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Sermon Introduction for January 19 – Guest Speaker Henry Paetkau

Some of you may remember, as I do, the CBC radio ‘official time signal’ broadcast each day at 1 p.m.  The announcer intoned rather solemnly, “The beginning of the long dash following ten seconds of silence indicates exactly one o’clock, Eastern Standard Time.”

It wasn’t a very long dash, to be sure, nor were the ten seconds a very long time to count down, though it was fun doing so to see whether I would reach the end as the ‘long dash’ began.

Now, for some of us, life may feel like a long dash – each day!  Though that span of time is also relatively short, in the grand scheme of things.  What I’ve been contemplating from time to time is the meaning of the ‘dash’.

Not the dash in the CBC time signal, mind you, but another dash.  The dash between a date of birth and a date of death.  That’s also a very short dash, to be sure, though it represents not seconds but years, decades, sometimes even a century or more.  Now that’s a long dash!

But what does that dash represent?  What, I wonder when I see it, might have filled the time in between those dates?  How can that short dash possibly summarize a person’s life?

The poet Eveleyn Healey writes:

We go from God to God – so let
The space between
Be filled with beauty, conquering
Things base and mean.

The long dash.  The space, or time, between.  It’s the only time we have.  And none of us knows how long that dash will be.  Best we can do is give it some meaning.  Eternal meaning, even.

Henry Paetkau

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Sermon Introduction for Jaunary 12 – Guest Speaker Kathleen Leadley

The new year makes us think of new opportunities for our lives. We flip the calendar from one year to the next and are sure that a fresh start is ours to be had. We make new year’s resolutions with great resolve only to fall back in to survival mode within a few weeks. Before long the new year looks no differently than the old year. The key of course is in the choices we make; we are the product of the sum total of the choices we make each and every day. In reality new beginnings can be had any day of the year by the grace of God.  The Bible is full of stories about redemption and no one represents our theme today, Choices – A Fresh Start, better than the woman at the well. We don’t know her name but we do know her powerful story from John 4. Perhaps her story is so universal that each of us is able to put our name to her experience. Grab hold of a new future and make a fresh start this coming year with God’s help.

Kathleen Leadley.

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