December 13th, Advent

Happy Joy Day!

The third Sunday of Advent is when we light the pink candle and celebrate the joy that Mary felt on hearing about the gift she would be bringing to the world.
“My soul magnifies the Lord”, she sang.

What song does our heart sing? Today? This month?

Today I remember my Dad – this would have been his birthday. He brought me so much joy – including the gift and love of music.   He began life with many difficulties, some of which needed surgeries at a very young age.  Think back to 1934 and what the practice of medicine looked like then.

Move forward to the medical advances today.  I am thankful for those who are healing, and lift up those who await treatments.  Is this part of JOY? 

Today I search for all the things that bring me joy. 

What about you?

December 11, 2020, Advent

It’s Friday – an evening reflection

Do you remember wishing on Monday that Friday would come?  Then Friday comes and you are excited for the weekend? Guess the feelings are a little different now.  The days flow into weeks and I keep asking myself, “What day is it today?”

As I/we prepare for Christmas and continue packing our bags for the journey to the cradle let’s remember that as much as the destination is important so too is the time spent getting there. Add to those feelings about watching, waiting, and travelling.  Know that regardless of space and time, COVID or turmoil, we are not alone. 

God is always with us.  We give thanks to God – at all times.

You will never walk alone.

December 10, 2020 Advent

We continue with mystery today – the mystery of love.

Do you have a favourite love song?  You know the kind, that brings back those warm fuzzy memories and thoughts of love?

One of my favourite hymns about love is “Love divine, all loves excelling. Joy of heaven to earth come down.”

We don’t often think of this hymn as a Christmas song but the first line says it all -“joy of heaven to earth come down.”

Does your favourite Christmas carol speak about love OR does it emote those feelings of love? I’d love to hear what favourites come to mind.

Blessings of love,

Pastor Barbara

December 9, 2020 Advent

Colossians 2:2-3
New Revised Standard Version
2 I (Paul) want their hearts to be encouraged and united in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding and have the knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ himself, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Holy mystery.  Hidden treasures and knowledge.How often do we ponder the holy mystery that is Jesus?  

I think the greatest mystery is in the unconditional love given to each of us through the person, Jesus of Nazareth.  Do we include thoughts and prayers of love during our Advent practices?

Christmas is all about love.  What better way to celebrate this love than to share this love in and during our preparations.

There’s no mystery in the fact that December 25th comes every year or that carols are heard and sung throughout the month. Presents are purchased and wrapped, trees and homes are decorated, and baking smells so sweet and wonderful.  The mystery, the Holiness is how we approach the manager; the life of Jesus.
Join me in celebrating this Holy mystery.
Pastor Barbara

December 8, 2020

Through the storm.

As we search for peace do we remember that God is with us through the storm, through the turmoil?

Finding peace while we battle the voices inside us that say we are not good enough, strong enough, bold or brave enough, is not an easy task.

Perhaps that is one reason we have an Advent time. We can hold on to the quiet, peaceful moments of Advent.  This year we are faced with a storm but also faced with crucial decisions that help us through to the next stages of our lives.

We can choose to avoid Advent activities but Advent is with us in this time before the stable and the manger. 

Advent – advancing, moving forward.
Take the next steps you need. God is with you.

Pastor Barbara

December 7, 2020

Advent Reflection

Another week has begun.  Another round of news releases about COVID, lock-downs, and the vaccine.

How do we keep peace in our hearts, our lives, when the outside world is no longer what we expect it to be or wish it was?

This is the time we dig deep – deep into our hearts and our faith.

From Psalm 31

…but I trust in you O Lord;I say, “You are my God”My times are in your hand;  ….Let your face shine upon your servant;   save me in your steadfast love.

We rest safe in the arms of the Divine knowing that peace comes when we rest.
May you find peace this day and always,

Pastor Barbara


Today is about listening while we wait.
Psalm 62 (assorted verses)

For God alone my soul waits in silence;
    from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall never be shaken.  For God alone my soul waits in silence;
    from him comes my salvation.

For God alone my soul waits in silence,
    for my hope is from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my deliverance and my honor;
    my mighty rock, my refuge is in God. 

Beginning the day in silence and in the WORD we begin the day in the same way we end the day.  In our silence we listen, we pray, we connect with the divine.
This silence is made more difficult with the onset of early morning news and the evening news we close the day with.  Whether we watch or read, do these times  help us draw closer to God?  Are these times so unimportant that we feel it necessary to know more about the world than about listening to the voice of the Spirit?

I cannot answer those questions for you but only for myself.  When in doubt, pray.  When there is too much noise in your life, pray, be still, be silent.
Advent is a time through the darkness to be silent and listen.

What draws your attention today?

Pastor Barbara 

December 5, 2020

Advent Day 5

That soft still voice that says:

“For unto us a child is born         unto us a son is given”
“He will establish and uphold it (his kingdom) with justice and with righteousness.”  Isaiah 9: 6-7 (paraphrased)

I’ve been hearing a lot these days of justice – social, food, personal space, and on it goes.  As I’ve heard these things -people say there’s not enough. I wonder how can I, through this noise, hear the voice of God, the voice of the Son, and even the voice of the Spirit?

Be still we’re told.  Will we find peace if we are still?  OR does the work of justice call us to more?

What do you think?  Righteousness and justice are big words that we can put into practice in our own lives.
May we hear the voice of Spirit – today and always.

Pastor Barbara

“And suddenly”

“And suddenly”  That phrase is a familiar one taken from the natal story in Luke’s gospel.  

And suddenly – there were angles
And suddenly (I was a bit out of breath)

What?  No power?  Hydro One has been working to keep the lights on.What? No phone service?What? No traditional Christmas dinner or gatherings?What? We’re out of t-paper once again?
And suddenly…

We wait.  It’s a hurry up and wait thing we do every year.
And suddenly
We find ourselves hoping while we wait.
And suddenly 

We find Christ – no longer in the manager but in our hearts.
Keep waiting and hoping.  Your “suddenly” will come.


Advent Day 3

There are blessings still to come.

Luke 6:20-2120 Then he looked up at his disciples and said:

“Blessed are you who are poor,
    for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 “Blessed are you who are hungry now,
    for you will be filled.
“Blessed are you who weep now,
    for you will laugh.

“For you will laugh.” Really?  There will be laughter?

Do you have a sense that something really great is going to come?  Even with the many restrictions that surround us right now we can still laugh and get excited.  Yes, Christmas will be different, perhaps even difficult.  But, Christ is still with us. There is snow on the ground but the hope of spring is still with us.  Are you looking at the seed catalogues or pictures of warm beaches? 

We wait and in waiting we can learn to laugh, to dance, to sing (at least on our own), to pray, and live through the gift of Christ in our lives.

Blessed – is the one who wears the mask and loves their neighbour (hood).

Blessed – is the one who Hopes in Christ.

What are your blessings today?  Let’s share our blessings.

In the peace of Christ,