Biblical Messages, Uncategorized

God, Keep Our Land

When we sing Canada’s national anthem, we are praying; did you know that?  In this message, we look at where the inspiration for the Dominion of Canada came from, and how we can act as citizens of Canada who are also citizens of God’s Kingdom.  Like people, like ruler!  Based on Psalm 72.1-14 and Romans 13.1-7, you can listen to the message here:

 

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Encouragement From The Word

Be Practically Thankful

This weekend, most Canadians will mark Canada Day (which falls on July 1) with merriment: a barbecue, perhaps camping, maybe fireworks. We often take for granted what Canada Day celebrates: our freedom, a stable government, human rights, good health care, a beautiful country with polite people.

Many folks look at Canada in awe, for they do not experience the blessings we have always known. As I was preparing for Sunday’s message, I was thinking about the many stories that show up in the news – maybe not on the front page, but still in the news – of people around the world who would give everything they had to experience what we enjoy every day.

Instead of asking you to read my thoughts, though, I invite you to take a few minutes to express your own grateful thoughts before God for Canada, where we are free to love and serve Jesus. Take time to pray for the people around the world who are persecuted for their faith in Christ.

Pray especially for the Christians in Palestine, Iraq, Indonesia, and especially for the Nigerian school girls and the young wife and mother in the Sudan who has been imprisoned (again) for choosing to follow Jesus.

Maybe you know of other people who experience great persecution because they love the Lord. Ask God to be present with them by his Spirit.

And be thankful. Be practically thankful. Invite the Lord to take seriously what appears on Canada’s coat of arms: ad mari usque ad mare.

May he rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth” (Psalm 72.8, NIV).

Encouragement From The Word

Our Christian heritage, set to music

Happy Canada Day weekend!

As Canadians, we’re not big on flag-waving.  We’re pretty meek and humble when it comes to our national pride.  (So it’s a little ironic, in the area where I live, that I see more Italian flags this weekend than Canadian ones, given what will be the final battle in the Euro Cup Soccer Tournament!)

Amid the multicultural mosaic that is Canada’s reality today, we must not neglect the fact that Canada was built and founded on Christian principles by Christian leaders.  Even our national anthem, despite attempts to excise “God keep our land” from the official text, still points to our Christian roots as a nation.  If you dig deeper, you’ll find an even stronger Christian tie.

For example, the French text of the anthem, translated into English, reads like this:

O Canada! Land of our forefathers


Thy brow is wreathed with a glorious garland of flowers.


As in thy arm ready to wield the sword,


So also is it ready to carry the cross.


Thy history is an epic of the most brilliant exploits.

Thy valour steeped in faith

Will protect our homes and our rights


Will protect our homes and our rights.

The text of Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier says more about homes and rights than it does about Canada, but it also has us sing that we are “ready to carry the cross” – there’s no more blatant Christian image than that one!

And The Hon. Robert Stanley Weir, who wrote the original English text to O Canada, offers in his last verse (there were four) a very brave prayer:

Ruler supreme, who hearest humble prayer,


Hold our dominion within thy loving care;


Help us to find, O God, in thee


A lasting, rich reward,


As waiting for the Better Day,


We ever stand on guard.

O Canada! O Canada!


O Canada! We stand on guard for thee.


O Canada! We stand on guard for thee.                   

As we wait for the “Better Day”, let’s do all we can to help all Canadians know the “lasting, rich reward” that can be had by faith in Christ.

He will rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth” (Psalm 72.8, NIV).