June 12, 2016

Trinity 3 Sermon 2016

Series: ,
Passage: Luke 15:1
Service Type:

I have mentioned before that my first parish included Onion Lake First Nation, a large Cree community that straddles the Saskatchewan-Alberta border. The congregation was small even though the population of the community was relatively large by First Nations standards – some four or five thousand people living on small acreages, with one small strip mall at the west end of town and a gas station on the east side, opposite the Anglican Church. With so few people in the congregation we struggled musically most of the time (at least until Daniel Watson joined the congregation for the better part of a year). We regularly rotated through a standard set of six or seven hymns all of which were easy enough to sing – Jesus loves me, This little light of mine, What a friend we have in Jesus... . Among the best known hymns was one that became very dear to me. I am certain that I have mentioned it before. I still hear it in the community’s slow, country style of hymn-singing: “When he cometh, when he cometh,” the hymn goes, “to make up his jewels, all his jewels, precious jewels, his loved and his own ... He will gather, he will gather, the gems for his Kingdom, all the pure ones, all the bright ones, his loved and his own... . Like the stars of the morning his brightness adorning, they shall shine in their beauty bright gems for his crown ... .” It is a wonderfully apocalyptic children’s hymn – very much about the final gathering of all things to God. “When he cometh, when he cometh ... he will gather, he will gather... .”

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