How can we give and experience love as a gift from God during this unique Advent season?
Jeff is the Lead Pastor at The Gathering Ottawa and preaches most Sunday mornings.
How can we experience hope as a gift from God during this unique Advent season?
Is it possible in the aftermath of #MeToo and #ChurchToo movements for men and women to actually find hope and healing and create a better world and a better church—together? What about when there is theological disagreement around the role of women in leadership? How can we walk in unity together - as men and women - in life and in the church?
To follow Jesus is to pursue peace. Peace in our world, peace in our relationships, and peace with ourselves. And without this peace, unity is not possible and we will always find ourselves in conflicts and divisions. So what does it look like to live as a peacemaker in this season? How can we, who are followers of Jesus, work to bring peace in to the different areas of brokenness and division in our life and world?
It’s been said that “gentleness” is not an optional extra but instead is “the true and distinguishing disposition of the hearts of Christians.” It is the one of the most Christ-like characteristics that we can embrace, as challenging as it may be. So how can we, as unity-builders who are committed to following Jesus, live in to gentleness in the midst of such a divided and polarized times? And what makes gentleness so important?
Sadly, the church in Canada does not have a good track record with First Nations people. Whether we’re talking about colonialism, the church’s role in residential schools, or just the on-going ostracization and polarization of indigenous people in Canada today - the church has often failed to love indigenous Canadians well. So what can we do about it? How can we, as followers of Jesus, become bridge-builders and embrace unity with our First Nations brothers and sisters? And how can the good news of Jesus guide and shape our efforts?
Let's be honest....right now, during these Covid-19 times, we can think of a *few* things that make it difficult to express gratitude and thanksgiving to God and others in our lives. We *want* to be grateful, we *want* to be thankful... but sometimes we fail…. How can we be thankful, especially right now?
One of the main reasons churches divide is because of people’s personal preferences; the style of music, the way the pastor preaches, the way our small group studies the Bible, the ways the church does or does not engage the community, the ways the church does or does not meet my families needs etc… But how should the good news of Jesus shape the way we approach these sorts of disagreements in the church?
Theology is critical to a life of faith as it helps us to understand who God is better and unite with other Christians in the faith. But sadly, theology can also be one of those things that divides Christians. But why? And what do we do when we disagree theologically with one another, even about really important matters? Does it always have to end in division? Jesus invites us into a better way.
Many Christians spend a lot of time worrying about who’s in and who’s out, but Jesus didn’t do that. Jesus didn’t play the “us verses them” game but instead created space for everybody. How can we, as followers of Jesus, become unity builders who also create space and refuse to exclude?