link=aHR0cDovL3d3dy5rbm94Z2VvcmdldG93bi5jYS9kZXYvaW5kZXgucGhwP29wdGlvbj1jb21fY29udGVudCZ2aWV3PWFydGljbGUmaWQ9NjkyOmNhbGxkLXRvLWNvdmVuYW50LWlpLW1hcmNoLTEtMjAxNSZjYXRpZD00MDpzZXJtb25zJkl0ZW1pZD04MA== (2016-02-13)
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  • Calld to Covenant II - March 1, 2015
    to be a nation that almost prides itself on its ability to divide and say that while we may not know what we are we know what we are not We are not them whoever we choose them to be This is a problem the world over Consider the cross today with flags on it representing just a few of the nations of the world In the world today we have almost seven billion people struggling with their identity struggling with who they are by their geography racial background or ethnic background by the language they speak and they food they eat or don t eat in the case of so many or by the god they worship either human or divine Wherever there is a cluster of people who see themselves as different from those around them there is a quest for independence for freedom of some kind and they feed each other and reinforce each other with their differences and the things that set them apart from others rather than their similarities Historians and political scientists call this Tribalism and as our world has gotten smaller in some ways with the advent of instant communication and the information avalanche of the internet so too has tribalism grown this desire to be recognized as a smaller independent group or republic or country of one s own The Basques of northern Spain the Tamils of Sri Lanka the Quebecois in Canada the whole business with this supposedly revived caliphate of the self proclaimed Islamic State and so many others around the world want to be the next Pakistan or Armenia or Kosovo or Croatia don t lump us with them we are not them we are us It seems so senseless to me that as we are dealing with things like the current economic situation and crises such as the Ebola outbreak that should require us to come together as a single unified interdependent world there seem to be so many who are trying harder than ever to break themselves apart from their brothers and sisters and go their own way a way that is somehow better simply because it is different A few years ago there was a movie based on a comic book in which one of the major themes is one character s misguided quest to unite the nations of the world and he plans to do this by obliterating a city and making it seem as though something not belonging to this world had done it humanity will be united he declares to be ready to push back these supposed invaders The ploy fails however the city is destroyed but humanity does not unite as he had intended They re simply too independent even in the face of fear to do that Churches are unfortunately also very tribal and I say Church with a capital C indicating an institution an independent denomination of believers who say that they follow the life and teachings of Jesus Christ

    Original URL path: http://www.knoxgeorgetown.ca/dev/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=692:calld-to-covenant-ii-march-1-2015&catid=40:sermons&Itemid=80 (2016-02-13)
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  • Called to Covenant I - February 22, 2015
    that we actually used to have our kids sign little notes and IOU s when it came to things like pre spent birthday money because it s so darned easy to forget that you ve already spent it when said money won t be coming in for another couple of months It s a contract and an agreement sealed with words handshakes and a signature A covenant though is an even higher level promise usually with even more elaborate rituals and ceremony than the mere shaking of hands and signing of names to a document I ve performed a lot of weddings since being ordained as a minister and have yet another one next month and as I say these are covenanting ceremonies At a wedding the couple who wishes to be joined as one new family unit gathers an officiant and several witnesses possibly a couple of hundred family members and friends and before God and the assembled witnesses hear a preamble about what marriage is and is not ask for God s blessing on their union swear vows to each other exchange tokens usually rings but not always sign official paperwork have their wedding officially pronounced remember to wed is a verb and go off and hold a celebration of the occasion with those gathered witnesses The only thing really missing from this covenant form in the old sense is the declaration of penalties if the covenant is broken by one side or another understandably we don t want to focus on those on a day of celebration but they are usually quite well understood by those who enter into the marriage relationship A covenant like one struck between a married couple isn t supposed to end except in the death of one partner and one of the reasons we wear wedding rings is to show both others and ourselves that we are taken in a covenant relationship I read a story once about a bride who was trying to figure out what to have engraved in the groom s wedding band something special and yet very meaningful her maid of honour thought for a moment then suggested that it say Put It Back On In almost nineteen years I ve had this ring off for a total of probably less than 7 days It marks the covenant that exists between me and Kathy and reminds us both of the promises that I made to her and she to me Here s the twist when we turn to the Scriptures though a marriage covenant today is made between relative equals most of the covenants that our Scriptures will be talking about over the next few weeks are between decidedly un equal partners because God Himself is part of the equation Consider Noah Setting aside the whole issue of whether or not the story really happened this way or if it was just an old tale given a Hebraic twist it was important enough to be considered Scripture It

    Original URL path: http://www.knoxgeorgetown.ca/dev/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=691:called-to-covenant-i-february-22-2015&catid=40:sermons&Itemid=80 (2016-02-13)
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  • Containment Breach! - February 15, 2015
    be dragged out without the other priests having to enter and potentially be confronted by God s glory God is here sure He is But He stays hidden away behind that curtain while we live our lives out here Come on up to the Temple and shout your prayers He ll hear you from back there Can t have God out here oh no Hide Him behind a curtain Hide Him behind rules God will smite you if you carry a birthday present to your mother and it falls on a Sabbath day Hide him push Him behind glorious walls but walls nonetheless As Christians we can be no better I think that we have hidden God in some of the very things He has tried to use to reveal Himself We ve hidden Him in communion elements in the argument over holy wafer versus Wonder bread or whatever s in between in whether it should be wine or grape juice in the chalice and of course our Salvation Army cousins don t celebrate communion at all because to use wine as Christ did when attempting to reach out to winos in the streets would have been somewhat counterproductive I talked a few weeks ago about the waters of baptism and how the Catholics prepare their holy water we see nothing magical in the water we use and the Baptists fall in between We ve hidden God in the waters of Baptism as churches congregations and denominations have split split and re split over arguments about these two basic things again and again and again And the Bible Whoof There are over a hundred translations of the Biblical text into English alone The most popular version for more than three hundred years was the one authorized by King James Not as some have tried to insist authorized by God It was first published in 1611 and given its first revision in 1614 and believe it or not has been revised dozens of times in its printing history most often by the printers themselves as things like spelling punctuation and grammar changed and became standardized I still remember how one of the first things I encountered on the Internet away back there in 1994 was a Usenet argument about using the King James as the only acceptable translation of the Bible and someone actually came right out to say If you don t read from the King James Version only you re not a Christian So aside from the question of which printing edition of the KJV is preferred there are those who have taken all possible revelation about God and have jammed it down into this one box To them this is the genie s bottle this is where God is and from whence God speaks and literally to hell with you if you say otherwise It s no wonder that American writers and philosophers like Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson became Deists they said We fully believe in God

    Original URL path: http://www.knoxgeorgetown.ca/dev/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=689:containment-breach-february-15-2015&catid=40:sermons&Itemid=80 (2016-02-13)
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  • To See And Be Seen - Jan 19
    him sees Simon more deeply than Simon sees himself Simon Peter of course would indeed become the Rock upon which that which became known as the Church would be built not bad for a lowly fisherman whose aspirations in life probably began and ended with the daily catch upon the Sea of Galilee Peter would become an extraordinarily prominent figure in the early Church left by Jesus to carry on with the legacy and the teachings of the three years of Jesus earthly ministry Along the way he would find himself running up against the criticisms of many such as the Jews who just wanted the Christians to go away and the Christians who felt that you had to be a Jew first before you could even think about being a Christian He squabbled at least once with Paul who saw the Christian message as a gift to the whole world and thus had to push beyond his own mind s limitations regarding who could and couldn t be a follower of Christ Tradition says that he was executed on the orders of Nero and that he was to be crucified as Christ was crucified however he asked to be crucified upside down feeling himself unworthy to share in the exact same fate as his master But Peter had had troubles all along hadn t he He knew that he was a sinful man and unworthy to be in the presence of God s anointed and yet Jesus lifted him up and said to him Follow me and you ll fish for people He jumped out of the boat as an expression of faith which worked wonderfully right up to the point where he saw the wind and the waves and his mind said Hey wait a minute what are you doing His mouth got them best of him up on the mountain and he wanted to somehow preserve the moment of Jesus transfiguration and then again down in the valley when Jesus started to talk about dying about being killed and Peter tried to say Ain t gonna let that happen Even if everyone else runs away from you I will follow you to the end he said and then as soon as someone recognized him and said You were with Him Peter was saying I didn t even know Him There s a word for people who say one thing and then are seen doing another and that word is hypocrite At first the word wasn t such a bad thing as it referred to ancient Greek actors who would take on a role to present to an audience Each character had a mask that was put over the face and if a certain actor had several roles they would shift between these masks to emphasize that they were now this person now that person now that other one and so on and so forth From the 4 th century BC however there is recorded for posterity a screed against a certain man whose early life had revolved around acting and as he sought to enter the world of politics one of his rivals blared that this man was used to wearing whatever face was necessary to please a crowd how therefore could he be trusted to actually be acting in the best interests of his constituents Following this time being a hypocrite was pretty much defined as putting on a false face to mask the real one as being something underneath that didn t match what showed out to the rest of the world Interestingly as much as we may disparage such things many of us live this way day in and day out we have a public face or appearance that doesn t quite match up with what s inside with what s really down in our hearts I ll give you a very personal example many years ago in my first or second year of undergraduate studies a friend of mine accused me outright one day of being a fake essentially a hypocrite I tried to protest and argue with her but I knew the moment she said it that she was right She gave me some examples in that she said that I was capable of being a nerd with the other nerds could talk music with the musicians history with the historians or I could be a foul mouthed slob if that was who happened to be in the Student Centre on a particular day It was the survival mechanism I had developed over the years to deal with the fact that I didn t really fit into many of the groups that had been in high school and now on campus in university She said she had gotten tired of having to guess who was going to show up every day and if we were going to be friends I was going to have to pick a face and stick with it As I remember it she said I think that somewhere in there a new good friend of mine exists but until you start taking off these masks you ve created for yourself I ll never find that friend Somehow I managed to do that and we remained friends throughout the four years we were at university together and still talk occasionally even today God of course sees right down to the heart of us He s not fooled or put off by what s on the outside He sees right down to our core right down to the centre of who and what we are and what He sees is a child of His worthy of love worthy of grace worthy of forgiveness and yet free to make the choice of being His or not His What He yearns for in the context of today s message is for the inside and the outside to match for people to see grace for people to see compassion for people to see

    Original URL path: http://www.knoxgeorgetown.ca/dev/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=577:to-see-and-be-seen&catid=40:sermons&Itemid=80 (2016-02-13)
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  • Sermons
    Sermons Loading feeds Created by SopanTech Solutions Sermons Called to Covenant I February 22 2015 Written by Steve Boose Friday 06 March 2015 11 22 Called To Covenant I A Promise To All People February 22 2015 Original version preached March 1 2009 Psalm 25 1 10 Genesis 9 8 17 1 Peter 3 18 22 Mark 1 9 15 Over the course of the season of Lent my messages are going to be worked in through and around this word Covenant Last Updated on Friday 06 March 2015 11 22 Read more Containment Breach February 15 2015 Written by Steve Boose Tuesday 17 February 2015 13 38 Containment Breach February 15 2015 Transfiguration Sunday In the Star Trek universe one of the scariest phrases a character can be heard to utter are these two words Containment Breach Last Updated on Tuesday 17 February 2015 13 38 Read more To See And Be Seen Jan 19 Written by Steve Boose Monday 27 January 2014 15 59 To See And Be Seen January 19 2014 From Isaiah this morning we have another passage about the servant that God is crafting and preparing to go and be a light to His people

    Original URL path: http://www.knoxgeorgetown.ca/dev/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=40&Itemid=80&limitstart=5 (2016-02-13)
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