Message from Rev. Joel Coppieters
Dear members and friends of Côte des Neiges Presbyterian Church,
Like many of you, we have watched closely the latest developments over these last 48 hours and have in particular heard the requests to limit our group activities and points of contact. Taking these measures to limit the spread of the virus will be particularly important until the end of March. Read More
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Holy Week and Easter Saturday – Lessons in waiting
Palm Sunday today begins Holy Week, seven strange days of mixed emotions. On this day the crowds hailed Jesus with their “hosannas,” just warming their voices to cry out for His crucifixion less than a week later.
I confess that as a pastor, I have always really liked Easter Monday, the day I catch my breath after a long week of special services.
A few weeks back, we shook our heads as Mardigras was celebrated with gusto in some cities as the last day to revel before the beginning of Lent.
Ash Wednesday’s symbol on our foreheads helped us begin the solemn 40-day journey to the Cross,
This year, our usual community gathering on Maundy Thursday will more appropriately be an intimate family gathering in our homes, much like the one Jesus had with the disciples in the upper room as He celebrated the Lord’s Supper for the first time.
I think we always know how to do Good Friday, usually thinking about the cross and the price paid for our redemption with one eye firmly already on the joy and power of Easter Sunday morning.
But we don’t do well with Easter Saturday. We don’t do well with delayed gratification. We want it now, even if we have to buy it on credit. We want the painkillers that dissolve quickly with fast immediate action.
We know that Jesus has won the decisive battle. It’s over. He said it Himself on the cross. Why the agonizing wait? Why doesn’t He rise from the dead the very next morning?
When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.
The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.
There are important reasons of course.
The days in the tomb proved that Jesus was really dead and that His Resurrection wasn’t just some sort of reanimation after He had passed out from pain. God wanted the Pharisees and the Romans to do their best, to set up the guard to try to contain Him – so that the victory would be total and complete and unmistakable. And other texts in the New Testament tell us about things we think Jesus was doing between His death and Resurrection.
But more importantly the wait was for the disciples. As hard as the wait is for us, imagine what it was like for them. They had heard Jesus talk about His Resurrection, about coming back to them in a little while, but they had never seen anything like this and had no concept of what to expect. All they knew is that the one they loved and worshipped was apparently dead and gone. The disciples on the Emmaus road so poignantly say “We had hoped …” (Luke 24:21)
But the wait is for us too. We need to learn that there are moments when we are at the end of our own strength, when events beyond our control have played out, when all hope seems lost in human terms and there is nothing more that we can do. Nothing more but wait to see how God intervenes. This is the lesson of Easter Saturday …
“It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:26)
Lord Jesus, as we wait, teach us to wait patiently. We wait in hope with Gordon McPhee and his family as Margaret was cremated yesterday and we long to be able to celebrate her life, and with Debbie’s family as they have lost a beloved uncle, brother, father and friend … and with our hearts going out to the many families whose loved ones have been lost to this pandemic. We wait in hope with those who suffer from COVID 19 including David Arrayet’s brother, praying for their comfort and their healing. We wait in hope grateful for the caregivers and others on the frontlines still standing in the breach for our health and safety. We wait in hope grateful for the interim measures being taken by our governments and by community groups to relieve financial pressures, isolation and other effects of this pandemic. But above all, we wait in hope, for our salvation, and for the redemption of our world, looking to the God of creation, the One who alone has been our Help in ages past. Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation! O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation! All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near, Join me in glad adoration. Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth, Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth! Hast thou not seen how thy desires e’er have been Granted in what He ordaineth? Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee! Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee; Ponder anew what the Almighty can do If with His love He befriend thee. Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him! All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him! Let the amen sound from His people again; Gladly forever adore Him. Amen
Sunday March 29, 2020
It is Sunday morning, and as 11am approaches, things are very quiet here in the building at Côte des Neiges Presbyterian Church. In a few weeks time, we hope to be able to begin broadcasting online a brief Sunday morning service by Zoom, but for this morning again, I will stand alone in the sanctuary, a representative of the congregation, sanctifying this place with humble acts of worship as has happened every Sunday here for almost 156 years. Read More
If you are looking for a church that is solidly based on the Bible, proclaims Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, and has a warm, loving, multi-ethnic fellowship, Cote des Neiges Presbyterian Church may be able to meet your needs.We hope you enjoy browsing our site, and would be happy to see you at one of our services.
We are an Evangelical, Reformed congregation of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, located in the Cote des Neiges area of Montreal, serving the entire island and beyond. Our concern is to worship God and bear witness to Jesus Christ in the inner city.Our people come from about 25 different ethnic groups and speak many languages (English, French, Tagalog, Twi, Arabic, German, Dutch, Tamil, etc). Members also come from a variety of denominational backgrounds.
The services aim at worshiping the Lord with simplicity, reverence and dignity, combining traditional and contemporary styles of praise and prayer. The sermons seek to expound the Word of God and show how it applies to our lives daily.
We adhere to the Westminster Confession of Faith, an outstanding statement of Reformed Faith.
Sunday Worship Services (11:00 a.m & 7:00 p.m)
Our choir, in preparation for the upcoming concert of the Montreal West Presbyterian Church! Come celebrate their 127th anniversary with us this Saturday, October 27th, at 5PM!
Posted by Cote des Neiges Presbyterian Church on Thursday, October 25, 2018