A theological post invoking thought and reflection. Delivered in a spoken word style, we look at biblical teachings, stories, and routines to help create a positive weekly attitude for all who read it.  Posted weekly on Thursdays 

Day after day we are reminded of our limitations.

There is only so much that I can give,

Only so much that our flawed systems can correct

Only so well that we can understand what is right, just and good.

In these moments when we are reminded of our inadequacy, we are challenged to find our

strength in something beyond our own power.

In something beyond human strength altogether.

Christ’s Kingdom is perfect in justice, mercy and peace.

There are moments when we are graciously allowed to participate in the building of this

Kingdom.

When we serve, advocate for justice and give generously.

But in the inevitable moments when we feel inadequate, would we take hope.

Hope in a Kingdom that is coming regardless of our actions.

And hope in a King that is restoring all things to Himself- including us and our inadequacies.

H. Janzen 04/08/21

I cannot thank God enough for the time I have spent and the people I have met at St. Joe’s Supper Table. In a time when I was starved for connection, it gave me the opportunity to become friends with new people. In a time when I was desperate for purpose, it gave me the ability to serve my neighbours on the margins in a small, but meaningful way. In a time of uncertainty, it was a consistent place where I was greeted at 9 am with a cup of coffee.

I have felt so safe to be myself, supported by people committed to my health, education, and growth. I have felt so loved by the genuine gratitude of guests. I have been inspired by their intentionality to get to know me and their belief in my crazy dreams. I have seen Jesus in the people and ministry here, and he has taught me so much about his Kingdom through them.

This place will always have a special place in my heart, as I strive to create similar places wherever the Lord guides me next. Thank you all!

With much fondness and a heartfelt “Bah-Byeee!”,

K. Carter 03/25/21

St. Joe’s Supper Table

An outpost of the Kingdom of God

Where a cup of coffee

Means rejuvenation and hope

It’s a sip of “we are with you” on a lonely day

It’s a reminder to keep on fighting through a desperate place

Where God works for the good of his beloved

Through deeply flawed, yet faithful servants

Where these same servants are blessed in turn

As they discover their King’s image in “the least of” humanity

Where an underfunded community mission

Leans on the Lord through innumerable trials

To serve their neighbours as best they can

Equipped with soft hearts and hard feet

Where all are invited to the table

No matter their past, no matter their name

And sent out with a smile and a filled cup

To face a journey that no one can face for them

K.Carter 02/18/21

Emerging out of a bleak winter, spring is coming.
New life is budding, nourished by streams of melted snow and the warmth of the sun.
Ground that has been barren for months will sustain life once more.
Creation is engineered to foster life, representing the intention of the Creator.
Streams of living water bring fullness of life to all things.
Barren souls become fertile soil.
Cold environments melt under the warm sun.
In the design of creation, new life is inevitable.
What a joy it is to be a part of that creation, cared for by its generous Creato
r.

H.Janzen 03/11/21

Cold sidewalks, masked faces, begging hands, cries for help.

Our hearts break.

In the face of despair and injustice a broken heart is the correct response.

Lord, break our hearts for what breaks yours.

Yet The Light is always present.

Warm smiles, expressions of gratitude, friendship and encouragement.

Once our hearts have been broken, light begins to seep into the cracks.

It does not mend the brokenness.

Nor should mending the brokenness be the goal.

When our hearts break as Christ’s heart breaks we are graciously allowed to see the beauty

that Christ sees.

It does not take away the sting of brokenness

But it reminds us that there is one whose light is more powerful than the darkness.

H. Janzen 3/4/21

Be Our Way, Our Truth, and Our Life

Lord Jesus,

desert dweller,

help us now,

at this time of Lent,

to accompany you.

If we have grown soft,

cushioning our lives

with excuses,

expose us to the toughness

of your way.

If we have grown lazy,

cushioning our minds

with easy, thin thoughts,

expose us to the rigour

of your truth.

If we have grown comfortable,

cushioning our living

with satisfaction and success,

expose us to the challenge

of your life.

As we walk,

God, be our way.

As we learn,

God, be our truth.

As we grow

God, be our life.

We pray in Jesus’ name.

Amen.

 

–       John Harvey and Millicent

Yesterday marked the beginning of lent. A time of sacrifice, of letting go of earthly pleasures and allowing ourselves to be filled with the peace, hope and joy of the Lord.

It is a humble sacrifice between us and God.

It is often a challenging sacrifice, one that prompts us to reflect on where we have been putting our time, energy or hope.

But it is a rewarding sacrifice.

One that draws us into the goodness of God.

Most practices of giving up and letting go of earthly treasures have this effect.

A humble donation of finances or time.

Vulnerability for the sake of friendship.

A dedication of our lives to service.

Sacrifice requires that we give up treasures, areas of abundance where we can easily put our hope.

This act of giving opens doors for Christ to move.

As we practice generosity, we are brought into fullness of life.

As we sacrifice, as we let go of our earthly pleasures, we allow ourselves to be filled with the peace, hope and joy of the Lord.

Would our lenten sacrifices inspire us to practice letting go in other areas of our lives as well.

H. Janzen 02/18/21

Generosity does not come from our own strength.

Rather generosity is properly practiced through imitating Christ’s generosity towards us.

His generosity as he blesses us with spiritual gifts, with physical assets and with encounters of His presence.

“Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 5:8b) Jesus asks of us.

Receiving leads to giving.

But in order to give well, we must also learn to receive.

We must recognize that we do not understand all that there is to understand, or possess all that there is to possess.

Receiving well is an act of humility, an act of recognizing the ways that Christ has blessed those around us and of recognizing our own areas of need.

It is honouring the blessedness of the poor in spirit (Matthew 5:3).

As we learn to receive and to give, a cycle of Christlike generosity begins.

Each of us recognizing our blessings and our needs,

Each of us humbly accepting and offering up our gifts from Christ.

H. Janzen 01/27/21

In the shadow of extravagant gifts,

A poor widow offers God all that she has.

While her culture deems her worthless,

Jesus lifts her as an example to us all.

(Mark 12:41-44)

 If we look closely, Jesus teaches us through a poor woman:

That we all have the power of generosity in us,

That the value of a gift is what it costs the giver to give,

That our Father provides what we need,

That how we give always matters more than how much,

That giving is good for us, more than it is good for God.

 

Do I offer my faded coat, or my favourite one?

Do I give to impress my friends, or because I overflow with Christ’s love?

Do I expect a return someday, or open my hands freely?

 

Worthless and forgettable in the eyes of the rich,

A poor widow inspires me to give from the deep wealth God has given each of his children.

K. Carter 02/03/21

Cold hands meet cold stares.

Begging from the steps of closed shops,

Packed into pest-infested rooming houses,

Curled on benches designed to keep them off,

Cold hands meet cold stares.

Suspicion. Disgust. Fear.

Indifference. Unspoken guilt.

Cold hands meet cold stares.

 

Like his parliamentarian neighbour,

A brave vagabond hungers for meaning.

How can I change this world?

What will I leave behind?

 

Warm breath is spent to fill multicoloured balloons.

Cold hands are exposed to securely tie them off.

An overlooked man decides to leave a legacy of joy,

His very own fight against cold stares and cold hands.

 

So that children walking by can kick them into the sky.

So that cars must stop and wonder how they got there.

So that Ottawa’s brown, slushy streets

Are adorned with brightly coloured surprises.

So that he is remembered in one place

As he leaves for the next.

 

What do we leave behind us?

What warmth has God given us to share with the world?

 

 

 

Kathleen J. Carter

 

02/11/21