This past week, I had the privilege of once again being present for the 58th National Prayer Breakfast Events in our Nation’s Capital of Ottawa. It’s a gathering of Members of Parliament, Senators, Ambassadors, ministry and business leaders; and it’s also open to regular people, like you and then even, people like me.
Party politics are (mostly) left behind, and we are united in our common desire to see the life of Jesus made known in our country. The theme this year, was a “firm foundation” and was described as follows:
“Today we come together from across Canada and throughout the nations to express gratitude to our God, Creator of all things, recognizing him as our firm foundation, in these times of uncertainty. Because of His great love expressed through His mercy and grace to every one of us, we worship and adore Him today.”
Through song , testimony and the public reading of scripture we were reminded that yes, there are uncertainties in our current times, yet God is faithful, Jesus is our Hope and that we must continue to build upon the firm foundations of his truth and be diligent in demonstrating grace. By all accounts this year’s event had the highest attendance in decades (over 700 people).
At the highest levels of our nation, there is a sense that, in a a time of uncertainty and divisiveness, we need to continue to learn and grow upon the firm foundation of Jesus Christ, and His welcoming love for all the people of the world.
At the Monday evening, Leadership Dinner, Tina Naidoo, the Executive Director of the Texas Offenders Reentry Initiative (T.O.R.I.), a prisoner reentry program, shared her own inspirational story of restoration, and commitment to helping others through this program.
The Rt. Honourable Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, read the words of Jesus, from Matthew 7: 24-27:
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
The Prime Minister spoke of the practical outcomes, evidenced from those who listen to the words of Jesus and put them into practice, saying:
“…Canadians hold dearly to values of love, peace and justice...I’ve seen it the way Christians have welcomed refugees of all different faiths from places like Ukraine and Afghanistan and helped clothe them and find them shelter…in the ways churches have helped the vulnerable, in big cities and rural communities; the care and social programs for seniors…you care for your communities…”
Leader of the Opposition, Pierre Poilievre lamented the despairing conditions faced by many Canadians and renewed our need to seek God: spoke from Ps. 61:1-5
"Hear my cry, O God;
listen to my prayer.
From the ends of the earth I call to you,
I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the foe.
I long to dwell in your tent forever
and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
For you, God, have heard my vows;
you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name."
Then emphasized “that heritage is our foundation; and our faith in Jesus Christ and the amazing grace that He provides is what will take us forward…”
Keynote Speaker, Shaila Visser, National Director of Alpha Canada (not recorded by CPAC) spoke a moving reminder that in a time where hope is being sought by so many, across our country, that hope has a name, and His Name is Jesus!
Those charged with leading our country recognize that we live in times of instability and uncertainty. We live in a time that in the process of searching for solutions, is fragmenting and turning people against one another. We live in a time where so many people are searching for identity, approval, purpose and belonging.
May we grow in our understanding of our need for Jesus. May we, with humility, engage our world with compassionate service. May we do so with integrity, demonstrating the grace and mercy first demonstrated to us through our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom alone is the redemption and restoration of our world.