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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7 days ago

This week the story moves from the garden to the house of the high priest in Mark 14:53-72. Jesus is carried there under arrest while Peter follows close behind. Over the course of the night both Jesus and Peter are asked three questions. 

Friday Mar 10, 2023

This week we focus on Mark 14:43-52, and the story of Jesus' arrest in the garden of Gethsemane. We meditate on what the love of Jesus looks like in the midst of betrayal, resistance, violence, and desertion.

Falling in Love: Stay Awake

Friday Mar 03, 2023

Friday Mar 03, 2023

As we enter into Lent we will not lose sight of the Love we’ve learned from our series on 1 Corinthians 13. Paul has invited the Church to rise in love – to be patient and kind and humble and hopeful. With this challenge in view, we will spend the 40 days of Lent moving slowly through the last 24 hours of Jesus’ life and watching Jesus fall in love. Is it possible to rise to the call of Love even if Love brings us down?
This series will carry us through Mark 14:32-15:31. We begin in the first week of this series with a reflection on Jesus' plea to STAY AWAKE and keep watch in Gethsemane with him while he prepares for the painful 24 hours ahead and his final act of love.  We will stay awake and strive to notice, together, what love incarnate looks like and why Jesus is entirely trustworthy.

Friday Dec 23, 2022

At Awaken we enjoy focusing on Mary's "yes" to God but this Sunday we turn to focus on Joseph. If we only had Matthew's account of the birth narrative, we would never hear Mary speak. There would be no angels, no shepherds keeping watch, no census and no need for "room at the inn". The Joseph story in Matthew's telling involves four dreams and a brave father who must say yes. Joseph could have chosen to follow the scriptures and divorce Mary but instead, he offers a wild and costly yes to a better way - he marries the God-Bearer and becomes the God-protector. This story invites us to also choose a better way when faced with loving each other and loving our neighbours. 
The sermon series is based on the Advent Package created by A Sanctified Art LLC, and is shared with permission. Find more information on their liturgical packages at

Friday Dec 09, 2022

Do not be afraid is the most common command in the bible, it is a phrase offered to God's people over and over again in times of distress and trouble. When the angel appears before Mary and she is troubled, confused, and afraid, this phrase is given again. In this sermon Kara talks us through how we experience the voice of fear, and what we can learn from Mary's response about how we can respond to the voice of fear.
The sermon series is based on the Advent Package created by A Sanctified Art LLC, and is shared with permission. Find more information on their liturgical packages at

Wednesday Nov 30, 2022

In Mary's song she says, "His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation." We reflect, on this first Sunday of Advent, on the ways Mary is pregnant with both the past and the future. The genealogies of Jesus in Matthew and Luke tell us that it's not about he bloodline of Jesus, but the story that shaped the people that shaped the story that shaped the people. So we are here, in this moment, between what came before and what come next. The light comes to us from the past and it comes fro the future so we pray with the grandparents who've gone before us and the grandparents yet to come.
The sermon series is based on the Advent Package created by A Sanctified Art LLC, and is shared with permission. Find more information on their liturgical packages at

Dear Empire: Romans 14-16

Tuesday Nov 15, 2022

Tuesday Nov 15, 2022

Welcome everyone and do it in love. Paul concludes his letter to the Romans with a scandalous call to radical welcoming. The ideology of Rome tells us we have to adapt to belong, but the Good News of Jesus says we are welcome in our differences. We may see things differently, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be in relationship. You are fully welcome, you are welcome fully, and you are fully welcome to be fully you. Safe and connected. And that script shapes our imagination for community - I welcome you with the welcome, I myself received.

Dear Empire: Romans 13

Friday Nov 11, 2022

Friday Nov 11, 2022

In Romans 13, Paul instructs the church in Rome to submit to the governing authorities which God has placed over them. This text has been used throughout Christian history to instruct Christian to support governing powers, including when those powers upheld injustice, oppression, and slavery. How are we to understand this text in light of Paul's mandate that the greatest authority, and the truest fulfilment of the law, is love?

Dear Empire: Romans 12

Wednesday Nov 02, 2022

Wednesday Nov 02, 2022

In this episode Glendon takes us though Romans chapter 12. After several chapters discussing ideas of sin, justice, salvation, the things that divide us and the things that unite us, Paul gives us some instruction on how we should now live. What does is mean to live by love, to allow your life, your body, to be given as a gift, a sacrifice?
For copyright reasons, a small section of the sermon is omitted in which a clip from the 1995 film Before Sunrise is played. If you would like to watch the clip you can find it here:

Dear Empire: Romans 9-11

Thursday Oct 27, 2022

Thursday Oct 27, 2022

Romans 9-11 has been used to argue for pre-destination and concepts of election. Some jars of clay are made for destruction and some for glory. Cannot the potter smash the clay if that's the potter's desire? This theology has been used to explain eternal conscious torment. If a 14 year old Muslim girl is raped to death and burns in eternally in hell, well that's God's prerogative. The Jews who died in the Holocaust? Eternal conscious torment. The kids who died in residential schools? Suffering eternal torment.
Eventually that way of thinking can mess a person up, not to mention a civilization, and the entire earth.
Romans 9-11 is just as likely to be saying that God chooses which "pottery" gets repaired and saved and it's God's business not mine. And it turns out, in the most surprising text of the New Testament, God chooses... everyone. Eventually everyone. Why do we want there to be a hell? What's in it for us. 
Perhaps the wrath of God is redemptive and never punitive. Perhaps God really does reconcile all things and perhaps God really does love the whole world. Maybe one day every tongue does confess that Jesus (the lamb) is Lord and maybe everyone who confesses is SAVED. Maybe Jesus is really the king of creation.


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