Showing posts from March, 2016

"Preparing the Spices" -- "Some Women of our Group Astounded us"

Note: I have created the backstories of Mary and Joanna that are featured in this sermon. My speculation on these two characters began with the introduction of these disciples of Jesus in Luke 8:2-3 and has spun off in some interesting directions as I have been working on a future book that may be titled something like “The Seven Demons of Miryam of Magdala.”
Hespeler, 27 March, 2016 © Scott McAndless – Easter Luke 23:50-24:3, Luke 24:13-32, Psalm 118:1, 2, 14-24
M ary Magdalene opened the package of spices and ointments that Joanna had brought back from the market and inhaled deeply. She was suddenly overwhelmed by the scents: cinnamon, cassia, balsam and resin. She could even smell the small amounts of frankincense and myrrh that her dear friend, Joanna, had only been able to afford by selling the very last pieces of jewellery that she had plundered from her abusive husband, Chuza, when she had fled his household to follow Jesus. It smelled beautiful, but it was also emotionally dangerou…

No Shortcuts to Easter

Hespeler, 20 March, 2016 © Scott McAndless – Palm Sunday Isaiah 50:4-9a, Mark 11:1-10, Psalm 18:1-19 I n the Gospel of Mark we are told that, as Jesus was approaching the city of Jerusalem, he stopped and he pointed at two of his disciples and asked them to do something for him. He told them to go into the village just ahead of them, find a donkey, and untie it and bring it right back. He said he needed it in order to make his big entry into Jerusalem. It doesn’t say which two disciples he sent in the gospel. I’ve always wondered about that. Who were they? Surely, if it were two of the famous twelve, they would have been identified. If it had been Peter, James, John, or even Bartholomew, wouldn’t Mark have wanted to tell us?       So do you know what I think might have happened? I think that Jesus went to the second string. He didn’t send any of these big name disciples or top talent. He sent a couple of the other guys, the ones who didn’t quite make the cut. They were the sort that histo…

Mistakes and what they teach us about God's grace 5) John and the Game

St. Andrew's Stars Episode:

Hespeler, 13 March, 2016 © Scott McAndless – Lent 5 Isaiah 53, Luke 23:13-25, Psalm 22:14-24 E very year the National Hockey League, the NHL, pauses in middle of its season to celebrate its very best players. The All-Star game has always been a big fan favorite – a chance to celebrate the players that the fans love most. And, in January of this year, the league really needed a successful All-Star game as it found itself in the midst of a season that many fans seem to find rather uninspiring. Instead what it got was a bunch of really bad mistakes. And I know that you may not think that the story of an All-Star game has much to teach us about the Biblical truths, but I hope you’ll stay with me for a little bit here because I think that it can.       The first mistake that the NHL made was to include the fans in the selection process of the All-Star team. Now, that was not a new mistake this year. Fans have been helping to choose team members since 1985, b…

Mistakes and what they teach us about God's grace. 4) Peter being Peter

St. Andrew's Stars Episode

Hespeler, 6 March, 2016 © Scott McAndless Lent 4, Communion John 18:15-18, 25-27, John 21:15-19, Psalm 85 H ave you ever made one of those mistakes that just kind of haunts you, the kind of mistake that lurks there in your memory waiting to pounce on you? You can just go along with your life and engage in ordinary activities and, when you get absorbed in what you are doing, you can even forget about that one big mistake that you made for a while. But then you come to a moment when the activity stops and you are alone with your thoughts and the memory is just waiting there for you. You wince, you may physically shudder and think to yourself, “I just cannot believe that I did that thing. How could I have been so dumb?”       I’m sure that just about every single one of us has a few mistakes like that in our personal histories. We’ve all made them and, like it or not we carry them around with us. In one sense, it is probably good that we remember them and ev…