Sermon: The Secret of Having Joy (Advent 3)

December 13, 2020

Text Box: Updated: January 13, 2021

In-person Sunday serviceS ARE CANCELLED UNTIL THE END OF THE CURRENT LOCKDOWN.

Chimes of Thanks:
The chimes ring every evening at 7:00 pm in recognition of all of the people who are working to keep us safe.

Sunday
O God Our Help in Ages Past
Monday
Jesus Loves Even Me
Tuesday
Song Without Words (Mendelssohn) 
Wednesday
In the Garden
Thursday 
Beautiful Isle of Somewhere
Friday 
He Lives
Saturday
Living For Jesus

O Canada plays at noon every Sunday to show gratitude to frontline workers. #CanadaTogether


Scripture to consider:
Psalm 27:1 
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Isaiah 40:29 
He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Matthew 11:28 
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Isaiah 12:2 
Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.
2 Timothy 1:7 
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Joshua 1:9 
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Deuteronomy 20:4 
For the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.
Exodus 15:2 
The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my fathers God, and I will exalt him.
Isaiah 40:31 
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Deuteronomy 31:6 
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.
Isaiah 41:10 
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Philippians 4:13 
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Text Box: Announcements
Text Box: Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church
Text Box: 715 Mount Pleasant Road
Mount Pleasant, Ontario

Minister: Rev. Dean Adlam   

Music Director: Amy Groleau

A Mid-Week Message from Rev. Dean

January 13th - Stay Safe

 

Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise like a person who builds a house on solid rock.

(Matthew 7:24)

 

As I was coming out of the grocery store on Monday night the teenage employee who was at the door monitoring people entering and exiting said to me STAY SAFE. It is not the first time I have had somebody say this to me during the pandemic. Prior to Covid-19 we would maybe expect to hear the words STAY SAFE in situations like:

- A parent saying these words to their children before they go off to the park to play or ride their bike around the neighbourhood,

- A coach telling his/her players to keep safe as they practice or play,

- A parent telling their teenager to stay safe when they go out with friends at night,

- Or saying these words to an employee before doing a task that involves some risk or danger.

 

We consistently hear this message to stay safe through this pandemic:

- STAY SAFE by practicing proper hand washing,

- STAY SAFE by wearing a mask,

- STAY SAFE by social distancing from others,

- STAY SAFE by staying within your social bubble,

- STAY SAFE by limiting your outings to essential trips.

 

I myself conclude each of my mid-week messages to you with the words, GOD BLESS AND KEEP SAFE. Yes, the message of STAY SAFE is a frequent one these past 9-10 months.

 

It is not a new message. We see this message come up often in The Bible. Read more

 

A Mid-Week Message from Rev. Dean

January 6th - Was It the Worst Year Ever?

 

They cried out for help and their cry rose up to God. God heard their grieving, and He remembered His covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act.

(Exodus 2: 23-24)

 

Some people are calling 2020 the worst year ever. It certainly had its share of events that one could use to make this argument:

- The coronavirus pandemic swept the globe killing more than 1.7 million people worldwide to date,

- Protests stemmed from several police killings of unarmed black Americans,

- Wildfires devastated the US West Coast and Australia,

- Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter died in a helicopter crash,

- Jeopardy host Alex Trebek passed away,

- Prince Harry and Meghan broke up with the Royal family,

- Murder hornets arrived.

 

As the year came to a close, these and so many other events had people declaring 2020 as the worst year ever. Even Time magazine ran a cover page in December with a big red X drawn over the number 2020 with the line underneath saying, THE WORST YEAR EVER.

 

We might agree with this after what we have been through since March 2020. Historians, however, have a different answer as to which year was the worst ever. Twenty-eight historians from major universities were recently asked to choose the worst year in history. Their ranking of worst years was as follows:

- 1348: The height of the Black Death during which 200-million people died,

- 1944: The Holocaust during WWII,

- 1816: The year when a volcanic eruption in Indonesia blocked out the sun causing millions to starve. Read more

A Mid-Week Message from Rev. Dean

December 30th - Incentive as We Approach the New Year

 

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth has disappeared. (Rev. 21:1)

 

My family started off the new year of 2020 at a Toronto Raptors 905 game in Mississauga. Coral and her basketball team were invited to play for 5 minutes on the court during half time. Prior to going on the court, the girls were given a chance to have their picture taken with one of the Raptors championship rings. As they were about to go on the court, they got to high-five some of the players as they were coming off it. Then it was their time to take center court and not only be cheered on by family members but close to 5,000 fans in attendance. It was an incredible experience for these girls and once it was over, they had their picture taken with the Raptors mascot at half court. What a way to start off 2020.

 

These girls were also looking forward to so many other exciting things in 2020 such as:

- Four more months of games as a team ending with the Ontario Basketball Championship weekend in April,

- Year-end class trips that are full of lasting memories,

- Purchasing dresses for their Grade 8 graduation ceremonies,

- Celebrating their achievements at graduations,

- Conversations about becoming high school students in the fall and playing on their school basketball teams.

 

The team got to play some games in January and February during the time when our world was just beginning to hear about a virus. I remember being at a basketball practice the night when we heard the first case of COVID-19 was now in Canada. Read more

A Mid-Week Message from Rev. Dean

December 23rd - Look Up

 

On Monday, Premier Doug Ford announced that we would be heading into lockdown for 28 days beginning on Boxing Day. We were warned about this possibility last weekend, but it was still hard to hear. The first lockdown was difficult in so many ways, but we endured and enjoyed the loosening of restrictions over the summer and fall. We hoped we would never have to endure another lockdown but here we are again. At least we have experience on our side this time and know what to expect. It does not make the current reality any easier though:

- Wondering if certain stores or businesses will survive this second lockdown?

- Wondering if the lockdown will be more like two or three months as opposed to 28 days?

- Wondering whether this new strain that has been occurring in parts of Britain is already here?

- Wondering if our hospitals will be overwhelmed or not?

- Wondering how we and others will cope through this financially, emotionally, and spiritually?

This pandemic has been a reminder to us that life here on Earth is not always Heaven but Hell at times. I was reminded of this earlier today eating breakfast as I was watching a portion of the Dolly Parton Christmas movie The Coat of Many Colours. Read more

A Mid-Week Message from Rev. Dean

December 16th - Career vs. Calling

 

Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour! For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed.

(Luke 1: 46-48)

 

On Sunday night I overheard two parents talking as I was watching Coral at basketball practice. The one parent asked the other when he would get off work for the Christmas break. The parent responded he had to work until December 23rd and then did not have to return until January 4, 2021. It sounded like a pretty good time off to me, but the other parent said, that is awful that you have to work up until December 23rd.

 

When she said this, I began wondering what she would think if she heard my answer to her question:

I will be working on December 24th

I am on call for emergencies on December 25th

I will be working on December 26th filming our online service

I will be working on December 27th

I will be working the week between Christmas and New Years

I will be working January 2, 3, & 4th

 

After hearing this, if she asked what I did for a living, she would discover that there is a difference between having a career and having a calling. The other parent has a career, while I have a calling. I do not begrudge at all the time commitment or sacrifices that come with a calling and neither did Mary. Read more

A Mid-Week Message from Rev. Dean

December 9th - Two Shadows

 

How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings. (Psalm 36:7)

 

I saw a unique experience one night recently as I was walking our dog Daisy. The moon was exceptionally bright that night as I walked with my back to it. I noticed it was casting not just one, but two of my shadows. I cannot recall another time when the light from either the moon or the sun cast two shadows. Maybe it has happened to me before and I did not notice it. I definitely noticed my two shadows that night. The first moment I spotted them there was a smaller shadow just ahead of me followed by a much larger shadow directly ahead of it.

 

When I saw this, it reminded me of our life following Jesus. There Jesus is walking ahead of us and we are following Him in His shadow. After staring at this image for a few moments I turned the corner with Daisy and the two shadows changed in their appearance. The much larger shadow was still directly ahead of me, but the smaller shadow was now beside me no longer walking within the longer shadow. This change in location of the smaller shadow got me thinking how sometimes we choose not to follow Jesus and walk outside the shadow of His presence instead. By the time I turned the final corner and headed home, gone were the two shadows which were now replaced with just one.

 

As I said, if the moon and sun had ever cast two of my shadows before I never realized it. This moon-filled night reminded me of the two choices we can make in life: 1) To walk in the presence of the shadow of Jesus and follow Him, or 2) to walk outside of the presence of His shadow. Read more

A Mid-Week Message from Rev. Dean

December 2nd - A Season of No

 

She wrapped Him snugly in strips of cloth and laid Him in a manger because there was no lodging available for them (Luke 2:7).

 

My mother called me on Monday afternoon to tell me her furnace was not working, and she had no heat. I got to her house at 4:00 p.m. and tried to get the furnace working but to no avail. I called a local heating company before 4:30 p.m. to see if they could get there that afternoon or evening. I called their office and then called their emergency messaging service. Both times I got no answer. I left my phone number hoping they would call back after supper, but I received no phone call.

 

It was not until the next morning when I finally received a phone call that they would send a technician over. Tuesday morning at 10:00 a.m. the service technician gave us the news that the furnace was beyond repair and as a result a new one would need to be installed. There she was with one more day of no heat until they could install the new furnace on Wednesday.

 

These past three days have been a time of NO for my mom when it comes to heat. Her situation served as a reminder to me how this second wave of COVID-19 has brought upon us a whole lot of NO! Read more

More: Mid-Week Messages

More: Musical Moments by Amy

Text Box: Our Refuge and 
Our Strength!


Text Box: Sunday Service: January 10, 2021




Sermon: It Is Unfair

Minister: Rev. Dean Adlam   
Music Director: Amy Groleau
Special Music: Tim Myerscough


Click the photo to watch the service.

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