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Showing posts from 2019

Grateful

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Hespeler, 13 October, 2019 © Scott McAndless – Thanksgiving Jeremiah 29:1-7, Psalm 66, 2 Timothy 2:8-15, Luke 17:11-19 I n 2016, a young man named Colin Kaepernick, who had, up until that point, enjoyed a fantastic career in the American National Football League, made a fateful choice. Having led his team, the 49rs, to contend in one Superbowl, he was (even if his playing in subsequent seasons hadn’t taken them quite so far) on the top of his game and he could have continued to look forward to a strong and very prosperous career. But Colin, an African American, was very upset and moved by some of the systematic problems faced by those who looked like him – the higher incarceration rates of black offenders who broke the law at the same rate as people of other races and a rash of incidents in which unarmed black men had faced unjustifiable and often deadly violence at the hands of police. Kaepernick’s life was good and he enjoyed many privileges but he felt that he had to make some public s…

Take your place at the table

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Hespeler, 6 October, 2019 © Scott McAndless Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4, Psalm 37:1-9, 2 Timothy 1:1-14, Luke 17:5-10 T he Bible is an ancient book that is mostly concerned with ancient world problems and that is why I was kind of surprised the other day when I was reading in the Book of Habakkuk and I saw these words: “Why do you make me see wrongdoing and look at trouble? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. So the law becomes slack and justice never prevails.” I said, “Wow, Habakkuk, way to take the words right out of my mouth,” because it seems like every time I read or hear the news these days, I catch myself saying, “Why do you make me see wrongdoing and look at trouble? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. So the law becomes slack and justice never prevails.” I look at the latest news from the federal election campaign and I want to cry out to the news editors, “Why do you make me see wrongdoing and look at trouble?” I watch…

Choosing Life: Make Foolish Investments (according to this world)

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Hespeler, 29 September, 2019 © Scott McAndless Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15, Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16, 1 Timothy 6:6-19, Luke 16:19-31 O kay, let me see if I’ve got this straight. You, my little nephew, Hanamel, are coming to me with what you call an offer I can’t refuse. “Buy my field,” you say, “it’s a lovely little field at Anathoth. And it is just perfect, uncle,” you say. “The land is good, the birds sing in the bushes and the flowers bloom. It’ll be a wonderful place for you. Maybe you could even build a little house to retire in there. You’ll love it, so why not buy it?” Hanamel, I thank you for your offer. It is so nice of you. And just think, you came all the way here to see me and make your offer. All the way here to the court of the guard where I am sitting in chains being watched day after day because the king has decided that I am public enemy number one because I dare to challenge him and say to him that maybe he is not so smart to take on the greatest army on the face of the earth. But…

Choosing life: Write down what's right

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Hespeler, 22 September 2019 © Scott McAndless Amos 8:4-7, Psalm 113, 1 Timothy 2:1-7, Luke 16:1-13 Here is some very good, very wise advice from the First Letter of Timothy. “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity.” Yes, that seems very sensible. There are powerful people in this world, politicians, corporations, power brokers, and if you are smart, if you want to choose to have a good and quiet and peaceable life you are better off not challenging them, but rather seeking their blessing and, above all, letting them have their way. We have had a perfect illustration of this principle on display for us in Hong Kong for many weeks now. The greatest political power in Hong Kong is the government of the People’s Republic of China. So, what do you do if you want to have a quiet and peaceable life in Hon…

Hello... 911?

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Hespeler, 15 September, 2019 © Scott McAndless Exodus 32:7-14, Psalm 51:1-10, 1 Timothy 1:12-17, Luke 15:1-10 H ello, 911 emergency? Yes, I need assistance right away. No, there’s nothing happening right here, but it’s my neighbour. He has all kinds of people over at his house. They are noisy. They are dancing and singing and having a great time. It’s just not right! No, I know it’s not too late and the noise isn’t really disturbing anyone, it’s not that. No, it’s not that I wasn’t invited either. In fact, my neighbour came over here and practically begged me to come to the party. It was so embarrassing. “I lost my little lamb” he said. “It wandered far over hill and dale and made some pretty bad decisions – hanging out with wolves and lions and the like. It was a very foolish little lamb and it made me worry no end. I had to abandon the whole rest of the flock, just leave it out there in the wilderness, and search high and low, but I finally found it. I brought it home and now it’s safe.…

Choosing Life: Building Towers

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Hespeler, 8 September, 2019 © Scott McAndless Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Psalm 1, Philemon 1:1-21, Luke 14:25-33 I n our reading this morning from the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses is speaking to the people of Israel as they prepare to enter into the Promised Land and he lays before them a stark choice. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today,” he says, “that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live.” And I know how people sometimes read that verse. It comes, after all, in the context of the law that Moses has just reviewed with the people – the Ten Commandments and all of the other requirements that God has placed on them. In that context, this verse can certainly come across as a threat. “Listen, deez are all the tings I want youse to do and you better do dem and do dem good or you’ll find yourself wearing cement overshoes and sleeping with the fishes if you know what I mean.” It might make God seem like a ty…