seeing jesus – a beautiful collusion (2/5)

Weddings are very often a feast for the senses.

Our ears are filled with so many sounds. Guests raise a cacophony of conversation over dinner tables. There is always music – whether a mariachi band or electronic dance music or the latest pop hits. Into the night, there are shouts and animated conversation – and then very late the sounds of dishes piled, tables pushed aside.

Weddings are very often a feast for the senses.

Not only sounds, but our sense of smell is engaged. The fragrance of flowers. The tantalizing smells of dinner wafting from the kitchen – crab soup at a typical Vietnamese wedding – the smell of sautéed mushrooms and gravy at your typical Canadian wedding – the savour of herbed gnocchi at a typical Italian wedding. The aroma of a full-bodied red wine.

Weddings are very often a feast for the senses.

Not to mention our eyes. There are beautiful dresses. Have you seen the glorious prints on the women at a Cameroonian wedding? And then there are beautiful flowers adoring hats and lapels and tables and even desserts. There are women and men looking their best – beards trimmed – hair up – earrings dangling – shirts pressed – shoes shined. Continue reading

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politics, cynicism, faith

Well here we go again – yet another federal election campaign. The evening newscasts will be filled to the brim with stump speeches and political panelists. The papers will give us all the latest polling data – who’s leading, who’s picking up steam, who’s falling into the basement of political opinion. The local candidates will be knocking on our doors. The political leaders will be making a swing through our city. Promises will be made. Opponents will be attacked.

From the sermon title for today, you’ll see where I want to start this morning – with the question of cynicism and politics. In a way, we all become cynics in the middle of an election campaign. A cynic, of course, is someone who is convinced that no matter what people say, no matter what people do, they are really only interested in themselves. The cynic says: People may look like they care, but if you dig a little deeper you’ll quickly discover that they’re only thinking about themselves. Continue reading

a woman’s story

A sermon interlude in a series on the book of Ruth.

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This morning’s sermon represents something of an interlude in our series on the book of Ruth. It’s not that we are turning away from that story today, but we take a step back in order to take a slightly different perspective on this wonderful narrative. 

As we take that step back, I want to remind us, or point out, that telling stories is a part of human nature. Even more, our story-telling ability in some sense makes a human, a human. This ability defines us. As human beings we tell stories that reach back into the past, stories that speak about our present experiences, and stories that reach into the future we imagine. The fact that story-telling defines us is particularly shown when we point out that if you really want to know someone – if you really want to know who she is – facts aren’t enough. Continue reading