Sunday Reflection

Sunday’s Reflection:  Abide in my love. In today’s gospel, these verses are a continuation of the idea of ‘abiding in Jesus’ which we have read in verses 1 to 8. The passage indicates the idea that “everything begins with the Father in verse 9.” It also continues that imagery of ‘bearing fruit, fruit that will last’ in John 15:16.

There are a number of similar themes in the Gospel of John and 1 John 5:1-6. It echoes the theme: obeying God’s commandments and loving God’s children. Following Jesus makes a difference in who we are and how we live. It is a life born out of our faith in Christ Jesus. It brings us the assurance of the love of our God who has walked with us, who understands what it is like to suffer, who has shared with us in the very depths of the pain that living can bring. It transforms how we understand and engage all of life, joys, pains, and sorrows. We show our love for God by keeping God’s commandment to love others. — “12 ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

This is also a deep, abiding relationship, not one casually entered and easily discarded. This is a relationship rooted in loving one another, love that extends itself for others. Love that bears lasting fruit.

The emphasis is love. Love begins with the Father and flows through the Son to the disciples. It is contingent on obedience— “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” (v. 10) And this relationship is for us!

God’s mission is done by people distinguished by a powerful characteristic—they have given God their heart. That should encourage us. If we are to produce fruit for Christ, it is important that we seek his will for our lives—to let him lead our ways. How is our joy complete when we live abiding in Christ’s love? What does it mean to have Christ’s joy within us?

Prayer: God of abiding love, you dare to call us friends. Take our fragmented hearts, command them to love, and make whole our joy, which is our life, reborn in Jesus Christ, who laid down his life for us. Amen. Prayers for an Inclusive Church (2009) alt. Resources are from the Anglican Church of Canada and Sermons that Work.

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Sunday Reflection

Sunday’s Reflection:  I am the vine, you are the branches. This verse is an allegory. It represents another thing and symbolically expresses a deeper meaning. And so, Christ is the vine, and we are the branches. When Jesus identifies himself as the true vine, this suggests great mutuality between Father and Son. The vine (Son) is dependent on the vine grower (Father) for its care and feeding, but the vine grower (Father) is also dependent on the vine (Son) for its produce (faithfulness). Each gives life to the other and takes life from the other. We cannot overstate the mutuality that exists between the Father and the Son. Jesus says, “I and the Father are one”. John 10:30

Jesus makes it clear that our relationship with him— “you are the branches” —is the key both to our fruitfulness and to our destiny. We, Christians, find strength and purpose through our relationship with Christ. We become stronger when grafted onto the Christ-vine, and bear fruit. We should constantly be connected to the Father through Christ. This can be done through personal prayer, common worship, acts of generosity and many more. Jesus tells us that fruitfulness starts in a quite different place. People should remain in His presence, and His strength becomes ours. If we turn our back on him, our strength begins to drain away.

We know that abiding in Jesus is central to our ministry and enables the branch to bear fruit. What fruit? To love one another (John 13:34; 15:12). To obey his commandments (John 15:10). Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Generosity, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

How do you remain connected to God and God’s creation? True fruitfulness, however, flows from our abiding relationship with Jesus and with all of creation. The person who bears fruit (Christ-like living) becomes Jesus’ disciple. Abiding in Christ is all about letting Jesus into your daily thoughts and visions, just like the life-giving water that runs through the grapevines and into the branches. 

Prayer: God of deep soil and luxurious growth, you call us from our shallow selves to find our depth in you: may we abide in him alone who can teach us who we are, Jesus Christ, the true vine. Amen. 

Prayers for an Inclusive Church (2009) alt. Resources are from the Anglican Church of Canada and Sermons that Work.

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Sunday Reflection

Sunday’s Reflection:  Jesus uses various pastoral metaphors about sheep, gatekeepers, and the gate of the sheepfold (10:1-10), identifying himself first as the gate of the sheepfold (v. 7) and then as the good shepherd (v. 11). He contrasts himself with thieves, bandits who do not enter by the gate (v. 1) and strangers whom the sheep refuse to follow (v. 5). Then he contrasts himself with the hired hand who is supposed to take care of the sheep but who really cares only for his own personal welfare (vv. 12-13).

“I am” can be understood as coded language that refers to Moses’ encounter with Yahweh in the old testament. When Moses asked God’s name, God replied, “You shall tell the children of Israel this:God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am.’ He said further, ‘Thus you shall say to the Israelites, “I am has sent me to you.”’ Exodus 3:14 NRSV

The Old Testament uses shepherd as a metaphor for God: Psalm 23:1 and Isaiah 40:11. God also appointed leaders to be shepherds for Israel: 2 Samuel 5:2 and Isaiah 44:28

The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. There is a lesson here for us. It is not enough to go through the motions as a Christian. Christ wants more than lip service—he wants our hearts. Jesus will do exactly that in obedience to the Father: His passion, death, and resurrection.  The good shepherd seeks ways to lead faithfully and stands for what is right—even in the face of opposition or danger. 

God desires unity, and God is willing to go to any length for it as we see in the theme of laying down one’s life that threads throughout today’s readings. Jesus’ desire for unity demonstrates his commitment and great love. He gives his life voluntarily; no one takes it from him. He does this in order to gather all his sheep into one inclusive gathering of all of God’s people. There is great hope in this promise, this yearning, because, as Jesus says, just as he gives his life, so can he take it back again. As this desire to be united provided hope for the Gentiles and others, so too does it provide hope for those on the margins today.

Prayer: Shepherd of all, by laying down your life for your flock you reveal your love for all. Lead us from the place of death to the place of abundant life, so that, guided by your care for us, we may rightly offer our lives in love for you and our neighbour. Amen. Revised Common Lectionary Prayers (2002) alt. Resources are from the Anglican Church of Canada and Sermons that Work.

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Sunday Reflection

Sunday’s Reflection:  This is Jesus’ third resurrection appearance in Luke’s Gospel. The women find the empty tomb, but do not see Jesus (vv. 1-12). Jesus’ second resurrection appearance is to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, an incident that Luke records in considerable detail (vv. 13-35). This resurrection story takes place in Jerusalem where the two men who encountered the risen Christ on the road to Emmaus find “the eleven gathered together” (v. 33). This encounter, then, almost certainly takes place on Easter evening. The place is almost certainly the room where the disciples gathered behind locked doors as related in the Gospel of John (John 20:19-23)—although Luke does not specify the place.

Jesus opens the minds of his disciples not only so that they can understand the scriptures and grasp who Jesus really is, but also so that they may continue to follow in his way of love once he departs this earth. If we want to fulfill our end of Jesus’ eternal covenant, we need to partake in that which the risen Jesus did himself: offer his peace, make his body known, and share in the sacred meal.

This morning’s passage ends with a charge: “You are witnesses of these things.” To be a witness means to share with others your experience – and that is exactly the charge with which we leave the Eucharist: “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.” When we participate in the Eucharist, we are encountering the risen Christ. When we pass and receive the peace, it is the same peace that Jesus gave to his disciples in his appearance. Like the disciples, then, we too are witnesses of these things, and it is as witnesses that we go forth into the world, proclaiming the resurrected Christ.

“You are witnesses of these things” We have not seen the risen Christ with our own eyes, but we have experienced him in our lives. Our responsibility is to tell the story as we have experienced it, and to do so at cost if need be. Over time, as a result, this word martyrs would come to our church history —those who were killed because of their Christian witness.

Prayer: O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. Resources are from the Anglican Church of Canada and Sermons that Work.

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Sunday Reflection

Sunday’s Reflection:  If you would visit our online Anglican church calendar, the second Sunday of Easter is traditionally known as “Low Sunday”, this is the Octave Day of Easter and should be celebrated accordingly. After today’s liturgies, the dismissal ends with a single Alleluia until the last day of Easter—the Day of Pentecost—when it is doubled again. But the term has gained another connotation referring to church attendance. Attendance on this Sunday is not as high as on Easter Day. It is by comparison low, hence Low Sunday.

It is often said that Thomas has been given a bad strike. For many centuries now, whenever this passage is read in our Sunday lectionary, the apostle Thomas has been known as “Doubting Thomas.” But Thomas was not present when Jesus appeared to the other apostles. And, just like Thomas later, they did not know who Jesus was until he showed them his wounded hands and sides. A week later, when Jesus appeared again, Thomas only needed to see what Jesus had already shown the other apostles. Jesus showed his wounds to Thomas. And Jesus allowed him to touch his wounds. That is when Thomas believed. Yet Jesus does not tell Thomas he was wrong, though he did remind Thomas not to doubt but believe.

Jesus also reminded Thomas how blessed are those who believe after merely hearing. We do not have the opportunity to investigate Jesus’ wounds. We have only read and heard that he is alive, and yet we still believe.

Do you think Thomas deserves the nickname “Doubting Thomas”? Why or why not? Was there ever a time when you doubted that the Lord was present?

Resources are from the Anglican Church of Canada and Sermons that Work.

Prayer: Risen Christ, for whom no door is locked, no entrance barred: open the doors of our hearts, so that we may seek the good of others and walk the joyful road of sacrifice and peace, to the praise of God, the Source of all life. Amen. Common Worship: Additional Collects (2004) alt. 

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Easter Message

Today, followers of Jesus all over the world are celebrating Easter. While many of us are used to going to our church on the Sunday of the Resurrection to worship and renew our baptismal covenant, for the second straight year, we may find ourselves instead confined at home. This should not deter us from celebrating the good news of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.

Two thousand years ago, Jesus claimed victory over sin and death by rising from the dead. Jesus is our everlasting hope. Even in the midst of trials and trouble, Jesus teaches us to hold on tightly to his victory and celebrate together. As you go into Easter Sunday, know that there are millions of followers of Jesus celebrating his resurrected life today in unison.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the foundation of the Christian faith. Without the resurrection, the belief in God’s saving grace through Jesus is nullified or void. When Jesus rose from the dead, God the Father confirmed his work of atonement, redemption, reconciliation, and salvation. The resurrection was a real, literal, physical raising of Jesus’ body from the dead.

While some of us continue to be disgruntled by the restrictions to in person gatherings, I ask each and everyone of you to hold on and support our online ministry. All of you have done very well to keep our congregations safe while our parishes were open last year. To me, this is extremely important to mention because the sacrifices we make today will benefit many people tomorrow and for weeks to come. All of you have helped limit the spread of this virus.

Like the risen Lord, His sacrifices were able to benefit many. Jesus offered his life on the cross to save humanity from sin and offer salvation. “This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you both see and hear. Acts 2:32-33.

One of the most profound examples of seeing the goodness of God can be found in the countless individuals who are making personal sacrifices by serving our community, especially all essential and front-line workers. Alleluia, Christ is Risen! The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia!

The Venerable Louie Engnan 

Vicar

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Sunday Reflection & Vicar’s Corner

Sunday’s Reflection: This passage comes just after Jesus’ triumphal procession into Jerusalem, which we remember each year on Palm Sunday. In other words, we are beginning the most tragic chapter of Jesus’ life and ministry: his journey to the Cross. When Jesus speaks about a grain of wheat that falls into the earth and dies to bear much fruit, he is obviously speaking about his own impending death; that death will bring forth an explosion of life-giving grace, a life beyond death. But Jesus is also announcing that this paradoxical connection between death and life is at the heart of discipleship. He tells the Greek-speaking Jews who have come to see him—and he tells us today—that if we insist on holding tight to our lives as they are, everything we want to control and contain will eventually be taken away from us. But if we’re willing to let our lives crack open like a seed planted in the earth, we will witness an abundant outpouring of life: in us and given through us.

It is part of the mystery of life that we only enjoy that abundance by continually giving it away. Like Melchizedek, like Abraham and Sarah, we are blessed to be a blessing: to plant our lives like seeds in the earth and to share the fruits.

When you think about repentance, do you imagine yourself having to earn back God’s love? Or do you imagine God as eager to make the first move, to forgive? From, Sermons that Work.

Prayer: Most merciful God, by the passion of your Son Jesus Christ, you delivered us from the power of darkness; grant that through faith in him who suffered on the cross, we may be found acceptable in your sight, through our Saviour Jesus Christ Amen.  A New Zealand Prayer Book, 1989, page 579.

Vicar’s Note: We would like to remind all parishioners and worshippers of our church to continue sending your tithes, donations and/or offering envelopes to our church office. We are so incredibly grateful for your continued generosity and support to the work and ministry of our parish. For your pastoral care, prayers and/or spiritual counselling, please contact me at 604-591-8323 or at vicar.lengnan@gmail.com

Holy Week Online Church Services: 

  • Palm Sunday Service, March 28, at 9:30 a.m.
  • Maundy Thursday Service, April 1, at 6:30 p.m.
  • Good Friday Service, April 2, at 10 a.m.
  • Easter Sunday Service, April 4, at 9:30 a.m.

HOLY WEEK at HOME: The most important week in the Christian calendar is arriving in just less than a month. Many of us will be observing it at home again. In addition to our parish online worship services, here are two options for complementing your Lenten journey with your family. If you have already planned the season, these resources are complementing or something for sharing too. Encouraging and equipping simple faith formation at home has enduring effect. Here is the link: 19 Holy Week ideas in 2021 | holy week, lent, faith formation (pinterest.ca)

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Sunday Reflection & Vicar’s Corner

Sunday’s Reflection: “But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God”. John 3:21

Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus leads into this passage about three related subjects: The Son of Man being lifted up, Eternal life, and Judgment. These three are so closely related as to be one theme, but we often treat them separately. We tend to memorize verse 16 and to disregard what goes before and what follows. The reason is clear. Verse 16 is positive and reassuring, and we delight in its message of God’s love and our salvation. Verses 14-15 link Jesus’ death to a rather odd Old Testament story, the meaning of which seems obscure. Verses 17-21 speak of judgment and condemnation, which makes them far less attractive than verse 16. We hear that which we want to hear, and we want to hear about love and salvation. We must help people understand not only the grace but also the judgment of this text. The grace has no meaning in isolation from the judgment. If we have no sin, we need no forgiveness. If there is no judgment, we require no grace.

Jesus’ saving work reveals a world in need of the Saviour, then and now. It is necessary for God to send the Son to save the world, it must be that the world needs saving—His love and His grace. Furthermore, the Son’s work is efficacious only if the world accepts the proffered salvation. John puts it this way in verse18: “Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God”. (Resources are from, Sermon Writer)

Prayer: God of grace, you know our struggle to serve you when sin spoils our lives and overshadows our hearts, come to our aid, and turn us back to you again; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Common Worship, A.C.C. 

Vicar’s Note: We would like to remind all parishioners and worshippers of our church to continue sending your tithes, donations and/or offering envelopes to our church office. We are so incredibly grateful for your continued generosity and support to the work and ministry of our parish. For your pastoral care, prayers and/or spiritual counselling, please contact me at 604-591-8323 or at vicar.lengnan@gmail.com

HOLY WEEK at HOME: The most important week in the Christian calendar is arriving in just less than a month. Many of us will be observing it at home again. In addition to our parish online worship services, here are two options for complementing your Lenten journey with your family. If you have already planned the season, these resources are complementing or something for sharing too. Encouraging and equipping simple faith formation at home has enduring effect. Here is the link: 19 Holy Week ideas in 2021 | holy week, lent, faith formation (pinterest.ca)

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Sunday Reflection & Vicar’s Corner

Sunday’s Reflection: “When have you been called to give up the pleasures of the moment for lasting things?” Mark 8:31-38

Jesus is straightforward in this passage – no sugar coating his fate. He will be rejected, suffer, die, and rise again, he tells his disciples, drawing a reprimand from Peter. Jesus in turn scolds Peter for thinking from a human perspective rather than a divine one. Jesus continues with a similarly difficult message for his followers. Following him means losing one’s life and taking up the cross.

To “follow” Jesus is to deny one’s own wants and desires and do the right thing – the thing given you to do. Jesus didn’t want to die on a cross, but we see that he was confident in the glory of God that was to come, despite the painful costs. Important to consider is that as someone who loved Jesus, Peter was well-meaning in his “human perspective”. Certainly, he shuddered at the thought of Jesus’ suffering and death.

It’s easy to think that we must follow a lot of rules and do good things in order to be accepted by God, rather than trusting in his grace. 

How have you seen God do the seemingly impossible in your life or the lives of others?

Resources are from “Sermons that Work”

Vicar’s Note:

We would like to remind all parishioners and worshippers of our church to continue sending your tithes, donations and/or offering envelopes to our church office. We are so incredibly grateful for your continued generosity and support to the work and ministry of our parish. For your pastoral care, prayers and/or spiritual counselling, please contact me at 604-591-8323 or at vicar.lengnan@gmail.com

Today, (February 28, 2021) Bishop Stephens will be seated and installed as the 10th Bishop of the Diocese of New Westminster. The livestream on YouTube and diocesan website are linked to the diocesan Facebook page, Anglican Conversation will begin at 3:30pm. The livestream will begin with a video featuring music from around the diocese and images of diocesan parishes at worship, in ministry and in community. The livestream of the liturgy from Christ Church Cathedral will begin at 4pm. Please pray for Bishop John as he starts to minister to our diocese. Bishop Stephens’ contact information is   jstephens@vancouver.anglican.ca Phone 604.684.6306 ext. 218.

World Day of Prayer: If anyone is interested, the Women’s Inter Church Council of Canada has a one hour video for World Day of prayer, which is normally the first Friday of March.  It can be accessed at wicc.org/servicevideo. We have permission from the Anglican Church Women, Diocese of New Westminster, to circulate the link to anyone who might be interested. 

Holy Week Online Services

Palm Sunday Service, March 28, at  9:30 a.m.

Maundy Thursday Service, April 1, at 6:30 pm

Good Friday Service, April 2, at 10am.

Easter Sunday Service, April 4, at 9:30 a.m.

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Sunday Reflection & Vicar’s Corner

Sunday’s Reflection: Jesus spends forty days in the wilderness, surrounded by wild animals and tempted by Satan. However, before he enters the wilderness, he is baptized and given a concrete reminder of his identity as God’s Son and God’s Beloved, which must have been a comfort and encouragement to him during his ordeal. When he returns, he is ready to begin his ministry by proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God.

Today, we experience salvation through the waters of baptism. We are buried with Christ in the waters, and through Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection, we are forgiven for our sins and granted a clean conscience before God. Christ’s ascent into heaven and his victory over all authorities and powers assure us that this is true. 

This mirrors our experience in Lent. As we begin our forty days of fasting and repentance, the scriptures remind us of our baptismal identity. We are God’s children and God’s beloved, and God’s promises of forgiveness will sustain us during these forty days. After Lent is over, we will proclaim Jesus’ resurrection and God’s kingdom during the season of Easter.

May we find comfort and hope in the promises of our Savior during this season of repentance.

How do our baptisms and seasons of repentance ready us for mission and ministry?

(Resources are from, Sermon that Works)

Vicar’s Note: Our Wednesday bible Study session will resume on Feb. 24th at 11am. You will receive the appointed bible passage and zoom invite at the start of that week. 

We would like to remind all parishioners and worshippers of our church to continue sending your tithes, donations and/or offering envelopes to our church office. We are so incredibly grateful for your continued generosity and support to the work and ministry of our parish.

For your pastoral care, prayers and/or spiritual counselling, please contact me at 604-591-8323 or at vicar.lengnan@gmail.com

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