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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How to Be Human: Inhumane

Monday Oct 23, 2023

Monday Oct 23, 2023

In Daniel Chapter 4, King Nebuchadnezzar has another dream he needs Daniel to interpret. Once again this dream raises questions for us, what is it to be a God, a human, and a beast.
“And so now we have this king, that was famous for his glory, and for his almost divinity. But he is going to be brought down. He’s going to be brought down so far that he will not become a human like the rest of us – we think – he will be brought down until he’s like an animal. Until the time that he learns that the point of having any authority over creation at all is to have mercy on the poor and the lowly, for this is what it means to be human. To have compassion, and mercy, and a thirst for justice and goodness and beauty upon the land that God loves.”

Friday Oct 20, 2023

We continue our series through Daniel the story in which the corrupt King dreams a dream about himself as statue made of precious metals, and so erects a real statue for the whole empire to worship. In this sermon we are led to imagine the differences between the kings of this world, and the kingship of the Son of Man.
“Daniel’s God is not like other kings, Daniel’s God is a Human One. Jesus’ favourite name for himself is the Son of Man, as if to say “I’m not made of gold and silver.
"He was not lifted up an unblemished golden statue, he was never crowned with a golden crown. He was stripped and exposed for the sham that he was, for underneath his clothing there was no gold or bronze. A man made of skin and bone, caught within time and place. Able to bleed, and weep, and cry, and feel things deeply. Able to confess and tell the truth about loneliness and despair, he was lifted up on a Roman cross. And in the lifting up, we see the antithesis to the Nebuchadnezzars of the world and the dreams they keep dreaming for us.”

Thursday Oct 05, 2023

In chapter one of Daniel, we meet Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. These four boys are are captured from their homeland and brought to the capital city of the Babylonian Empire, where they are to be given new, imperial names and moulded into boys with appropriate minds and bodies in the eyes of the empire. But they do not go alone into exile, their God travels ahead of them and with them into captivity, and they resist the oppressive imperial forces that strive to dictate to them the one true way to be human.

Saturday Sep 30, 2023

The book of Daniel is a dramatic story of courts, contests, conflicts, and apocalyptic visions of violent kings, wild beasts, and the One True Human. The play between poetry and politics in Daniel forms an incredible tale about four friends resisting forced assimilation in Babylon. Although the Dehumanizing Empire tries to teach them how to be human, how to plan for the future, and how to find home, Daniel comes from a people who see reality differently and have a different way of knowing the time. This fall we will explore Daniel together in our context as a parish church in Canada in the 21st century. We will be challenged and inspired as we find ourselves face to face with the Incarnate One, beckoning us home.

Thursday Sep 28, 2023

Our Holy Spirit series has come to it's close. In this sermon, Nikayla brings home all the things we have learn and meditated on about the coming of the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts, and of the coming of the Holy Spirit into our lives, as we imagine together the bright new vision of humanity that the Spirit is birthing in our midst.

Thursday Aug 24, 2023

This week Sunday Dallas Loewen preaches on the next part of our passage from Joel and Acts, "And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." We will be exploring the conception of the Holy Spirit, salvation, and deliverance from spiritual evil; exploring how these ideas can create harm in our communities, and what a Spirit breathed, life giving conception of the the Spirit's Deliverance can look like.

Friday Aug 18, 2023

"The Sun will be turned to darkness and the Moon to blood before the great and glorious Day of the Lord, and all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved." 
The Day of the Lord as an event is a towering figure that occurs over and over in the biblical narrative. What exactly is meant by the Day of the Lord? What does in mean to the people of God as an event that has already come to pass, and as an event that we wait and hope for? How does this hope for the coming of the Day of the Lord that overturns empires and brings down the mighty change the way that we live in the world now?
You can listen to the song Amy references in her sermon, Downpressor Man by Peter Tosh here:

Tuesday Aug 15, 2023

"I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord."
The coming of the Holy Spirit into our world does more than just give us dreams and visions, filling us with the internal sense of connection to God. It does more than connect us to the Land and Sky that surrounds us. It turns all of creation on its head. When the Spirit comes the greatest powers and systems we know, even the Sun and the Moon are turned upside down.

Saturday Jul 29, 2023

"I will show wonders in the sky above, and signs in the earth below."
The bible has told us again and again that God speaks to us through the Land, the Sky, and all things contained in it. In this sermon we imagine what it would look like to be a people who listen to the land in which we are planted, and marvel at the skies above it. The Spirit of God is speaking to those who get close enough to the dirt to hear her voice.

Thursday Jul 27, 2023

"Even your slaves will prophesy."
This week we explore how the Spirit of God speaks to us through those in our society who are the most marginalized, and that that place on the margins, rather than the center is where we meet God. The movement of God and the good news of our gospel Is that God does not lift us up or bring us to the center, but that first the incarnate God, and now the spirit of God goes all the way down to the humblest and lowly of people.
From the story of the Exodus, we learn that our God is a God of the enslaved people, those who are beaten down. We are reminded in this sermon one of the key messages of the biblical story, that the voice of God isn't heard from glittering halls of power but from the marginal places where we have decided things are of little value.


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