This is Canada’s Coat of Arms. The Latin at the bottom says “A mari usque ad mare” meaning “from sea to sea” and is taken from Psalm 72:8 – “May He have dominion from sea to sea…”. I post it here because Sunday is Canada Day and it is always a good thing to remind ourselves that our official motto comes from the Scriptures. A little out of context, but out of the Bible nevertheless. Our national anthem is a hymn and there is a great verse of worship from it at the end of this article.

What a weekend coming up. The Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform with its New Abortion Caravan, which was in Toronto on Thursday, will role into the nation’s capital on July 2, which is a holiday due to  Canada Day being a Sunday this year. This Sunday is also the culmination of “Gay Pride” week with the largest Gay Pride Parade in the world happening in Toronto on Sunday. And July 1 is Canada Day. So there. Pro lifers will be urging people to not destroy the most innocent of lives. The homosexual community will be celebrating itself. The country will be celebrating its birthday.

Believers will be at worship celebrating the rescue of a vast host of guilty, hell deserving rebels from eternal death because of the life, death, resurrection, ascension and intercession of the eternal Son of God, Jesus Christ. The pro-life caravan might get a little news coverage. The Gay Pride parade will be the top story in the news as it is every year. And a worshipping community of millions who faithfully gather this Canada Day as they do every Sunday, will garner exactly the same amount of recognition as they usually do – none. And that is fine, thank you very much. While we worship and the rest of the country neither knows nor cares what happens inside our buildings, the great sovereign God of all things sees and hears and because of His Son, accepts the praises of his people. What goes on in those buildings where God is truly worshipped through faith in Jesus, is more significant, more life altering, more important, than all the other celebrations combined. While some do the good work of seeking to preserve life and others celebrate a lifestyle that God says is wrong, the church will worship God and leave their places of worship to infiltrate a culture with the greatest news there can possibly be. We will leave our buildings having been with God in a way that has fed our souls. We leave having been with one another as a united people in Christ. And we leave them prepared to live a week for His glory.

I pray that in the worship services across the country, that hatred for lost sinners will not be promoted and that sin will not be either. I pray that we will not see our services as a time to huddle together and mourn the loss of Christendom and wish for the good old days. I pray that we will have our hearts and minds turned upward to the God who in grace has saved us and now calls us to lovingly reach out to others who have not found Him (or rather, been found by Him) yet. I pray that we will worship with a firm commitment that God is in charge and that righteousness cannot lose and that we are soldiers for a victorious King. I pray that this Canada Day we will worship with gratitude that we can worship together, publicly, without fear, with open Bibles. I pray that He will be so precious to us that if the day should come when those freedoms are taken away, we will still worship, with joy and gratitude and hope and still leave our places of worship committed to giving the Gospel to those who do not know Jesus. And I pray that as we do worship in freedom this Canada Day that we will remember those in chains as if we were chained with them (Hebrews 13:5) committed to praying for them and assisting them in whatever ways we are able.

The text for the message in our church this Sunday will be Luke 20:19-26:

The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on him at that very hour, for they perceived that he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people.  [20] So they watched him and sent spies, who pretended to be sincere, that they might catch him in something he said, so as to deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor.  [21] So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God.  [22] Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?”  [23] But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them,  [24] “Show me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar’s.”  [25] He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”  [26] And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch him in what he said, but marveling at his answer they became silent.
 We are going to begin our service with the fourth verse of O Canada. Heritage Canada has a history of our national anthem here. Here is the fourth verse:

Ruler supreme, who hearest humble prayer,
Hold our dominion within thy loving care;
Help us to find, O God, in thee
A lasting, rich reward,
As waiting for the Better Day,
We ever stand on guard.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
Have a great weekend of true worship to the God who is deserving of much more than we can possibly give. Have a great Canada Day and a relaxing long weekend. And if Canada is not the country of your residence, well, drop in for a visit some time. You might even stay.