Showing posts from March, 2017

David: A journey from lust to mercy

Hespeler, 26 March, 2017 © Scott McAndless 2 Samuel 11:27b-12:14, Psalm 101, 2 Timothy 2:20-26 S ince back in February, I have been working my way through the famous list of the Seven Deadly Sins – a list that I have actually tweaked a bit by adding in two extras. So far we have talked about anger, pride, deceit, greed, envy, fear, and gluttony. There are two left – two of the classic deadly seven – lust and sloth and I haven’t really been looking forward to either one of them. I’ll tell you what my problem is with sloth next week, but today I’m going to focus on lust.       The problem I have with talking about lust is the tendency that has developed in western society to confuse sin with sexuality in general. It was something that mostly began with the Victorian Age as far as the English speaking world was concerned. Christians began to think and speak as if the only sin that mattered was any sin connected to sexuality. The connection became so strong that even to this very day when…

Qoheleth: A Journey from Gluttony to Joy.

Hespeler, 19 March, 2017 © Scott McAndless Ecclesiastes 2:1-11, 22-26, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, Luke 18:18-30 “What do mortals get from all the toil and strain with which they toil under the sun? For all their days are full of pain, and their work is a vexation; even at night their minds do not rest. This also is vanity.” This is the rather bleak view of life that seems to lie behind much of the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible.       Traditionally the book was said to have been written by none other the great King Solomon himself, but most scholars who have studied it have concluded that the book never actually claims to have been written by Solomon, though it might have been dedicated to him. Instead, the book seems to have been written by somebody named Qoheleth, but even that doesn’t come across in our English Bibles because the name, “Qoheleth,” usually gets translated, wrongly, as teacher or preacher, and so the name actually only appears in a footnote in your pew Bible.       On on…

Simon Peter: A journey from fear to faith

Hespeler, 12 March, 2017 © Scott McAndless Matthew 16:13-23, Matthew 14:22-33, Psalm 23 F ear: there is not a single person here who has not felt it, struggled with it and conquered it in some area of your life. Fear is a part of life. As a matter of fact, it is often a very helpful and even a necessary part of life. If it is fear of what might happen that keeps you from jumping into the tiger cage at the zoo or running out into traffic, then it is probably a good thing and even a kind of wisdom. But that is not the whole story that we need to tell about fear.       I would like to suggest to you today that fear can be a major sinful influence in a person’s life. I am not talking here about the normal everyday fear that we all experience and that is often useful and can make us wise. I am talking about what happens when fear becomes a central, destructive and driving force in somebody’s life. I’m talking about a fear that lies deep down at the root of a person’s life and manages to in…

Zacchaeus: A journey from greed to wisdom

Hespeler, 5 March, 2017 © Scott McAndless – Lent 1 Luke 19:1-10, Hebrews 13:1-6, Psalm 112 Z acchaeus was entirely comfortable in that tree. That is one thing that we fail to understand about Zacchaeus in his story in the Gospel of Luke. It says in the gospel that he climbed the tree because he wanted to see Jesus and he was very short – was a wee little man – and was afraid that he wouldn’t be able to see Jesus among the crowds that had gathered in Jericho to see him. And, sure, that was true enough as far as it went, but it fails to take into account the fact that, as far as Zacchaeus was concerned, from the branches of a tree was the perfect vantage point for the kind of encounter with Jesus that he wanted.       Zacchaeus was, you see, a certain type of a person. He was what you might call an observer of life. He had an insatiable desire to perceive and study and understand whatever he could to the best of his ability. As such he had a very long attention span – could sit and obse…