Awaken Bowness Podcast

Our Pastor, Nikayla Reize is a vibrant preacher and Old Testament scholar. She leads at Awaken Church and Teaches at Ambrose University. Awaken Church is a small parish in Bowness, Calgary. At Awaken we really value wrestling with, engaging in, and being unravelled by Scripture, together around the Table, in the Neighbourhood. This podcast is a collection of sermons, lectures, and interviews.

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Episodes

2 days ago

Aka the writing on the wall.

Monday Jan 08, 2024

In our fourth Sunday of Advent, as we draw towards Christmas, Dallas Loewen teaches us about the illuminating light of love that we find in one another.
 
“The light that looks like love is bursting through the darkness that prevents us from seeing ourselves and others as the beloved creatures made in the image of the divine. The light reveals a chorus of voices singing and declaring and inviting all people to return to that same loving voice that's been there all along. Good news! The light has come! Your Liberator, the one whose light never fades.
And then we in turn take that and we go and do likewise as the light in the world. That's what we get to share. It's been coming toward us this whole time and we await it. Now it's going beyond us still.”

Friday Dec 08, 2023

This week at Awaken, through our examination of celestial light, we are joined by Dr. Stephen Jeans, who teaches Earth and Space Science at Ambrose University and Mount Royal University. This week he walks us through the science of how the light shines in the darkness, the light of stars from millions of light years away, shining through the darkness of space. We consider what the actual skies teach us about the radical peace we can know as the light comes.

Saturday Dec 02, 2023

This Advent we will contemplate the way light interacts with darkness in personal, collective, and astronomical ways. When the nights are long and the days are filled with gloom; when the frozen air slows our bodies down, we join the ancient tradition of gathering around the light of community to honour each other’s longing to see what the light illuminates and to be released from what holds us, that we ourselves might radiate the illuminating light that shines in the night. 
For this first week in Advent Kara Boda-Harvey leads us through biblical history, as we contemplate what it means to wait for the light that is coming. 
"The light is a world where nobody shows up for war. The light is a world where the weak lead the strong and the children teach the parents and the poor are no more and neither are the rich because all is abundantly shared. All are safe. All are loved. And this Advent we are an Advent people who confidently hope in the light that is coming. And we can wait with confidence because we serve an Advent God. A God who from the very moment that we turned away from Him began to plan and wait for the day when he would restore us to Himself."

Thursday Nov 30, 2023

The final wrap up of our Daniel series, Glendon Frank leads us through the conclusion of the book of Daniel, and sets us up for the coming season of Advent.
“Is God the king on the throne whose days are numbered by the hand writing on the wall whose powers only one by the blood of the innocent? Or of God the child in a stable in an occupied land you know nothing about? Is God building a tower with bricks forged by the oppressed hoping in vain that it will make his name known forever? Or is God waiting, even now in the womb of a refugee mother? Is God a devouring beast with wings and fangs and horns? Or is God one like a Son of Man, seeking not to dehumanize people but to look them in the eye so that they may see him? His eyes, his face. Bone of our bone, flesh of our flesh, and remember what it actually is to be human.”

Tuesday Nov 21, 2023

Daniel Chapter 10 opens where we left off, with Daniel in a place of great lamentation and confession. But in this chapter, Daniel is not alone in his lament, but the Holy One comes to meet him and his grief on the banks of the Tigris.
 
'There's this God speaking: “You’re not wrong. Your tears are not wrong, your sorrow is not illegitimate, your anger is justified. Since the first day you set your mind to be human your words have been heard and I have come because of your words.”
'And in the last verse there in that chapter he says again: One in human form touched me and strengthened me he said “Do not fear greatly beloved.”
He says it again “You are safe”'

Friday Nov 10, 2023

Daniel chapter 9 moves us out of the realm of the apocalyptic, and into the realm of confession. In the tradition of Jeremiah and the weeping prophets, Daniel recognizes with a deep grief that all is not okay. And this allows us to learn that we must first move through that grief at the way the world is, to hope and dream of how the world ought to be.
 
"We can grieve only when something like scales falls from our eyes, and we can begin to look around us, and we begin to allow ourselves to really notice what we're seeing until we are finally able to slow down and say something isn't working you guys. We are not okay. I don't know what to do about it but we’ve got to something. I don't have any ideas, but we ought to at least stop and notice the things are not as they ought to be.
In that kind of headspace where I think a lot of us live, Daniel whispers “there's a God whose love whose compassion is limitless. Who holds rest as the ultimate vision of flourishing for all creatures here below and all you heavenly hosts. And perhaps if we say that over one another over and over we will start to find our bodies again, and we will find our hearts again, and we will begin to join with the weeping prophets and feel grief."

Wednesday Nov 08, 2023

Daniel Chapter 7 takes a turn for the supernatural and apocalyptic. In this sermon we unpack what we can make of these dreams of beast and monsters, and what deep wisdom is held in apocalyptic story for our lives.
"The apocalyptic way of telling story allows us space to consider that perhaps the monster isn't the person or even the event. Perhaps the monster, the real monster that terrorizes us all is that feeling of being completely unsafe, of knowing that you are utterly alone. The feeling of knowing that you must go into hiding as a matter of survival, that you must become something else and because you will never fully understand why or exactly or when you encounter this feeling and went into hiding you might end up ruminating consciously and subconsciously and sliding and losing your ability to feel what's real.
 This apocalyptic way of telling story actually allows us to sit back and see ourselves seeing ourselves; as both a young child being terrorized by a monster and as the monster who if let found out and unleashed would terrorize the innocent. And so, we exist in that tension. It's hard to hear your neighbour’s cries for love when you yourself struggle to believe that you are worthy of love."

Friday Nov 03, 2023

In this sermon we arrive at the very famous story in the book of Daniel, where Daniel meets the Lion's Den. Once again we are met with the dynamic of humans, animals, de-humanization, and the question of who acts with true humanity.
"The way of the Living God is one where Lions can lay down with Lambs. Where I don't have to be afraid of you and you don't have to be afraid of me. It’s a reversal of what the Medes and the Persians believe. It’s a reversal of the anxious way of Empire. Anxiety around what happens to me if I make space, if I let go of control and become curious about the unfamiliar.
But the way of the Living God as seen in Daniel is one where the while Earth is filled with the knowledge of the Living God. The Spirit which leads us into shared life. The spirit in the lion is the same as is in the lamb. Those with hard hearts cannot see this way, becoming the very beasts they so fear are waiting for them out in the wild creation."

Wednesday Nov 01, 2023

In the next chapter of Daniel, we open with a story of a new King on the Throne of Babylon, who is hosting a feast with the stolen treasures of the lands his empire has conquered. His feast is disrupted by the hand of God writing mysteries on the wall.
"So Jesus is standing here saying… I am not like Belshezzar, or Nebuchadnezzar, or Pharoah. I was born among the animals. I am a human one, no gold, no stony heart. If you become what you trust, Jesus says, I have become soft-hearted and compassionate. Jesus exists in time and place. Jesus can bleed and feel pain. And he says “I have come, not to take your voice. I have come that you may find in again. That you might gain the courage to take your power back. I stand with you.
And Jesus says “If the finger of God has done this, has given this man back his voice, do you know what that means? Mene Mene Tekel Parsin.”

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