23 January Mark 3

welcome

Thank you for joining us on-line. Some of us at OCC are meeting in-person, some are meeting on-line.

  • God calls all of us into his presence;
  • calls us to be together with him and with one another;
  • calls us to wait with and for him;
  • calls us to serve & bless others – those who are part of God’s kingdom and those who have not yet responded to God’s grace.

OCC is meeting on-line – that’s right here;

  • we are also meeting Sunday morning in-person @ 10:ooam;
  • OCCKids: K to Grade 5, Grade 5-8;
  • Our nursery space is also available;
  • & then Sunday evening, 6:30-7:30pm we meet to pray.

If you are coming to worship with us in-person, we remind you of a few details:

  • You still need to register… the link is available each week on the home page or you call OCC (705.329.2139).
  • We need to maintain distancing in our building.
  • We need to wear a face-covering in our building.
  • At this point, we cannot serve refreshments, but you are welcome to bring your own coffee/tea/water. For the comfort of others, please do not remove your face-covering until you are in your seat.

As you prepare to watch our service video, we encourage you to take a few moments…

  • get your coffee or tea, settle in, be still…
  • take 2 or 3 deep breaths… in and out… breathe,
  • invite the Lord to make himself present with you as you watch – he is with you – it’s just that often we are not aware that he is.

Here is the service for Sunday, 23 January 2022.

Sunday 6:30-7:30pm

Join us on-line 

 

 

 

 

Youth

Sunday Night @ 7:30pm @ OCC

Spiritual Practices

Don’t forget to download (and begin to read) the New Testament reading plan.

LIFEGroups

Online LIFEGroups are starting up again.

Wednesday @ 8:00pm
Thursday @ 7:00pm

into the text MARK 3

Here are some ways into the text for Sunday, 23 January 2022

TEXT

Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”

So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house. Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”

He said this because they were saying, “He has an impure spirit.”

Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”

“Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.

Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

Mark 3:20-35

THEOLOGY

There’s a lot to think about in this passage

  • demonology and spiritual power/authority
    • questions about the purpose of spiritual power
    • the abuse and misuse of spiritual power
  • unforgivable sin
    • what is it?
  • family – who is family in the kingdom of God
    • do we buy into a Western mindset around family more than the kingdom picture?
    • do we welcome those who are without family into our families

COMIC

 

 

 

 

POETRY

St. Teresa of Avila

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

 

16 January 2022 | Mark 2

welcome

Thank you for joining us on-line. Some of us at OCC are meeting in-person, some are meeting on-line.

  • God calls all of us into his presence;
  • calls us to be together with him and with one another;
  • calls us to wait with and for him;
  • calls us to serve & bless others – those who are part of God’s kingdom and those who have not yet responded to God’s grace.

OCC is meeting on-line – that’s right here;

  • we are also meeting Sunday morning in-person @ 10:ooam;
  • OCCKids: K to Grade 5, Grade 5-8;
  • Our nursery space is also available;
  • & then Sunday evening, 6:30-7:30pm we meet to pray.

If you are coming to worship with us in-person, we remind you of a few details:

  • You still need to register… the link is available each week on the home page or you call OCC (705.329.2139).
  • We need to maintain distancing in our building.
  • We need to wear a face-covering in our building.
  • At this point, we cannot serve refreshments, but you are welcome to bring your own coffee/tea/water. For the comfort of others, please do not remove your face-covering until you are in your seat.

As you prepare to watch our service video, we encourage you to take a few moments…

  • get your coffee or tea, settle in, be still…
  • take 2 or 3 deep breaths… in and out… breathe,
  • invite the Lord to make himself present with you as you watch – he is with you – it’s just that often we are not aware that he is.

Here is the service for Sunday, 16 January 2022.

Sunday 6:30-7:30pm

Join us on-line 

 

 

 

 

Spiritual Practices

Don’t forget to download (and begin to read) the New Testament reading plan.

LIFEGroups

Online LIFEGroups are starting up again.

Wednesday @ 8:00pm
Thursday @ 7:00pm

into the text MARK 2

Here are some ways into the text for 16 January 2020

TEXT

Mark 2:13-17 NIV

Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.

While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

THEOLOGY

There are a couple of things to think through here

  • calling
    who does the calling?
    who is called?
    where does the calling take place?
  • hospitality
    who hosts the party?
    who is invited to the party?
    who does Jesus identify with?

ART

The Calling of Matthew (Levi) attributed to Jan Sanders van Hemessen c.1524

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SONG


VIDEO

 

9 January 2021 | Mark 1

welcome

Thank you for joining us on-line. Some of us at OCC are meeting in-person, some are meeting on-line.

  • God calls all of us into his presence;
  • calls us to be together with him and with one another;
  • calls us to wait with and for him;
  • calls us to serve & bless others – those who are part of God’s kingdom and those who have not yet responded to God’s grace.

OCC is meeting on-line – that’s right here;

  • we are also meeting Sunday morning in-person @ 10:ooam;
  • OCCKids: K to Grade 5, Grade 5-8;
  • Our nursery space is also available;
  • & then Sunday evening, 6:30-7:30pm we meet to pray.

If you are coming to worship with us in-person, we remind you of a few details:

  • You still need to register… the link is available each week on the home page or you call OCC (705.329.2139).
  • We need to maintain distancing in our building.
  • We need to wear a face-covering in our building.
  • At this point, we cannot serve refreshments, but you are welcome to bring your own coffee/tea/water. For the comfort of others, please do not remove your face-covering until you are in your seat.

As you prepare to watch our service video, we encourage you to take a few moments…

  • get your coffee or tea, settle in, be still…
  • take 2 or 3 deep breaths… in and out… breathe,
  • invite the Lord to make himself present with you as you watch – he is with you – it’s just that often we are not aware that he is.
    teaching

Here is the service for Sunday, 9 January 2022.

Sunday 6:30-7:30pm

Join us on-line 

 

 

 

 

Spiritual Practices

Don’t forget to download (and begin to read) the New Testament reading plan.

LIFEGroups

Online LIFEGroups are starting up again.

Wednesday, 19 January, 8:00pm

Thursday, 13 January, 7:00pm

 

LIFEGroups

Life is hard at the best of times. It is extra hard under Covid-19 restrictions.

We need each other. We are not meant to live this life on our own.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his classic book on community, Life Together, points us away from human idealism and toward the divine reality of the community Jesus has actually made.

  • It’s not our place to make community.
  • It’s our place to see and recognize and live in and nurture the community that Jesus has made us to be.
  • And what that means is that we should stop being so high minded and idealistic (which really leads to disdain for the people we’re “stuck” with) and get on with loving the community God has made and put us in.

Under Covid-19 restrictions, we can’t meet in person, but we can meet online.

To help us get into the text and provide resources for our LIFEGroup discussions, let me encourage you to check out…

  • into the text” Each Friday, several ways of looking at the text – reading, music, spoken word, visual media will be posted under https://occweb.org/news-and-updates/
  • Sunday morning (8am on-line – 10am in-person) we meet to worship and look at the scriptures.
  • The sermon page will have all the links to the various resources and questions for LIFEGroup interaction: https://occweb.org/sermons/

Let us know that you are interested & we will send you the zoom link

  • Wednesday @ 8pm [beginning January 19]
  • Thursday @ 7pm [beginning January 13]
  • If these dates & times don’t work for you, let us know & we will help launch a new group

 

into the text MARK 1

Here are some ways into the text for Sunday, 9 January 2022

TEXT

We are in Mark 1 this week. We will not be looking at the whole chapter, but focusing on

  • vs 1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God,
  • vs 14-15 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

SONG

Listen to Malcolm Guite and Steve Bell’s Epiphany on the Jordan.

VIDEO

Galadriel, the elf-queen asks Frodo: Will you look into the mirror?

Frodo: What will I see?

Galadriel: Even the wisest cannot tell. For the mirror shows many things.
(She begins to pour the water into the silver basin)
Galadriel: Things that were, things that are and some things… (empties the ewer) that have not yet come to pass.

We know what has been and what is.
But, we only see through the eyes of hope what will be, and there is much uncertainty in that vision.

WORSHIP

As you watch and listen and sing this song, what does it mean to seek God’s kingdom right where you are?

In whatever sphere of society you’re in, God can work through you to bring his kingdom there – as in heaven.

Praying that God’s kingdom would come is a big prayer. But it’s grounded in earthly reality – praying for an earthly difference in the places, institutions, and people we engage with week by week. It’s a macro prayer with micro implications. A general prayer that comes true in specific places.

  • Where might your ‘here’ be?
    It will often be your ‘frontlines’ – the places you spend time regularly with those who don’t yet know Jesus.
  • If you were to look at those places through God’s eyes, where might you see the needs?
    We might see a greater need for justice – for God’s truth to break in. For healing, or right relationships. Or for grace and love to be demonstrated.

12th day of Christmas

E·PIPH·A·NY

  • Manifestation or appearance
  • A moment of sudden revelation or insight.
  • Epiphany is a season of revelation—the manifestation of God’s presence in earthly form—God showing up in ordinary and unexpected places to ordinary and unexpected people.

The story of Epiphany is the story of wise people, astrologers, magi, seeking after God by attending to his created order – looking to the stars to find the newborn King. It is the story of the first Gentiles who bow before Jesus as Lord. It is also the story of people terrorized and displaced by a hostile government who nonetheless, recognize and respond to God at work.

Epiphany is also the story of Light shining in the darkness and the God-given all-encompassing promise that, for this reason, darkness can never and will never overcome (John 1:5) – for the Light of the world is with us!

In all of this, Epiphany invites us to consider our own responses to Christ – the Messiah:

The magi journeyed from far away, leaving behind their whole lives in order to seek, find, and follow God. They were distant from Jesus in every way: culturally, ethnically, geographically, yet they desired to be with him, and they trusted Divine One’s leading. When their seeking, found, they worshipped and gave gifts of great worth – gold, frankincense, and myrrh – presents traditionally given to honour Kings. And when they encountered the unexpected – an evil monarch, a small child, a poor carpenter’s family, a young woman people probably still whispered about – these Seekers of Wisdom disrupted the powerful status quo by refusing to obey the orders of a ‘Chief Looks Brave.’ Then, they risked their own lives to provide time and space for Mary, Joseph, and Jesus to migrate to safety. They used their own resources to disrupt evil systems as best they could.

From the moment we are introduced to these Seekers of Wisdom, we see them constantly responding to God: following a star, offering gifts, discerning Herod’s lie and actively subverting this evil ruler’s will.

As we journey with the Seekers of Wisdom, we can’t help but wonder… How near or far are we from God—how are we seeking? How have we experienced God’s guidance firsthand? What might it mean for Jesus to be born into a world still corrupt, full of grief and pain? How might we be called to respond like the Seekers of Wisdom?

PONDER: MAGI FOLLOW AND WORSHIP THE STAR

It was during the days of the bad-hearted Chief Looks Brave (Herod) that the Chosen One was born in the village of House of Bread (Bethlehem) in the Land of Promise (Judea). After his birth, Seekers of Wisdom (Magi) travelling on a long journey from the East came to Village of Peace (Jerusalem).
They began to ask around, “where is the one who has been born to be chief of the tribes of Wrestles with Creator (Israel)? We saw his star where the sun rises and have come to humble ourselves before him and honor him.”
When Chief Looks Brave heard this, he and all who lived in the Village of Peace (Jerusalem) were troubled. He called a council for all the head holy men and scroll keepers and asked them where Chosen One was to be born.
“In House of Bread (Bethlehem) the village of the great chief Much Loved One (David),: they answered. “This is what the ancient prophet said: “But you, O House of Bread (Bethlehem), in the Land of Promise (Judea), even though you are small, you have a good reputation with the chiefs who watch over the land. From you will come a Great Chief who will guide my chosen people – the tribes of Wrestles with Creator (Israel).
Then Looks Brave (Herod) called a secret council with the Seekers of Wisdom (Magi) to find out when the star had first appeared. He then sent them to House of Bread (Bethlehem) and told them, “Look everywhere for the child. Find him and tell me where he is, so that I may also come and honor him.”
After listening to Looks Brave (Herod), the Seekers of Wisdom (Magi) went their way. When they saw the star rising in the East, they jumped with joy, and with glad hearts they followed until the star stopped and rested over the place where the child was. They went into the house and saw the child and his mother, Bitter Tears (Mary). As soon as they saw the child, they bowed down to honor him. Then they opened their bundles and gifted him with gold, sweet-smelling incense and bitter ointment of myrrh. Matthew 2:1-11 First Nations NT

  • What words or phrases stand out to you (what is the Spirit highlighting to you)? Why do you think this is?
  • Imagine being one of these Seekers of Wisdom…
    • What would you be thinking, feeling, wanting to do/not to do?
    • How have you experienced following the star and discovering Jesus, perhaps right in your own neighbourhood?
  • How does living in God’s Light affect you? (Consider its influence in these verses.)
  • What might God be saying to you? To your neighbours?
  • How might the Spirit be nudging you to respond?

You might want to journal your responses.

PRAYER PROMPTS

We Three Kings, Star of wonder… guide us to the perfect light.

The following is taken from “Three Shamen, The Elders, and Searching” in The Creator’s Gift collection from the Indigenous Christian Fellowship (Regina, Saskatchewan).

A Magi’s Prayer
O God, who am I now?
Once, I was secure
in familiar territory
in my sense of belonging
unquestioning of
the norms of my culture
the assumptions built into my language
the values shared by my society.
But now you have called me out and away from home
and I do not know where you are leading.
I am empty, unsure, uncomfortable.
I have only a beckoning star to follow.
Journeying God,
pitch your tent with mine
so that I may not become deterred
by hardship, strangeness, doubt.
Show me the movement I must make
toward a wealth not dependent on possessions
toward a wisdom not based on books
toward a strength not bolstered by might
toward a God not confined to heaven
but scandalously earthed, poor, unrecognized…
Help me find myself
as I walk in others’ shoes.

As part of your prayer practice today, look back over the last month:

  • What are you thankful for?
  • What’s stood out for you?
  • What have you learned?
  • How have you seen God at work?
  • What might God be saying to you? – your neighbours?
  • What’s next? How will you continue to ponder, pray and practice life on God’s mission with the Spirit in your neighbourhood?

PRACTICE: A HOME BLESSING

Epiphany invites us to share the blessing of the Magi’s visit to Jesus’ first home with blessings!

  • The blessing of homes around the time of this feast and the beginning of the New Year, expresses the blessing of Christ dwelling among us and with us—including in our homes!
  • Since our homes are places of rest, places of hospitality, places of refreshment and love; we pray for God’s blessing on our homes – and share that blessing with and for our neighbours, friends and family and their homes.
  • A traditional approach is… [You will need a candle and chalk.]
    Light the candle, pause for a moment of silent prayer…
    Pray using this as an example.

Creator of heaven and earth,
we praise You for You revealed Your only Son to the nations by the guidance of a star.
Continue to shine Your Guiding Light on those who seek You.
As the Magi blessed the home of the infant Jesus, bless this home, all who live in it and all who visit here.
May Your loving and gracious Presence be tangible in our hospitality, in our comings and goings, our conversations, our work and play, our joys and sorrows.
Fill us with Your light that we might share Your peace and love with our neighbours and all who enter.
Bless us, our neighbours and all whom we love, today and forevermore.
We ask this through Jesus, the Christ who dwells among us. Amen.

  • Using chalk on the lintel (frame) either above the door, or at the side of the door, outside or inside, (or on a piece of paper which you could post near or on your door) write:
    • ♰ 20 C M B 22 ♰
    • 20 and 22 being the year,
    • the ♰ (Cross) being a symbol of Christ,
    • C, M, B standing for Christus Mansionem Benedicat, the Latin words meaning, “May Christ bless this home
      and the initials of the traditional names of the wise men, Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar.

As we celebrate Epiphany (and every day!),
may our joy be a light for those around us –
for it was the light of a single star that led the Seekers of Wisdom to the Messiah,
Brightened the sky and changed the world.
And it was this Light that filled the magi—with hope and the courage to carry on,
though the way seemed dark.
And it is this Light that now fills us—
And declares that we too are the light of the world! (Matthew 5:14, Ephesians 5:8)
Hallelujah!

The Light of Jesus continues to shine, our Bright Morning Star (Revelaton 22:16) who will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5; Matthew  28:20)

… for God so loves the world (John 3:16)

and that is good news for all!
The Light shines in the darkness
The Light shall overcome
Fill all and be all
Come Lord Jesus.

 

11th day of Christmas

PONDER: THE BRIGHT MORNING STAR!

I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near—a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel… Numbers 24:17

We weren’t, you know, just wishing on a star when we laid the facts out before you regarding the powerful return of our Master, Jesus Christ. We were there for the preview! We saw it with our own eyes: Jesus resplendent with light from God the Father as the voice of Majestic Glory spoke: “This is my Son, marked by my love, focus of all my delight.” We were there on the holy mountain with him. We heard the voice out of heaven with our very own ears.
We couldn’t be more sure of what we saw and heard—God’s glory, God’s voice. The prophetic Word was confirmed to us. You’ll do well to keep focusing on it. It’s the one light you have in a dark time as you wait for daybreak and the rising of the Morning Star in your hearts.
2 Peter 1:16-19 MSG

“Here’s the reward I have for every conqueror, everyone who keeps at it, refusing to give up: You’ll rule the nations, your Shepherd-King rule as firm as an iron staff, their resistance fragile as clay pots. This was the gift my Father gave me; I pass it along to you—and with it, the Morning Star! Revelation 2:26-28 MSG

“I, Jesus, sent my Angel to testify to these things for the churches. I’m the Root and Branch of David, the Bright Morning Star.”
“Come!” say the Spirit and the Bride. Whoever hears, echo, “Come!”
Is anyone thirsty? Come! All who will, come and drink,
Drink freely of the Water of Life! Revelation 22:16-17 MSG

  • What words or phrases stand out to you (what is the Spirit highlighting to you)? Why do you think this is?
  • How does living in God’s Light affect you? (Consider its influence in these verses.)
  • What might God be saying to you? To your neighbours?
  • How might the Spirit be nudging you to respond?

You might want to journal your responses.

PRAYER PROMPTS

Let the Star of Morning Rise

Lord God
In the deepest night
There rises the star of morning,
Of birth,
The herald of a new day you are making,
A day of great joy dawning
In yet faint shafts
Of light and love.
I hear whispers of peace in the stillness,
Fresh breezes of promise
Stirring,
Winter sparrows
Chirping of life,
A baby’s cry
Of need,
And hope–
Christmas!
In the darkness I see the light
And find in it comfort,
Confidence,
Cause for celebration,
For the darkness cannot overcome it;
And I rejoice to nourish it
In myself
In other people,
In the world
For the sake of him
In whom it was born
And shines forever,
Even Jesus the Christ.
Ted Loder, Guerillas of Grace

PRACTICE: CREATION CARE

Reflect over the last month. How have you been doing at loving all that God has made?

Continue to demonstrate your respect and care for the natural world… recycle, compost, reuse/recreate, and strive to reduce your energy consumption, plastic use and carbon footprint.