Across Canada, We Have Peace Binding Us Together

Written by Helen Burns, from beautiful British Columbia.

Written by Helen Burns, from beautiful British Columbia.

The experience of gathering together the sisterhood across this gorgeous land I love has been so encouraging and has exhilarated my spirit in surprising ways…and we’ve only just begun! So far this year we have gathered together in Vancouver, Edmonton, Montreal and soon we’ll meet in Toronto and I wonder where we will go from there?

I have always known that God is doing great things through His Church in Canada, and I know He has such great plans for all of us as we move into the future, but what I have seen and experienced in these past few months through gathering together has opened my eyes and heart to the strength and beauty of coming together harmoniously. Women of every age, representing so many cultures, backgrounds and churches. Teenagers alongside grandmothers (like me) engaged in meaningful conversations - not noticing our differences, but celebrating them and I know it thrills the heart of our Father.

‘Live a life that is worthy of the calling He has graciously extended to you. Be humble. Be gentle. Be patient. Tolerate one another in an atmosphere thick with love. Make every effort to preserve the unity the Spirit has already created, with peace binding you together.’ Eph. 4:1-3 The Voice

I love this! We are called to walk in this place of unity, which the Spirit has already created and accomplished through the finished work of Jesus – a place where the atmosphere is already thick with His love.

God is at work in Canada and long before any of us arrived here – the Holy Spirit was already working to bring us together and our work is to build on and guard that precious unity.

In a day where I can get discouraged with some of the critical voices of people who speak disparaging words about the Church, I am so delighted to report that the Church of Jesus Christ is beautiful, thriving and strong. Gather Women has afforded me such a wonderful opportunity to get a glimpse of what God is up to in this nation and to see a stunning thread of the work of the Spirit that is uniting us and moving us forward in His purpose at this very specific time in history. Yes, there are hurdles and obstacles on this journey, but together we can overcome them as we stand together strong and unified.

So my eyes are bright with hope and my heart is bursting with eager anticipation of what is to come. God is at work and we get to partner with His magnificent purpose for such a time as this.

I hope you feel encouraged and join us in this journey of sisterhood – there’s room at the table for you and I am pretty sure you will discover what I have – that we are so much better together than we are apart.

How good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters live together in peace! Psalm 133:1

Who have you been gathering together with lately? 
We are so much better together.

While you're thinking, I wanted to share this prayer for Canada. 

On a dark and dreary morning in early January, I was reading my Bible and I came upon this wonderful Psalm and I felt like it was a prayer and a promise for Canada so I have been holding on to this vision of bounty and blessing for the Kingdom of God in our nation. Will you join me in prayer and faith that this year will be crowned with a bountiful harvest of lives transformed to the glory of God? This is my prayer for Canada:

Psalm 65:4-13

You invite us near, drawing us into Your courts—what an honor and a privilege!
We feast until we’re full on the goodness of Your house,
 Your sacred temple made manifest.

You leave us breathless when Your awesome works answer us by putting everything right.
 God of our liberation—
You are the hope of all creation, from the far corners of the earth
 to distant life-giving oceans.

With immense power, You erected mountains.
    Wrapped in strength, You compelled

Choppy seas,
 crashing waves,
 and crowds of people
 to sit in astonished silence.

Those who inhabit the boundaries of the earth are awed by Your signs, strong and subtle hints of Your indelible presence.
Even the dawn and dusk respond to You with joy.

You spend time on the good earth, watering and nourishing the networks of the living.
 God’s river is full of water!
 By preparing the land,
 You have provided us grain for nourishment.

You are the gentle equalizer: soaking the furrows,
 smoothing soil’s ridges,
 softening sun-baked earth with generous showers, blessing the fruit of the ground.

You crown the year with a fruitful harvest;
 the paths are worn down by carts overflowing with unstoppable growth.

Barren desert pastures yield fruit; craggy hills are now dressed for celebration.

Meadows are clothed with frolicking flocks of lambs; valleys are covered with a carpet of autumn-harvest grain;
the land shouts and sings in joyous celebration.