Our feature article captures a moment in Lutheran and Canadian history 400 years ago. It is based on a report that has been carefully preserved from that time. We gain a sense of these people as they understood life in their time and place.
In particular we come to appreciate the ministry of Rev. Rasmus Jensen and the importance of Lutheran ministry for those who were part of the ill-fated Monk Expedition.
From the unflattering description of him, he would not likely have attracted a modern-day call committee. However, I discovered a person who found himself in the right place at the right time.
Even in the worst conditions imaginable, Jensen faithfully proclaimed the gospel and administered Holy Communion to the best of his ability. On the shores of Hudson Bay on Christmas Day 1619, shivering in the cold, malnourished, with illness ravaging their bodies, the crew members who were still alive celebrated the birth of our Saviour as their chaplain led them in worship.
I was particularly moved by the description of the surviving members of the crew gathered around Jensen’s deathbed as he struggled to deliver his last sermon for them.
It led me to wonder about our own celebrations this Christmas 2019. Each of us, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in, will have the opportunity to share the good news of God’s love for the world to the best of our ability. May we be found as faithful as Rasmus Jensen.
I developed a new appreciation for Christmas hampers as Alexandra Blair described her special place In Mission for Others, p. 6.
Fish soup, p. 9, brings a fresh vision of the Christmas tale from a perspective that encourages creativity and imagination in how we can serve others through the gifts we have at hand.
Choosing the right hymn, p. 15, reminds us of what’s at stake for those who select the music that will be most appropriate for such seasons as Advent; especially when everyone seems eager to sing Christmas carols.
Our thanks to Rev. Tim Wray for Why We Say …, p. 31. In the last of this series, watch him pull all those sayings together.
Congratulations to BC Synod editor Rachel Genge on the birth of her daughter Fiona.
Kenn Ward, Editor