You might have many reactions to this adaptation of the Canadian flag. You might find it charming, or puzzling. You might think it’s beautiful and challenging. Or you might find it a bit disturbing, even disrespectful. The Canadian flag was born into controversy, and it turns out how we look at our history is just as fraught. As the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation approaches we want to celebrate all that has brought us to this point, and the many wonderful things about our country. At the same time as we celebrate though, we want to and must commemorate the tragic parts of our history. The attempted erasure of the indigenous peoples, and the racism that greeted many of the immigrants who have arrived on our shores.
It turns out the Bible has a word for us in this complicated moment in our history. One of the passages we’ll look at this week is the story of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar. Abraham and the two women who were treated as his wives, and the inter-tribal, inter-religious, inter-family tensions and violence that rose up in their living together. The story of Canada is a story of humanity’s journey on earth, with all its brilliance and its ugliness.
One of my favourite passages in the Bible is Ecclesiastes 3:15: “That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has gone before.” With God’s help, we can seek reconciliation, we can seek what has gone before in our history and make it right. Even as we move into a week of celebration, let us commemorate, and let us commit to seeking right relationships with our Creator, and with the First Nations peoples who have loved this land long before our ancestors even knew it was here.
Also happening this Sunday:
– get your stickers and put them beside some of your favourite possible new names for our congregation. Have a great idea for a new name? Make your suggestion in the Suggestion Box.
– join in the fun at the congregational picnic after worship. Food, fun, games and companionship. Who could ask for more!