Welcome to your online worship from St. Mark’s for Sunday July 2, 2023.
I hope you and your family are celebrating a safe and health Canada Day Weekend.
I do celebrate the blessings of living here in Canada, but I have had a growing sense of concern for our nation struggle to address the rising tensions among its people. Our brokenness and the cracks in our systems that were exposed by the pandemic have been subjects of a number of my sermons (including todays…) and also in my recent message in our parish newsletter and posted here online.
But, I have plenty of hope for us as a Christian community because we have an example in Christ, who by example and teaching, has compassion for others and care for others wellbeing. I do have for us, as Canadians, a small but growing concern that compassion and care for others wellbeing is being overtaken by those spreading an anger and fear that is polarizing us, insisting that we take sides that make no room for others.
As I say in my message in the newsletter and posted on our website, “I must confess that I do celebrate Canada a little less than I once did.”
With hopefulness and trust in God at work in and through us, I do wish you a Happy Canada Day!
Today’s Opening Sentence
“You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” – 1 Peter 2.9
Today’s Reading – Matthew 10:40–42
“Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”1
Your Online Message and Prayers
Click on the above image to view our online worship on YouTube.
Reflection questions for the week:
- I invite you to reflect on your own experiences of welcome and welcoming. What is the most welcome you have been made to feel by someone who you didn’t know?
- On the other side of the equation, how do you welcome a stranger? What criteria do you use in your own decision process when deciding how open and trusting you will be to welcome another person into your home or into your hospitality?
- After the last few years of experiencing social distancing, our offer of hospitality to others has required some extra thought and given us pause. How has your thinking about the hospitality you offer others been impacted?
- The amplified tensions between people and groups and the increasing polarization of opinions that have grown around contentious social issues like vaccination, climate change, and systemic racism, it is hard not to be a bit more guarded about how interact with strangers. How can you be strengthened to remain open to trust others and extend welcome to a stranger?
This week music is provided by Ryan Van Dijk, our Music Director, and the choir. Thank you to them all for their ministry of music!
A continued reminder that if you are at all uncomfortable being in-person for worship, or if you are not feeling well, please join us here online.
Thank you again for joining with your parish family in our online worship today.
Find out how you can support our ministry and good work in the community here.
God Bless you and have a blessed week. Be well!
The Rev’d Canon Rob Park
- Scripture quotation is from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.