Showing posts from September, 2017

The little kingdom that grows: The seed that inexplicably grew

Hespeler, 17 September, 2017 Mark 4:26-29, 2 Corinthians 9:6-15, Psalm 92:1-15 I f you have paid any attention at all to the news that has come out of Texas in the past month (and there has been a lot of news to attend to) chances are that you heard the name of one Houston religious leader mentioned more than any other. His name is Joel Osteen and he is the lead pastor of Lakewood Church, one of the biggest churches in a city of very big churches.       Osteen’s church caught a lot of flack immediately after the arrival of Hurricane Harvey and the devastating floods that it brought. People were upset with it for its failure to respond – specifically its failure to offer shelter in its large and well-appointed facilities. It seemed all the worse because the church’s excuses changed a number of times in the early days. At first they said they couldn’t offer shelter because the building was inaccessible because of flooding when it clearly was not. Then, once that lie was exposed, they we…

The Little Kingdom that Grew: The Lamp on the Stand

Hespeler, 10 September, 2017 © Scott McAndless Mark 4:21-25, 2 Timothy 1:6-12, Psalm 78:1-8 M any years ago, I spent a summer in the state of Kerala in South India where we spent a fair bit of time way out in the hill country far from any cities of any size. We stayed with some local people – members of a local Christian church – and it was a very eye opening experience. The region is relatively well-off compared to many areas in India, but it certainly seemed, to our western eyes, as if there were many people living in great poverty. Indoor plumbing was rare. The water was mostly unsafe to drink and, while there was electricity, it was very unreliable and would go off for long periods of time.       For a while, we stayed in a simple farm on some rice fields. At night when the electricity was out, it got incredibly dark. We didn’t have flashlights (we hadn’t thought we would need them) so when we had to go anywhere at night (like, for example, to the bathroom which was in the field) …

The Little Kingdom that Grows: The Sloppy Sower

Hespeler, 3 September 2017 © Scott McAndless Mark 4:1-9, Acts 2:37-42, Psalm 126:1-6 A h, there you are. You’re the new sower that we hired, aren’t you? Glad to have you working with us. Let me just say I hope you work out better than that last guy. What a sloppy worker he was! I mean, you wouldn’t believe this guy. We gave him a bag with like a hundred seeds in it and sent him out into the field. And what does he do? He starts throwing the seeds all over the place willy-nilly. They’re all flying around and about twenty-five of them fall on the path. Yes, you heard me right: on a hard packed path where nothing can grow. And what happens: they just sit there, wasted, until eventually some birds come along and eat them all. Twenty-five seeds just wasted! Do you realize what seeds cost these days and yet apparently this guy thinks that they are for the birds.       Oh but wait a minute because that was only the beginning. He’s still flinging the seed everywhere and another twenty-five se…