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Thursday, November 3, 2022

Daylight Saving Time Ends This Weekend - Turn Clocks Back 1 Hour

Daylight Saving Time Ends November 6 church

Light In The Darkness: The 34th Crew Member of Copiapo - 2022

Dear BLCF Friends, Effective April 10, 2022, Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship – BLCF Church will reopen by reservation only for Sunday worship under the limitations and guidelines set by Public Health and the Board of BLCF. In order to protect those who are vulnerable at Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship from COVID-19 Virus infection, the BLCF Board mandates that the church will be open by reservation, with the following rules:
  • attendees must wear a mask while on the premises
  • attendees give their contact information upon arrival
  • attendees observe two meters of social distance while seated
  • attendees use hand sanitizer as needed
  • attendees follow any additional directions given by members of the board, while inside the church
Please be advised that both the BLCF Café Community Dinner and the BLCF Wednesday Prayer Service will continue to remain closed effective March 16, 2020, and until further notice. We pray with the administration of sufficient COVID-19 vaccinations, and following the determination of Health Canada and other Health Authorities, that the danger of the Pandemic will have subsided sufficiently, to allow BLCF to reopen safely more of our worship and outreach activities without any concern of infection to the vulnerable within our community. – Pastor Steve

Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship – BLCF Church Message for Sunday:

‘Light In The Darkness: The 34th Crew Member of Copiapo

© October 30, 2022, by Steve Mickelson

Based on Messages  Published at BLCF on July 6, 2014, and October 31, 2010

BLCF: Bulletin July 6, 2014

BLCF_Christ_with_miners

 Service Prelude: Here I Am To Worship | Maranatha! Music (Lyric Video) - https://youtu.be/03G52K9X2hQ

https://youtu.be/03G52K9X2hQ Announcements and Call to Worship; Prayer  Tithing & Prayer Requests; Hymn #572: Praise God from Whom All Blessings                                                                   Doxology (Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow) Instrumental - https://youtu.be/Mk4p3rihONU https://youtu.be/Mk4p3rihONU Today’s Scriptures: Isaiah 7:11, Colossians 1:13, Psalm 139:1-12  Opening Hymn: Send the Light - Live worship from FBC Glencoe - https://youtu.be/TqSN_QZ_VD4 https://youtu.be/TqSN_QZ_VD4

Light of the World - [Lyric Video] Lauren Daigle - https://youtu.be/dCRunZGYBi4

https://youtu.be/dCRunZGYBi4

Lauren Daigle - Rescue (Lyrics) - https://youtu.be/KRCqkgE4p-Y

https://youtu.be/KRCqkgE4p-Y Responsive Reading # 608 (God’s Omniscience – Psalm 139)

BLCF" God'shelping_hand

Colossians 1:13 (ESV)

 13He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son

BLCF: i-will-hold-your-right-hand-and-i-will-help-you-isaiah-41_13

                                                           

Psalm 139:1-12 (ESV) Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

139 O Lord, you have searched me and known me!  You know when I sit down and when I rise up;     

you discern my thoughts from afar.  You search out my path and my lying down      and are acquainted with all my ways.  Even before a word is on my tongue,      behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before,      and lay your hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;      it is high; I cannot attain it. Where shall I go from your Spirit?      Or where shall I flee from your presence?  If I ascend to heaven, you are there!      If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!   If I take the wings of the morning      and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,   even there your hand shall lead me,      and your right hand shall hold me.    If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,      and the light about me be night,”     even the darkness is not dark to you;      the night is bright as the day,      for darkness is as light with you

BLCF: Joe Castillo - Face of Christ 

Let us pray… Welcome to our Praise and Worship Service for the last Sunday of  October here at Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship - BLCF.Church.  Next Sunday falls on the weekend when we set our clocks back an hour to transition time from Daylight Savings Time in order to return to Standard Time. We find that to accommodate Daylight Savings and Standard Time changes it is often necessary to want to mark our calendars in order to live a safer, more comfortable life twice a year. The website, timeanddate.com, indicates that as described by its name, Daylight Saving Time (DST) is the practice of setting the clocks forward one hour from standard time during the summer months, and back again in the fall, in order to make better use of natural daylight. When Germany first set the clocks forward on April 30, 1916, it became the first country in the world to use DST on a national level. However, the town of Thunder Bay in Ontario, Canada implemented DST as far back as 1908. https://www.timeanddate.com/time/dst/ Saving Daylight by changing the time is not the only reason we find it beneficial to change our hours of operation, as we have done something similar to accommodate the waves of infection during the COVID-19 Pandemic. If you look at the disclaimers indicating the hours of operation for BLCF Church and its ministries over the past two and a half years, you find a number of changes we had to make during the waves of infection of the COVID-19 Pandemic, including closing our doors and restricting activities from time to time. Politicians may have announced that the Pandemic has ended, but seems that the virus did not get the memo, as we witness the continued weekly count of infections and deaths as reported by The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), an independent global health research center at the University of Washington:

COVID-19 Results Briefing: Canada, October 24, 2022 This document contains summary information on the latest projections from the IHME model on COVID-19 in Canada. The model was run on October 21, 2022, with data through October 18, 2022.

Daily reported cases in the last week increased to 3,000 per day on average compared to 2,900 the week before. • Daily hospital census in the last week (through October 18) increased to 6,800 per day on average compared to 6,700 the week before. • Reported deaths due to COVID-19 in the last week increased to 39 per day on average compared to 33 the week before. • Total deaths due to COVID-19 in the last week increased to 62 per day on average compared to 53 the week before. This makes COVID-19 the number three cause of death in Canada this week. Estimated total daily deaths due to COVID-19 in the past week were 1.6 times larger than the reported number of deaths.  https://www.healthdata.org/sites/default/files/covid_briefs/101_briefing_Canada.pdf But that is not the subject of today’s lesson. The event which is the topic of today’s lesson had in some regards, engaged more worldwide public interest than the current state of infections and deaths due to COVID-19, as it had dominated the media around the world for over two months. It was just twelve years ago this month, on October 13, 2010; that 33 Chilean Miners were rescued from their underground mine, where they were trapped on August 7, 2010, some 69 days previous. Wikepedia.org indicates that twice as many people observed the rescue operation than the moon landing: After winching the last trapped miner to the surface, the mine rescue paramedics, the best available drawn from multiple national agencies and military services, all still underground, held up a sign for the TV cameras reading "Misión cumplida Chile" (English: ""Mission accomplished Chile"), which was seen by a TV/Web audience estimated at more than 1 billion viewers around the world watching the rescue live.                                                                                                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Copiap%C3%B3_mining_accident

BLCF: Miner_Miracle

The lesson I would like to share with you this morning has several elements that are important to the Christian walk: trusting God in times of danger and adversity; faith in the Scriptures when tempted by Satan; and why God allows believers to be placed in harm’s way in order to convict others in faith. It is interesting that as with Job in the Old Testament, God allowed Jesus to be tempted by Satan, an account recorded in Luke 4:1-13: BLCF: the_temptation_of_Jesus

Luke 4:1-13(ESV): The Temptation of Jesus

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread." And Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone.'" And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, "To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours." And Jesus answered him, "It is written, "'You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.'"  And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, "'He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,' and "'On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'" And Jesus answered him, "It is said, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'" And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time. We studied this verse on a previous Sunday when we spoke of temptation, where I highlighted several aspects of the story of Jesus' temptation and compared it to what we may face today. You may recall that Jesus, having been baptized by John, known as John the Baptist, received the Holy Spirit, and was led by the Spirit to a place in the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. When you think about it, this is not quite the path or journey you would expect from one who has just received the Holy Spirit. When Satan tempted Jesus, he appealed to three things: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life. First, he challenged Jesus, after a 40-day fast, to use his powers to make food and satisfy His needs of the flesh. Then he challenged Jesus to look at the world from a high place and offered Him dominion over all He saw. Finally, he tempted Jesus to throw Himself down from a tower, saying that surely, as God's son, He would be saved - an appeal to pride. We find to each challenge, not only did Jesus resist Satan, but in fact, Jesus rebuked the devil with the Holy Scripture. Interestingly enough, we read in Luke 4:13 that the devil departed from tempting Jesus until an opportune time, indicating that Satan would return again when he had the opportunity. We see that even the Son of God may be subject to temptation and testing by Satan. Just like Jesus, we may defeat the devil by way of a determined faith and the appropriate use of Scripture. We must trust that nothing can separate us from the love of God.

BLCF: creation-of-33

Romans 8:38-39 

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.     The 33 miners were rescued in the middle of the month of October, just a couple of weeks before the eve of Dia de Los Muertos or des Los Difuntos in Hispanic countries, known as Dia de Finados in those that speak Portuguese. In English, we translate both as Day of the Dead. Because this day happens to occur on the calendar shortly after Halloween or All Hallows Eve, many mistakenly believe the two are similar or related, while the two have little in common. The Day of the Dead is a time of celebration, where partying and eating are common. In Spain, there are festivals and parades and, at the end of the day, people gather in cemeteries and pray for their dead loved ones. Catholic, Anglican, and Eastern Orthodox Christian churches observe the day as All Souls’ Day, though the Eastern Orthodox celebrate it on a Saturday because of Jesus’ resting in the tomb on a Saturday. In Lebanon, Israel, and Syria, the observance is called Yom el Maouta. Unlike its Hollywood portrayal, the Day of the Dead is a day to commemorate departed loved ones, and pray for the day of the Rapture when all believers will be reunited. By all expert calculations, in Chile’s northern Atacama desert, near the town Copiapo, the Day of the Dead should have been a day of mourning for 33 miners trapped 700 meters, 2300 feet below the surface, about 5 kilometers or 3 miles from the entrance of the San Jose, an old gold and copper mine. For two massive cave-in, had seemed to seal the fate of any survivor. All that could be done was to pray for the 33 lost souls. Chile is a mineral-rich country, approximately the size of the U.S. state of California in North America, Chile stretches along the western portion of the South American continent, bordered by mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. And like California, Chile is located on an active earthquake belt. Unlike Chile’s larger, newer mines, the San Jose Mine where the miners were trapped was very old having been opened in 1889, and lacking many of the safety features of more modern mines, such as an alternate entrance that could allow a means of escape for those surviving a cave-in. Since the year 2,000, about 34 miners die each year in Chilean mines. In the past 12 years, 8 miners had lost their lives at the San Jose mine. Chile is the world’s leading copper supplier. Because of the demands for copper by emerging industrialized nations such as China, such mines as the San Jose were kept open and offered an appealing livelihood in an otherwise sluggish world economy. Several of the miners trapped in San Jose had migrated from other regions after losing jobs in a worldwide recession. In spite of the risks, San Jose offered the miners the means to put food on the table and a better life. That is until that fateful day in August when the miner’s world literally collapsed. On the surface, news of the disaster and the fact that the miners were 700 meters below the surface seem to indicate that the fate of any survivors was sealed, as a ventilation shaft viewed as the only means of rescue had collapsed in a second cave-in. No rescue from such a depth had ever been contemplated, let alone attempted. It seemed that the 2010 Day of the Dead observances would include a visit to the San Jose tomb of the lost 33 miners. This is where the tale took a turn. In their moment of profound loss and in spite of any real hope of rescue, the families of the 33 miners, showed uncommon strength of purpose; demanded that the Chilean government recover the bodies of their lost loved ones. This is where the next surprise occurred, as the government bowed to the families’ demands and began drilling pilot holes to locate the miners’ bodies. Over the next 17 days, seven 700-meter-deep holes were drilled without any success. On the eighth attempt, according to one report, the drill bit was deflected by some hard rock strata and then penetrated into a cavity deep beneath the earth. "It was 75% engineering and 25% a miracle," said topographer Macarena Valdes. Ms. Valdes was speaking of her own role in the rescue, as she augmented science with a touch of gut instinct to help guide rescuers' probe drills into the rock, in hopes of finding survivors, in the days after the miners' disappearance. Her method paid off after more than two weeks, when searchers sent one of their narrow probe drills down through the rock, punched it into the chamber where the men had taken refuge, and, from more than 2,000 feet above, and felt someone tap back. Even more astonishing was the note attached to the retracted drill bit to which a piece of paper was attached with the message:

"Estamos bien en el refugio los 33" (English: "We are well in the shelter, the 33 [of us]").

BLCF: message los 33

It was a miracle beyond belief that all of the 33 missing miners were alive, but would anyone dare to hope for a rescue? No miners were ever rescued from 700 meters. Trapped miners had been rescued from a cave in Pennsylvania, but they were only one-tenth the depths of the 33 in San Jose. For 17 days the miners have survived on meager rations of two spoonfuls of tuna and half a glass of milk every 48 hours. While still trapped in the mine, there emerged several stories of faith in God and how He sustained the entombed 33. In a letter to his brother, miner Jorge Galeguillos says he believes a white butterfly saved his life the day the mine caved. Mining consultant Miguel Fortt is not given to flights of fancy. He says white butterflies flutter around purple flowers that blossom in the desert early in the morning, but they rarely fly deep into a mineshaft. He says the two miners slowed down to observe the butterfly and that saved them from driving into rock falls triggered by the first cave-in. Fortt says: "People who are religious would call this a miracle. From a scientific perspective, the butterfly may have flown into the mine on air currents. You can draw your own conclusions but that butterfly saved lives," Galeguillos' brother, who is also a miner, can't explain how a butterfly flew more than 500 meters deep into the mine. But like most of the miners there, he believes the butterfly was protecting his older brother's life. The butterfly was a sign from God.

BLCF: aop3111.pmd

Isaiah 7:11

"Ask the LORD your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights." It is interesting that the butterfly is often used to represent the resurrected Christ freed from the chrysalis tomb.

BLCF: hebrews13_7

2 Corinthians 5:17

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."  Above the miners, a rescue plan was formed, though chances of a successful rescue of the miners alive were calculated at a meager 2%. I would speculate that no politician in North America would even consider embarking upon planning any action that had a 98% chance of failure. I give kudos to the president of Chile for the bold and compassionate action of initiating a rescue plan. Three separate rescue holes were drilled, using technologies from Germany and the U.S.A.  NASA scientists were consulted and a rescue capsule was designed by engineers of the Chilean Navy. The world watched, prayed, and waited as the drama of the trapped 33 unfolded. And more stories of God’s presence. Miners acknowledge that they survived thanks to a 34th member of the crew.

jesus-christ-arm-wrestling-satan-devil-lucifer-animated.gif

 Mario Sepulveda, the second miner rescued said: "I was with God, and I was with the devil," he said through a translator. "But God won, I held onto God's hand, the best hand, and at no point in time … did I doubt that God wouldn't get me out of there." It was Sepulveda’s faith in God that assured him of his rescue. Satan used temptation and was defeated. And who other than the Son of God could understand and support those who are tested by temptation by Satan.

BLCF" Hebrews2_18

Hebrews 2:18

For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.  Miner Ricardo Villaroel describes the incident as a moment of faith renewal:  “I never use to pray. Here I learned to pray. I got closer to God.”

BLCF: Romans_8_38

Romans 8:38-39

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.                             Nineteen-year-old miner Jimmy Sanchez wrote in a letter sent up prior to his rescue:  “There are actually 34 of us because God has never left us down there.”

isaiah_41_v_10j

Isaiah 41:10

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. It was reported that while trapped underground, three of the miners and one of the miner’s wives accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.

BLCF: Isaiah_41_13

Isaiah 41:13

For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, "Fear not, I am the one who helps you." Finally, the main drill punched through and one by one the 33 were brought out to safety. Faith is also a major theme of national rhetoric. At the beginning of the rescue Chilean President Sebastian Pinera stated, “When the first miner emerges safe and sound, I hope all the bells of all the churches of Chile ring out forcefully, with joy and hope. Faith has moved mountains.”The first action of several, as they emerged, immediately gave thanks to God for being delivered from the shadow of death.

BLCF: Col1_13-14

Colossians 1:13

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son. There are a number of similarities between the plight of the 33 Chilean miners and Jesus’ temptation described in Luke 4. Both involved a confrontation between God and the devil while taking place in an isolated desert place. Both are examples of courage and faith in the face of adversity, where the devil tempted and was defeated. Finally, both teach Christian believers valuable lessons in the power of faith and trust in God and His Holy Word. The Chilean story shows how God may allow the devil to tempt believers and how faith can defeat temptation. Without trust and faith, all of the miners would have perished. One can only ponder many aspects of this story that indicate God was the 34th Crew Member in the mine. What if those drilling who sought the miners had given up after only seven attempts? What if on the eighth try, the bit wasn’t deflected by a stone, which is how it reached the miners? What if President Pinera had decided not to attempt a rescue with 2% odds? What if the miners had given up after the cave-in and not rationed food in the darkness and allowed death and Satin to have their way? We know from Christ’s example, that as Christian believers, we will be tempted by Satan and that God will battle the devil on our behalf. I believe that the story of the faith and courage of the trapped miners is meant to show us all that the devil will tempt us and faith and trust in God will deliver us.

BLCF:Jesus-is-Light-Pic

BLCF: Chilean 33

Miner Mario Gomez's wife, Lilianett Gomez, said her emotions had changed dramatically. She said, though, that people here had shown that they have the strength to weather the crisis, and now the whole world knows it: "God put these 33 miners together," she said. "It must have been for something, perhaps to send a message to the world." Perhaps God’s message that Lilianett Gomez alluded to can be found in the Scriptures, particularly in Hebrews 13:5 (NIV): "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,"Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

BLCF: Chilean_mine_disaster

Let Us Pray…

Closing Music Special: Phil Wickham - Living Hope (Lyrics) - https://youtu.be/9f2FXxDVO6w

https://youtu.be/9f2FXxDVO6w  Benediction (Psalm 51:11-12): Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.   

    

BLCF: jesus_escobedo

BLCF: kNOw Jesus kNOw Peace animated

Friday, October 14, 2022

With the Lord: James Lawrence Mathew McMillan

James Lawrence Mathew McMillan

James Lawrence Mathew McMillan passed peacefully, with his family by his side, on Tuesday, October 4, 2022, at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, at the age of 89. Beloved husband of Gillian. He is dearly missed by his children and their families, Ruth and her daughter Sunshine, Philip (Veronica) and their daughter Janelle, Luke (Diane), and their sons Hudson, Logan, and Magnus. Friends may call at the Turner & Porter Yorke Chapel, 2357 Bloor St. W., at Windermere, east of the Jane Subway, on Friday, October 14, 2022, from 2 p.m., followed by a Funeral Service in the Chapel at 3 p.m. Online condolences may be made through www.turnerporter.ca

blcf3BLCF Congregation 2

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Divine Miracles that Satisfy: A Wedding, a Widow, and a Multitude - 2022

Dear BLCF Friends,

Effective April 10, 2022, Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship – BLCF Church will reopen by reservation only for Sunday worship under the limitations and guidelines set by Public Health and the Board of BLCF. In order to protect those who are vulnerable at Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship from COVID-19 Virus infection, the BLCF Board mandates that the church will be open by reservation, with the following rules:

  • attendees must wear a mask while on the premises
  • attendees give their contact information upon arrival
  • attendees observe two meters social distance while seated
  • attendees use hand sanitizer as needed
  • attendees follow any additional directions given by members of the board, while inside the church

Please be advised that both the BLCF Café Community Dinner and the BLCF Wednesday Prayer Service will continue to remain closed effective March 16, 2020, and until further notice. We pray with the administration of sufficient COVID-19 vaccinations, and following the determination of Health Canada and other Health Authorities, that the danger of the Pandemic will have subsided sufficiently, to allow BLCF to reopen safely more of our worship and outreach activities without any concern of infection to the vulnerable within our community.

– Pastor Steve

blessings-to-all-from-blcf-church-on-mother-s-day

Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship – BLCF Church Message for Sunday:

Divine Miracles that Satisfy: A Wedding, a Widow, and a Multitude

© May 8, 2022, by Steve Mickelson

Based on a Message shared at BLCF on May 9, 2021, and on May 10, 2015

BLCF Bulletin May 10, 2015

BLCF: faith_thanking-God_in_advance

Music Special - Church (Take Me Back) Cochren & Co. Worship Video with lyrics - https://youtu.be/ns8lIG6cLc8

https://youtu.be/ns8lIG6cLc8

Announcements & Call to Worship; Prayer

Tithing and Prayer Requests: Hymn #572: Praise God; Prayers

Today’s Scriptures: John 2:1-12, 2 Kings 4:1-7, Matthew 14:13-21

BLCF: bread-of-life

Music Special - O' Lord w/ Lyrics (Lauren Daigle) - https://youtu.be/K42bvpgimTg

https://youtu.be/K42bvpgimTg

Music Special - Shout to the Lord (Hillsong Worship) Lyrics Video - https://youtu.be/-uMiCFfva3M

https://youtu.be/-uMiCFfva3M

Let us pray...

Good morning and welcome to BLCF Church’s Praise and Worship Service on this Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 8, 2022. I pray the Lord will bring a special blessing to all the moms on this day where we appreciate motherhood.

For our lesson this morning, I would like to examine how the Lord supplies for the needs of those who serve Him faithfully. Today’s lesson, ‘Divine Miracles that Satisfy: A Wedding, a Widow, and a Multitude, we shall begin with the reading of three accounts in the Bible, where the Lord responded to the needs of His faithful servants, each by way of a Divine miracle.

The first Scripture, John 2:1-12, describes the miracle at the wedding at Cana:

John 2:1-12 (ESV): The Wedding at Cana

BLCF: thefirstmiracle

2 On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.[a] Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.

12 After this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brothers[b] and his disciples, and they stayed there for a few days.

Footnotes: a. John 2:6 Greek two or three measures (metrētas); a metrētēs was about 10 gallons or 35 liters b. John 2:12 Or brothers and sisters. The plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) refers to siblings in a family. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, adelphoi may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters

BLCF: God_I_need_a_miracle

In the above passage, Jesus was asked by his mother, Mary, to help provide more wine for the wedding. The wine had run out and, though Jesus told his mother that his hour had not yet come, her son obeyed his mother’s wishes by changing six stone jars of water into wine.

This was the first of the miracles Jesus that was to perform as a sign to the disciples of his manifested glory.

The second Scripture, 2 Kings 4:1-7, tells of how the death of one of the sons of the prophets had created a situation where a creditor has come to make the widow’s two children his slaves, as payment for the dead man’s debts. The widow asks the prophet, Elisha, to help save her sons:

2 Kings 4:1-7 (ESV): Elisha and the Widow's Oil

BLCF: widow-oil

4 Now the wife of one of the sons of the prophets cried to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord, but the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves.” And Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me; what have you in the house?” And she said, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.” Then he said, “Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not too few. Then go in and shut the door behind yourself and your sons and pour into all these vessels. And when one is full, set it aside.” So she went from him and shut the door behind herself and her sons. And as she poured they brought the vessels to her. When the vessels were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another.” Then the oil stopped flowing. She came and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on the rest.”

In our second Scripture, Elisha asks the widow, what does she have of value in the house? Her reply is a single jar of oil. The widow was instructed to acquire as many empty vessels as possible, from her neighbors, next to close the doors, and then fill the empty vessels from her single vessel of oil. When all of the empty vessels were filled, the oil stopped flowing. Elisha instructed the widow to sell the oil from the vessels in order to pay off her debts, and that she and her sons could live off the rest.

The third Scripture account, from Matthew 14:13-21, describes how Jesus multiplies five loaves of bread and six fish to feed some five thousand men, plus their women and children:

Matthew 14:13-21 (ESV)

BLCF: feeding-the-multitude

13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15 Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” 17 They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” 18 And he said, “Bring them here to me.” 19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. 21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

In these three miracle accounts, we see that the Lord provided an abundance of wine, oil, and food to take care of his faithful servants. Not only do these miracles demonstrate the ‘Glory of God’, but they also provide food from the earth to feed the hungry, wine to gladden the believers’ hearts, and oil to anoint the widow and her sons.

These first two accounts show how the Lord takes care of the needs of the faithful by providing wine for a wedding in one case and oil for an indebted widow in the other. All three miracles required actions of faith on the part of those seeking help from God.

It is appropriate that on Mother’s Day, we see that the first two miracles are in response to requests from the Lord's faithful servants, who are mothers seeking the Lord’s help for the needs of others. It is just like a mother, who is faithful to the Lord, putting the needs of others ahead of her own! And the third had sought guidance from a prophet of the Lord to meet her family's needs.

In the three Scripture accounts that we studied, we have miracles of the Lord providing an abundance of wine, oil, and food, all staples, and necessities of life. These miracles demonstrate how God provides for the needs of His own, which the Psalmist acknowledges in, Psalm 104:13-16 (ESV):

13 From your lofty abode you water the mountains;     

the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.

14 You cause the grass to grow for the livestock     

and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth

15and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine     

and bread to strengthen man's heart.

16 The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly,     

the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.

BLCF: God_blesses_those

Our righteousness, as demonstrated by our obedience to God, gives us His reward of wine, oil,, and food to gladden our hearts. In the same manner, when we honor and obey our parents, we provide joy to our parents. For when we honor our parents, we honor His commandment, Proverbs 23:22-25 (ESV):

22 Listen to your father who gave you life,     

and do not despise your mother when she is old.

23 Buy truth, and do not sell it;     

buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.

24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice;     

he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.

25 Let your father and mother be glad;     

let her who bore you rejoice.

BLCF: God Listens

When we are not obedient to the Lord, by not serving God and following His commandments; worshipping other gods, we face His wrath and judgment, Deuteronomy 11:13-17 (ESV):

13 “And if you will indeed obey my commandments that I command you today, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, 14 he[a] will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, that you may gather in your grain and your wine and your oil. 15 And he will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you shall eat and be full. 16 Take care lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them; 17 then the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you, and he will shut up the heavens, so that there will be no rain, and the land will yield no fruit, and you will perish quickly off the good land that the Lord is giving you.

Footnotes: a. Deuteronomy 11:14 Samaritan, Septuagint, Vulgate; Hebrew I; also verse 15

And just as a servant of the Lord may look to Him to provide for the physical needs, Jesus promises to provide for our spiritual needs, John 6:35 (ESV):

BLCF: I_Am_The_Bread

35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.

The Divine Miracles shared in today's lesson are wine, oil, and bread, all multiplied by the power of the Lord. The three are not just staples of our physical life, providing for the physical needs, when blessed, they are also used as elements of spiritual worship; wine and bread when we remember the Lord as elements of communion and oil to anoint those who seek His healing.

Just as the ordinary elements of these staples of life are transformed into elements of spiritual worship, when blessed through faith, by faith, ordinary people are elevated to a place of sanctification when they accept, by faith, the gifts of the bread of life and living water, given by our Lord and Saviour, Jesus.

The provision of the Devine, both physically and spiritually, is faith’s reward, which gladdens our hearts and glorifies His name. Let us praise His name and share the Gospel of the Lord Jesus unto the ends of the earth and until the end of our days.

Let us pray...

Music Special - In Jesus' Name (God of Possible) - Katy Nichole - Lyric Video - https://youtu.be/R84PqRdZ7_Y

https://youtu.be/R84PqRdZ7_Y

Benediction – (Philippians 4:19-20): And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen