Showing posts from March, 2018

Hosanna! Save us how?

Hespeler, 25 March, 2018 © Scott McAndless John 12:12-19, 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, Psalm 118:1,2 19-29 H ave you heard the word? They say that that man from Nazareth has come to town. He’s here for the festival. You’ve heard about the stir that he has been causing up in Galilee. He’s a storyteller, they say, loves to tell these stories about farming and seeds. Obviously he’s coming down here to support the local farmers and it is about time! Farmers don’t get the respect that they deserve. They feed us all! So what do you say, shall we grab a few of these palm branches, symbols of the fruitful earth, and be part of it? Hosanna! Jesus comes in the name of the Lord to save us from disrespecting farmers!       Hey, what are you sitting around wasting your time here for? Haven’t you heard that Jesus has come to town? He is the one who has made his name up north for being such a good exorcist. He’s been casting demons out right and left. And you know that those Galileans up there are all yokel…

When Covenants Hurt

Hespeler, 18 March, 2018 © Scott McAndless Acts 7:51 – 60, Isaiah 40:1-8, Jeremiah 31:27-34 L ast week we talked about something unique in the nature of the God that we meet in the Bible. The people of Israel, unlike their neighbours around them, came to understand that their God was a God who made covenants. He entered into a relationship with his people where he required certain things of them and promised, in return, that he would remain faithful to them by continually showing them steadfast lovingkindness.       And that kind of covenant relationship is a good and beautiful thing. To be in a covenant relationship – any kind of covenant relationship – is a great blessing. I know that many of you have been blessed by such a relationship in your life, as have I. A good marriage, where each party in the marriage promises to support the other and to remain faithful and loving in the good times and in the bad, when everything is easy and when it hard, is such a covenant relationship. Many…

A God who makes covenants

Hespeler, 11 March, 2018 © Scott McAndless
Genesis 9:8-17, Hebrews 8:6-11, Psalm 136:1-16 T he ancient Babylonians had a myth about a great universal flood sent by their gods to destroy the life of all the humans on the face of the earth that they had made. Only one man and his family made it through – survived by building a great ship and riding it out. And if that story sounds a bit familiar it should. It is a basic plot that I am sure all of us would recognize if we know anything about the Bible.       The ancient Babylonian story was not exactly the same, of course. The hero of the story was named Utnapishtim instead of Noah – a fact that I share with you mostly because I just like to say “Utnapishtim.” And, of course, the deity involved in the Babylonian story was not the God of Israel but rather a collection of ancient Babylonian gods. But the story corresponds so closely that most scholars would say that the biblical story is dependant on the much older Utnapishtim story.       …


Hespeler, 4 March, 2018 © Scott McAndless – Communion John 8:2-11, Romans 7:15 - 8:1, Psalm 51:1-17 T hey had grasped her by the arms and by the legs and then dragged her through the streets little caring that her clothes were being ripped and torn away from her. Frankly a number of them took advantage of the situation by ogling the exposed portions of her body that would normally never be seen in public. A few of them were even so bold as to take advantage of her vulnerability by reaching out to touch what should have been off limits.       It was fine. They were sure that it was fine because they were on a holy mission. They had taken her in a flagrant act of sin. They were protecting the community from her filth. Surely, if they took advantage just a little bit, it was only in a good cause.       They were looking for the popular preacher who had been seen around town recently – gathering large crowds and preaching all sorts of nonsense. He had been getting certain people in the comm…