As millions of Canadians make their finial preparations for the Canada Day Long Weekend, the church prepares to celebrate the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost or Ordinary 13 with scripture readings that will challenge even the best of homileticians to make the connections to the activities of most Canadians.
This particular homiletician has decided to abandon the Revised Common Lectionary in favour of Canada Sunday. Granted I had to make the feast day up, but I do so in the name of relevance; for surely, preachers ought to have something important to say about Canada!!
So, the sanctuary will be adorned in red, for no other colour will suffice for this feast day. The readings will begin with verses from Deuteronomy about the Promised Land. Psalm 72, from whence came Canada’s official motto “A Mari usque ad Mare” – “From Sea to Sea” Psalm 72:8 – “God shall have dominion from sea to sea and from the river unto the ends of the earth”. The first official use of this motto came in 1906 when it was engraved on the head of the mace of the Legislative Assembly of the new Province of Saskatchewan. The wording of the motto came to the attention of Sir Joseph Pope, then Under Secretary of State, who was impressed with its meaning. He later proposed it as motto for the new design of the coat of arms, which was approved by Order in Council on April 21, 1921 and by Royal Proclamation on November 21, 1921.
The gospel text eluded me until I chanced upon the Revised Common Lectionary’s suggestion for our cousins to the south’s celebration of Independence Day, Matthew 5:43-48. Our Hymn of the Day includes words written by Shirley Erena Murray that were inspired by Dietrich Boenhoeffer. We will be singing it to the tune Londonderry Air (thats Danny Boy) but you can see Per Harling’s music here.
I suspect this homiletician will have something to say about Canada’s once proud history as Peace Keepers as she cries out for a renewed sense of justice when it comes to our actions in the world???
Here’s a pdf of our Worship Bulletin (designed to be printed on double-sided legal paper and folded into a booklet)
Happy Canada Weekend!!!