During my address at our Fellowship National Conference (November 13-15, 2017) I introduced our theme verse for 2018 by reminding ourselves we live in troubling times.
We have a God and Gospel of hope, however our hope is in the context of trouble, and so, we must PRAY! Our theme verse for 2018 is Romans 12:12 (NIV) during our year of prayer:
“Be joyful in HOPE, patient in AFFLICTION, faithful in Prayer”
The following is the last point I made during my FNC address:
“The 17th Century Poet and novelist, John Dunne once told a story of early Spanish sailors who reached South America. They sailed into headwaters of the Amazon River, an expanse of water so wide, so immense, that the sailors presumed it was just the continuation of the Atlantic Ocean. It never occurred to them to drink the fresh water below them for they assumed it was the salty Atlantic. As a result, some of the sailors died of thirst.
“The scene of the men dying of thirst as their ship floated into the world’s largest single source of fresh water is a perfect metaphor for our age: a society thirsty for meaning but dying of thirst, spiritually speaking, because of its head-strong refusal to receive their Saviour.
“We are living in one of the greatest nations in the world… ranked #1 by the UN since 1994. Like other favoured nations we got this way because of the preeminent Christian foundation many of our founding fathers embraced and Christianity flourished for 100 years. (1867-1967). Christian mission and influence still floats everywhere in Canada today, but millions would rather die of thirst than drink from the Living Water. On this, the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, we need to take Luther’s advice and PRAY.
“This is a year of Anniversaries in Canada:
- 375th Anniversary of Montreal (May 17th, 2017) ($1 billion price tag)
- 150th Anniversary of Canada (July 1st, 2017 ($500 million price tag)
- 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge (April), and
- it was 100 years ago when the Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings was reconstructed after the great fire of February 1916.
- “On July 2 1917, Prime Minister Sir. Robert Borden dedicated the grand new Centre Block. The peace tower is the Centre Piece and is a vibrant symbol of Canadian Values. In the reconstruction, scripture verses were inscribed throughout the Peace Tower.
- Over the east window is Psalm 72:8 – “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea”.
- Over the south window is Psalm 72:1 – “Give the King thy judgments, O God and thy righteousness unto the King’s son” (KJV)
- Over the west window is Proverbs 29:18 – “Where there is no vision the people perish.” (KJV)
- And seven more Bible verses are carved into the Centre Block’s Memorial Chamber into the Peace Tower. Scriptures, carved in stone, permanent reminders, accessible for all to see in the very centre of our democracy. I imagine many MPs likely to see this today as politically incorrect in an age of “Charter-values” rather than “Christian Values”. But we must remain vigilant reminding our Nation that permanent peace can only be found in Christ. The largest of the 53 Carillon Bells that ring across Ottawa from the Peace Tower is a 10,000 kg bell, installed in 1927 named the “Bourbon”. On the bell is inscribed Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill to men.” I imagine some of our MPs have plans to melt down the Bourbon Bell. But do not let this dissuade us from continuing to ring loud and clear the Gospel across our nation. Displaying Jesus and the Spirit of Christian love so brightly that people see their Saviour. In my July 1st weekly blog, “A Word from Steve”, I encouraged us to pray for our Nation on our 150th Birthday. You’ll see that prayer on the screen. Would you kindly stand and join me in this prayer. A declaration to love our country back to God:
“A Prayer for Canada
“Father, renew and embolden the Church in Canada to take its rightful place in our nation so that our nation might take its rightful place in the world. Father, help us, your children, to be salt and light in our country. Enable your children to be examples of your grace, mercy and love. Our nation’s greatest need is spiritual renewal. Father, our plea is that You would renew your church, chasten it, revive it again. May your bride become a radiant influence for godliness in our blessed nation. Bend us, break us, do whatever necessary to bring your glory to our shores. For your glory and great good. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Joyful in Hope….
Patient in Affliction….
Faithful in Prayer….
Join me in making 2018 our year of prayer.”