Sunday Program - February 21, 2021
Welcome to McKernan Baptist Church! We are glad you have joined us either in person or online for this first Sunday of Lent. We recognize the opportunity in these next weeks to focus our hearts on Christ’s journey to the cross, knowing that it is through His death we experience resurrection life. In this Lent season, we are working through a book entitled “40 Days of Decrease.” As part of the daily readings in the book, we are being encouraged to read through John 12-21. The sermons over the next weeks will be drawn from these portions of Scripture. We begin today with a deeper look at John 12:24, where Jesus anticipates His coming crucifixion with certainty that meaningful and multiplied life will emerge on the other side.
“Very truly I tell you,
unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies,
it remains only a single seed.
But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”
- Jesus (John 12:24)
Faith, in general, is less about the sacrifice of stuff and more about the surrender of our souls. Lent, in kind, is less about well-mannered denials and more about thinning our lives in order to thicken our communion with God… Fast Lent as project and enter Lent as experience, as a sojourn with your Saviour."
- alicia britt chole, 40 Days of decrease
The purpose of Lent is not to force on us a few formal obligations, but to ‘soften’ our heart so that it may open itself to the realities of the Spirit, to experience the hidden ‘thirst and hunger’ for communion with God.
- Alexander Schmemann, quoted in 40 days of decrease
“So often we want Jesus to manage the effects of sin without actually addressing the root issue. But Jesus loves us too much to offer only a superficial solution. He knows the hidden sins of our hearts, and He lovingly insists on dealing with those first."
- Asheritah Ciuciu, Uncovering the love of jesus; a lent devotional (Accessed at goodreads.com)
“Unless there is Good Friday in your life, there can be no Easter Sunday.”
– fulton sheen (Accessed at countryliving.com)
Upcoming Events or Updates
Are you new here?
Welcome! If you are joining us online today, we still want to connect with you. Please CLICK HERE so we can touch base with you.
In Person services have resumed!
We are so excited to welcome you back to in person church services! Each week, we will require you to register online or call the office between Monday at 10am and Thursday at noon (unless it fills up sooner). Visit the main page of the website or call the church office (780-436-0611) for full details and information. For those who still want to attend but the Sanctuary is full, join us in the Hospitality Area or Chapel where the service will be simulcasted.
Women's Ministry Warrior Women Bible Study
Starting March 2, on Tuesday evenings at 7:00pm, join us on Zoom for a Bible Study called Warrior Women. In this five-session series with Bianca Juárez Olthoff, explore the story of Deborah, Barak, and Jael and discover what being a warrior for God looks like. God desires each of his children to follow His call. But sometimes the battles we fight for God’s kingdom defy our expectations, leading us to trust Him more deeply. A faithful warrior for Christ will choose obedience over personal glory, humility instead of pride, and truth spoken with grace. Register online at https://www.mckernanbaptist.ca/WarriorWomen
Betrayal & Beyond Class for Women
Through this study, Betrayal and Beyond by Pure Desire ministries, you will receive valuable understanding, tools and support to help you make wise biblical decisions. If you commit to the process, God will fashion in you a courageous heart, rather than a victim spirit from the betrayal of sexual addiction. Join us on this healing journey of love, grace, and restoration. Classes have begun and will be held online, but if you are still interested in joining, please contact Sheila at 780-298-1876.
Join us Tuesdays at 10am on Zoom for a time of community with Connection Cafe! If you want to join or have any questions, please ask Pastor Mike (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Worship and Tech Team Members Needed
We are looking to add a few new musicians and technicians to our Sunday morning services. If you have experience with an instrument, vocals, or worship leadership please email Julia at email@example.com. If you have any interest in helping with videography, lighting, or sound, please email Grant at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your generosity and continued support of the mission and ministry at McKernan Baptist Church. If you are not attending in person on Sunday mornings, we still want to give you the opportunity to give as God would lead you.
- Online Giving via the church website
- Pre-authorized debit from your bank
- You can mail your cheque to the church: McKernan Baptist Church, Attn: Finance Team, 11103 76 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB T6G 0J9.
Missionary of the Week
Sheryl Grunwald - Action International Ministries
Action International Ministries is a global mission agency committed to sending multinational missionaries who minister His gospel in word and deed, primarily to the poor. With more than 250 missionaries and national team members serving in 30 countries, ACTION seeks to bring the hope of the gospel to the world through evangelism, discipleship and development.
Children need to hear that good news too, so I serve as the Global Children’s Ministry Training Director. Usually I travel quite extensively to train children’s ministry leaders all over the world. Since COVID grounded me, I have moved to training online, and in the last 8 months I’ve trained leaders in Kenya, Cameroon and Nigeria. Our team also has been creating micro videos to train leaders and writing a new training curriculum on Children and Trauma, which is almost ready for publication--something very needed in today’s world. For more information, please contact me at email@example.com
- Pray that I will serve from God’s strength and do all for God’s glory.
- I’ve been working on doctoral studies and will be writing my comprehensive exams in March. Pray for focus as I study and write.
- Pray that the Children and Trauma curriculum will equip many leaders globally to more effectively minister to hurting children.
- Pray for creativity as I develop online courses for Southeastern University’s M.A in International Family Ministries.
- Pray that our church would deepen in our walk with God in this Lent Season. Pray also that we would be open to God’s opportunities to share His love this Easter season.
- Pray for the grace and courage to reach out for help by those who are experiencing physical, mental and emotional health challenges during these days.
- Pray for wisdom for those in government making decisions regarding Covid-19. Pray also for all impacted by loss due to the pandemic.
- Pray for the Church Board as they meet this Wednesday.
- Pray for Sheryl Grunwald serving with Action International Ministries.
Pastor Lyle Buyer
LENT: DEATH GIVING WAY TO LIFE
- Today is the first Sunday of Lent. As we begin a journey with the book, “40 Days of Decrease,” the messages during this season will come from the daily readings in John 12-21 that are recommended in the book.
- We begin today with Christ’s words in John 12:24-26, where Jesus provides His certain response to the awareness that His impending crucifixion was near. This response appropriately addresses the question…
How can we prepare for the new life and growth made possible by Christ’s resurrection?
For new life to emerge, some old ways need to die. (v. 25)
- When Jesus spoke about how a single kernel of wheat needs to die to give birth to much more life, He was alluding to the coming reality of His death and resurrection.
- This truth, however, implies that our deeper experience of life will come as we, in God’s strength, put to death that which stands in the way of His life springing more fully in us.
The preceding stories John tells provide very practical examples of what needs to die…
- Empty Religious Ritual (Jn. 11:45-53)
- The religious leaders checked all the right religious boxes, but remained blind to all the signs Jesus performed to reveal who He was.
- Let us ask God to open our eyes to His loving truth and not be content with “going through motions."
- Lack of Authenticity (Jn. 12:4-6)
- Though Judas had spent much time with Jesus, He had many unanswered questions and was hiding some very real struggles with sinful behaviour.
- The reality of our questions and struggles need to be brought from dark hiding places to the light of God’s love and truth.
- Surface Solutions (Jn. 12:12-13)
- The crowd that praised Jesus as God’s Saviour was expecting a political and military Messiah, not One who would deal with their much deeper root need for forgiveness and restoration with God.
- Let us enter this Lent season with a willingness to let God deal with root issues in our lives.
- In what ways have you observed Lent in the past? How meaningful has this been for you?
- How might religious ritual be getting in the way of true encounter with God? Where do you sense you are “going through the motions” of your faith?
- Why is authenticity so important for Christian life and growth? How might God be inviting you to deeper honesty with Him and others regarding the truth of where you’re at?
- What might be some longstanding issues in your life that you want God to deal with at deeper levels?