In a sermon reflecting on the Biblical story of Esther, Laurence brings Queen Esther into our context, for such a time as this.
Rev. Jim Czegledi starts his summer sermon series on grief with "The Christian Response to Grieving"
Sunday's message continues a series, “A Love Letter in a Dangerous Time”. The letter is the First Epistle of John. Text is 1 John 4:1-6. We also read John 14:15-17. Laurence talks about the Toronto Pride Parade on June 24 and a picture taken at the end of the parade. See below. He begins the sermon quoting Tupac Shakur.
Sermon for Confirmation/Affirmation of Faith and the Ordination and Induction of Ruling Elders.
"All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability." (Acts 2:4) On the Day of Pentecost we heard the Scriptures read in six languages-- Arabic, French, Gaelic, German, Welsh, and English. You can hear the reading of Acts 2:1-21 and Philippians 4:4-7 below. There's a sermon there, too.
In a sermon on Philippians 2:1-13 Laurence reflects on the Apostle Paul’s call to Christians to be like-minded and “have the same mind that was in Christ Jesus.” Does this mean our minds must be set like concrete? Paul says the mind of Christ is also the nature of God, revealed to us in humility. In fact, we worship, serve, and depend on a God who refuses to act like a god!
The Apostle Paul is in prison in Rome. He believes he's there for the "defense and confirmation" of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He hopes that means he will be able to preach to Nero and then be free to complete his mission by going as far west as the Empire goes (Spain). He also knows it's likely he will remain in jail until Nero decides he should be executed. So it could be that his suffering, endurance, and death will be his witness of faith. He uses his time well, composing letters to congregations he has visited. Through these letters he shares, with great passion what he believes is essential for the present and future of Christ's disciples. We read the first words of his letter to the Philippians, Philippians 1:1-18.
In a sermon on Paul's encounter with the lovers of words in Athens (Acts 17:16-31) Laurence reflects on the horrific events of Monday, April 23 when a man driving a van killed ten people and injured 16 others in Willowdale, a peaceful, multicultural neighbourhood in the north of Toronto. Laurence focuses on a definition of terrorism that includes the terrorism of words and images, and the power of words and images to influence vulnerable people to do terrible things. What does this have to do with Paul in Athens? Listen and find out.