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Life in God’s Story

The Bible is a library of 66 documents, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. Written over a period of approximately 1500 years by a variety of inspired people it is the most significant and influential literature in history. The Bible is a crucial document in the faith of a vast majority of the world’s population. This collection of books, while conveying the story of God and his people is not arranged chronologically. It is arranged more as a library according to genre, author and length. During this year, we will move together through the large movements of this Divine account in the order they happened. We will also focus on the key characters of the drama. Together we will find, “Life in God’s Story”.

Note: All service times are on Sundays at 10:30 am both in-person and on YouTube unless otherwise stated.

June 26 – Build (Nehemiah) We have been looking at the return of the Jews to their homeland. The report from Jerusalem is that the city is a shambles with the walls destroyed and the gates burned. This left the city disgraced and vulnerable. Rebuilding the walls would be a monumental task especially in the face of opposition. God raises up a leader, Nehemiah to direct the work. We see how God provides in times of great need.

June 19 – Esther – Persian Queen (Esther) We have been looking at the return of the Jews to their homeland. We look at the experience of some Jews still in Persia. This fascinating story has a young Jewish hero placed strategically to save her people. Not just a pretty face, Esther shows faith and courage. What might God do in and through us?

June 12 – No Place Like Home (Ezra, Haggai, Zechariah) There’s no place like home. For more than 100 years, the city of Jerusalem has been lying in ruins. The new Persian King, Cyrus has given permission and funding for the Jews to go back
and rebuild the temple and city. First, the people needed to come home to their God with restored worship. God sent Ezra, Haggai and Zechariah to
encourage them to rebuilt the temple through the near constant opposition. Worship of God brings us home and restores our lives.

June 5 – Pentecost Sunday – Daniel – In Exile (Daniel) The church is a Spirit filled people, empowered, enabled, gifted, guided and united by his presence. This is Pentecost Sunday – remembering the day tongues of fire and the sounds of rushing wind grabbed a city’s attention. We invite the Holy Spirit to have his way among us. As we journey through Life in God’s Story, his people have been exiled to Babylon. The story of Daniel and his friends is the remarkable account of God blessing others through his people. These captives of war placed in the service of the pagan King, prove to be invaluable. God is at work in his people – then and now.

May 29 – Jeremiah – Kingdoms Fall (2 Kings 21-25) As we move chronologically through Life in God’s Story, we have seen the people of God divided by their disobedience and now we see them carried off in exile. It is a devastating time for the people of God but they are not without their God reaching out to them. The prophet Jeremiah carries the sorrows of the people to God in prayers of Lament. There is good reason in parts of our world today for prayers of Lament.

May 22 – Isaiah and Hezekiah – Beginning the End (2 Kings 17-19) As we move chronologically through Life in God’s Story, we come to the beginning of the end for the nations of God’s people. Israel has fallen, would Judah be next? The accumulated failures of their kings would have consequences. Through this tumultuous time, God speaks both judgement and hope to his people through the great prophet Isaiah. King Hezekiah with the support of Isaiah remained faithful to God during his reign. He removed the pagan altars and stood up to the military super power Assyria. God comes to the rescue. Sadly, Hezekiah’s son and successor would take a darker path. While God’s people suffer the consequences of their unfaithfulness, Isaiah speaks of the day when God will keep his covenant promise.

May 15 – Redirection (1 Kings 17-2 Kings 13 selected reading) We continue on our express journey through God’s story. We’ll meet Elijah and Elisha. At times, we’ll zip along some key moments in their lives but also slow down to take a deeper look at the intentions of their actions, and what we may need to consider in our own lives. Strap in as we explore these passages in 1 and 2 Kings. Guest speaker: Rev. Alvin Lau

May 8 – Torn Apart (1 Kings 12-16) Family disputes are both very sad and sometimes very ugly. It is especially sad when the family torn apart is God’s. The tribes of Israel are the people God set apart to be his witnesses to the world. Their witness is broken when they fight and separate. God gives hope for healing.

May 1 – Solomon – Wisdom and Foolishness (1 Kings 1-11, 2 Chronicles 5-7) Solomon, the son of King David is famous for building the temple and for his great wisdom. He is not so famous for his failures. How did he end up showing such a lack of wisdom? Lord, grant us the wisdom of Christ.

April 24 – King David’s Crime (2 Samuel 11-19, Psalm 51) We quite rightly hold high expectations for the behavior of faith leaders. Certainly, God’s anointed King should hold to the highest standard. We are shocked and dismayed when faith leaders and kings fall to temptation. David falls very hard. We learn something of vulnerability, consequences and grace. Somehow, this story fits into the larger story of God.

April 17 – Easter Sunday: Alive! (Matthew 28) The women were the ones faithful in following Jesus even to the grave. They were the first to receive and share the good news of the resurrection. With a combination of fear and joy they brought the news to others. 

Friday, April 15 – Good Friday: Journey to Belief (Matthew 27:27-56) At the heart of the gospel is the death of Jesus. We come to the darkness of this day from the darkness of the world in crisis. We enter into the sufferings of Christ to discover he has entered ours and brought his healing grace.

April 10 – Palm Sunday: See your King (Zechariah 9:9-12; Psalm 118; Matthew 21:1-11) – When Jesus reveals himself as Messiah and King it is not what one would imagine a King to look like. Or, is it?

April 3: David – A King of Promise (1 & 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles 17, selected passages) From being a lowly shepherd to being a mighty King, David carries the promise of a greater Shepherd and King to come. This is good preparation for next Sunday, Palm Sunday, when we celebrate the coming of the King of Kings into Jerusalem, our world and our lives.

March 27: Samuel and Saul–a Prophet and a King (1 Samuel 1-15,selected passages) Israel needed a spokesperson from God and wanted a King. God gave them both. They learn it is better to trust God with what they need and what God wants. Who is the Prophet and King that God will provide? Together we will find, “Life in God’s Story”.

March 20: Ruth – A foreigner of faith finds a home (Ruth 1-4, selected passages). Hope is sometimes discovered even in the midst of a hopeless situation. From despair, displacement and poverty a young woman joins the family tree of the King. 

March 13: The Judges (Judges 2-16, selected passages). Israel comes under the rescue of a series of Judges. In this part of the big story, we see the long-suffering patience of God with his people. The Israelites are persistent in their rebellion and God is persistent in pulling them back on the better path.

March 6: Joshua – Promised Land (Joshua 1-24, selected passages). This is the first Sunday in Lent. This 40 day season calls us to prayerful reflection and response. Today we look at a story that looks a little like a story taking place in our world today. It is about the takeover of a land. Joshua is commanded by God to lead his people into a land already occupied. Can we compare Jericho to the Ukraine? While one might see similarities, we must also see the big differences. We need to understand the lessons of this story.

February 27: 40 Years of Wandering (Numbers & Deuteronomy selected) As sometimes happens, along the way, the Israelites mess up and lose the right path. God takes them on a 40-year journey to find it again. It is a blessing to have God watching over your journey.

February 20: Covenant Commands (Exodus 19-20; 24-25, selected) The relationship of Israel to their God was to be a light to the nations. It was to be displayed in God’s faithfulness and in the people’s obedience to him. Laws were given to help define the people and their values. How does our being the people of God impact others? Together we are declaring and demonstrating the here and coming Kingdom of God.

February 13: Moses – The Exodus (Exodus 1-7; 10-17, selected passages). Enslaved in Egypt, the people of Israel cry out to their God. He hears and sends a deliverer. God’s dramatic rescue of his people out of Egypt would become the defining story of their identity.

February 6: Joseph – Adventures in Egypt (Genesis 37-48, selected passages). Jacob has 12 sons but one of them, Joseph is his favourite. His jealous brothers in trying to get rid of him set off a chain of events that would carry huge significance. 

January 30: Abraham and Sarah -Preparing a People of Promise (Genesis 12-35; Romans 4; Hebrews 11, selected passages). Human rebellion pushed the world onto a dangerous path. Out of love for the people and the planet God sets in motion a rescue plan. This plan involves a people and a promise. 

January 23- 102nd Anniversary Service: In 1920, just after a world war and a global pandemic God gave the dream of a Baptist Church in Mimico to a handful of children and adults. In less than three years the land was purchased, the building erected and a worshipping community began. That courageous faith is still evident in our church. We celebrate the faithfulness of God and his people. We are pleased to welcome a friend of our church, Rev. Cid Latty, to be our guest speaker. Cid serves with the CBOQ as a Church Development Associate. 

January 16: God – and so it Begins (Genesis 1-9) – It is valuable to know our Bible. We begin a series of messages called, Life in God’s Story. During this year, we will move together through the large movements of this great story in the order they happened. We will also focus on the key characters of the drama. Together we will find, “Life in God’s Story”. The book of Genesis is foundational to the story. Genesis is a book of beginnings. We need to understand the start to understand the rest of the story.

January 9: Life Together (Romans 12:1-8) As we enter into a third year of pandemic and all the necessary restrictions that places on us, we need to be reminded of who we are and what we are about. We have to recover what it means to have life together.