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April 19, 2020 | Comfort Ye my People - 1 (download) / PDF

Our new series: "Comfort Ye, My People!: How God leads His people through strange times" What if things were to change "a lot" after the pandemic? What if "the way we were" can never come back, and the "new normal" is scarily unfamiliar? God led His people through strange times before, and He will do it again. Let's get ahead of the curve and follow Him now.


May 3, 2020 | Comfort Ye My People - 2 (download) / PDF

We're praying in faith for our new Passover, eating light, and you're telling us to plant gardens? have children & grandchildren? Pray for the peace of Babylon, and not Jerusalem?! Between "the way we were" and "the New Normal" lies "the strange times," when God shows us new things that we didn't already know, and when He shapes and forms us in ways we didn't expect. This Sunday in "Comfort Ye, My People" we explore how God helps us get free from our grieving the irretrievable past, getting grounded in the present, and leaning into His new thing for the future. It's strange, but very exciting.


May 10, 2020 | Comfort Ye My People - 3 (download) / PDF

In our early-pandemic series "Comfort Ye, My People," God leads His hopeless people through "strange times" to "a new normal" that no one could have predicted - one that we experience this very day. Beautiful images of God's personal care for us are made even stronger a little closer to their original background. If it's true that very many things in our world are about to change, then this is the time to strengthen our connection to God; in the past He has been faithful to His people through times like these, so He will be faithful to us, too.


May 17, 2020 | Comfort Ye My People - 4 (download) / PDF

The "new thing" God is doing in Isaiah is His new way of keeping His ancient promise to bless all nations: He makes His people His "chosen servant," empowered by the Spirit. Verses later used to talk about Jesus were first given as a commission to His people in their strange times, a new task and purpose that gives meaning and focus to our lives during our strange times now. It's not "revolt" to go back to the way we were, and it's not "giving up" and going along with the way things are now. It's the Third Way, the Way of the Servant that challenges our imagination and leads to new blessings for everyone.


May 24, 2020 | Comfort Ye My People - 5 (download) / PDF

Like the moonscape barrenness of the land exposed to sun, air, water, seed for the first time in tens of thousands of years, as the Athabasca Glacier recedes - that's what God's exiled Servant people encountered as they lived among the peoples of Babylon. They were exhausted in the hollowness and culture shock of being a tiny, ignored minority swallowed in the mightiest superpower of the time. God "comforts" His Servant people by addressing their sense of meaninglessness and hopelessness with wonderful compassionate love, hope, a future, and most importantly, "meaning" for their everyday lives: to embody His love. We're here today because 2550 years ago some of God's Servant people were faithful to this call. God's promises came true far beyond anyone's wildest hopes!


May 31, 2020 | Comfort Ye My People - 6 (download) / PDF

It's Pentecost, the day God gives Jesus' Holy Spirit to us and commissions His Servant people! The Servant's story is our story. The later chapters of Isaiah address God's frustrated Servant people in the "strange times": we can't turn the clock back to "the way we were," but we can't see our way forward into "the new normal," either. Driven by their own pain, desperately trying to get God's attention, they couldn't see what was keeping Him away. Isaiah 57 - 59 is "heart surgery," pointing us to God's high priority that we do justice for other people in their pain - especially the hungry, thirsty, the immigrants, the disadvantaged. When we give ourselves to healing and comforting others, we attract God's healing and comfort for ourselves.


June 7, 2020 | Comfort Ye My People - 7 (download) / PDF

"God's Servant people" - we aren't used to talking about our church communities that way! Isaiah's visions and words formed much of the ancient Christians' sense of who Christ is and who we are and what we're here for. The Servant comes to bring God's "justice" to the nations! The Servant "takes a knee" with the oppressed - especially the ones in front of us every day - but with open hands in the air pleading to God, not a closed fist to the neighbour. The Servant doesn't get to avoid being oppressed! The Servant shares the experience of enduring injustice and being delivered by God's strong faithful hand, and so the Servant has words from God that bring "justice" to people who don't know. So because "the sovereign LORD" is with us, we can serve and endure. That's how Jesus did it.


June 14, 2020 | Comfort Ye My People - 8 (download) / PDF

Today in Isaiah 53 we explored "Jesus, the Servant of the LORD," and among other things we noted that in all human history, no one had a more devastating experience of injustice at the hands of human tyranny than He did. His trust in Yahweh was utterly vindicated, as He defeated not only sin's "legal" guilt but also its "vandalism" on the creation and on humanity, the forces of confusion, sickness, darkness, death. Jesus Christ has ultimate moral authority, and He is the hope of all oppressed people - and deluded oppressors - everywhere. If God can turn our unjust murder of His Son into His answer to make the world right, God can overcome all other injustice that we can do, and heal us of the injustice that this world does to us.


June 28, 2020 | Comfort Ye My People - 10 (download) / PDF

"Waking Up in Babylon!" God's Servant people were called to "seek the peace and prosperity of Babylon" - but they were also called to "Get out of Babylon, run for your lives from it!" in words like the angels' warning to Lot at Sodom's demise. We get out of Babylon by getting "Babylon" out of us, by putting our hope not in what our hands have made, but in the One who made us. Every one of our "Babylons," wherever they are, will fall. God's new creation lasts forever. We take our place as His Servant people, as "seeds" of His justice for the nations, when we "remember" and live faithfully with Him. We don't normally think of the Exiles that didn't return to Jerusalem - but we should!


July 5, 2020 | Comfort Ye My People - 11 (download) / PDF

Today we continue "Waking Up in Babylon," as part of our "Comfort Ye" series. God gives His Servant people great reassurance and comfort - to prepare them to face opposition in a society that understands neither God nor them - and paradoxically, to open blind eyes, set captives free. This combination appears throughout Scripture, wherever God's people live for the peace of Babylon, but will not give their hearts to it. The strange times, "in between," are a good time to choose wholehearted obedience to the LORD.

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