Sabbath February 17

We would love to warmly welcome you and thank you for joining our Bronte family to worship, praise, and fellowship with us this Sabbath! This weekend, in Ontario, we will celebrate Family Day. This statutory holiday was originally instituted in 1989 in Alberta, to add a day of leisure between New Year’s Eve and Easter used to celebrate the importance of family life. Over time, it was adapted by other Canadian provinces; though it may be on different dates, Family Day is also recognized in British Columbia, New Brunswick, and Saskatchewan. It’s ironic that the provincial governments had to specifically set aside this date for people to observe their families, when, if people just looked toward God’s will and desire for our lives, they would see that the concept of “family” was already deemed extremely important! “Family” originated by just the second chapter in the Bible, when God built the foundation of the first family, saying, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (Gen 2:18). You know what’s interesting? Family Day falls right after Valentine’s Day, a day when we celebrate love for one another, and the foundation of family and unity in the Bible is all based on love. There are numerous texts thereafter that remind us how to love one another, so we can be in one accord, with those in our family – husbands (Eph. 5:33), wives (Prov. 31:15), parents (Eph. 6:4), children (Exo. 20:12), and siblings (1 John 4:21) – with those who are close to us – friends (John 15:13) and neighbours (Rom 13:10) – and there’s even references on how to love the difficult people in our lives – our enemies (Matt. 5:44). This weekend, as you spend time with those you love, keep in mind that “we love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19) and by showing such love, we are setting an example to everyone who sees us, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35). Blessings to all for this special weekend; may you continue to bless others and be blessed yourself!

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