Rev Anthony (Tony) Grainger

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,                                              July 8th, 2020

Last year, Dianne and I made a trip to Europe. We were fortunate to visit with family in England before setting out on a short river boat cruise – from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland. When we reached Basle, we had planned to delay our return journey home with a few days in Switzerland. I had visited the area around Lake Geneva more than 60 years ago on a family holiday. Then we had stayed near Montreux and it had been a memorable vacation.

 It was a poignant moment to look from the train on this recent occasion, traveling along the shore of Lake Geneva and to see once again the familiar sights and mountains, just as I remembered them. In fact so much of our short stay was like that; unchanged, familiar places and beautiful views of the lake, the medieval castle, the  Chateau de Chillon, and the mountains. The most impressive were always the Dents de Midi at the end of the lake. As a boy seeing the thunderstorms roll in and the lightning, from a safe distance, dancing along the mountain tops was memorable.

It was a wonderful few days, travelling down memory lane, showing Dianne the sights and reminding myself just how ‘mountains’ and hills had since my youth meant so much to me. There is a combination of immovable strength, of texture and order to creation; and a horizon that encouraged one to look up, and up some more still. Coming to Calgary, first in 1994 (for a Billy Graham Conference at Lake Louise, no less) and then to be invited to come to St James (in 1999) was doubly blessed – for there were always mountains and hills to look upon.  I like to remember God holds the ‘high ground’ always, and especially in times of adversity.

Perhaps you have an ‘anchor’, a sight, sound, object or memory that reminds you of God’s presence and faithfulness throughout your life? We need such a ‘touchstone’ periodically to be reminded of the ‘company’ we keep.

This is a roundabout way of saying every morning’s sight of the mountains is a reminder to me of God’s ever-presence, power, faithfulness and guiding influence in my life. Today, the Hubble telescope dwarfs our earthly horizons and reveals more of the sweeping reach of God’s universe. The grandeur of God’s creation and the seasons too, are a vivid reminder of the faithfulness of our God through one’s lifetime, let alone the ages. Faithfulness in not only sustaining his own handiwork, but also continuing to be present and bless our daily lives. Being ‘yoked’ to such a presence as our Lord may change each day.

Within the scope of all this I cannot help wonder how God sees this present age and what He will bring about through his purposes for the Kingdom. We think Covid-19 is the priority issue, but we live in a world of people who are discovering more and more how our activities impact so many more than we can see or know. The choices we can and do make have significant consequences.

Each and every day, as Christians, we are called to respond to God, for His Kingdom is ever advancing. May we learn to watch and see this activity however small it may seem to us.   May we be faithful ourselves to all that our LORD has and continues to reveal to us. To continue in prayer, as you do, for both the minutia of our own life and for the greater issues for which we definitely need God’s help and guidance. To continue to celebrate and enjoy creation, as well as remember our role as stewards and do our part in sharing and preserving it. To continue to give thanks for the blessings throughout our life and continue to enjoy and to share them with others.

God’s faithfulness means that He will always do what He has said and fulfill what He has promised.

In His Service,
Tony
Interim priest-in-charge
 
Q. What kind of man was Boaz before he married Ruth?                                    

A. Ruthless

Q. Who was the greatest financier in the Bible?                                               
A. Noah. He was floating his stock while everyone else was in liquidation.

Q. Who was the greatest female financier in the Bible?                                  
A. Pharaoh’s daughter. She went down to the bank of the Nile and drew out a little prophet.

Q. Which area of Palestine was especially wealthy?                                   
A.  The area around the Jordan. The banks were always overflowing.

Q. Who was the greatest comedian in the Bible?                                            

  A.  Samson. He brought the house down.