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Showing posts from February, 2019

On the other cheek...

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Hespeler, 24 February 2019 © Scott McAndless Genesis 45:3-11, Ps 37:1-11, 39, 40; 1 Cor 15:35-38, 42-50, Luke 6:27-38 A  little while ago I had a conversation with a woman who had been in an abusive marriage. We were talking about how you know when to intervene, what the signs are that somebody might be being abused and that you might need, at the very least, to ask them some questions. Of course, one of the signs that the literature often suggests that you should look for is bruises and scars. A black eye or a bruised cheek, they say, should be taken as a significant warning sign.       And I suppose that is true enough, but I will not soon forget what my friend said to me. “You know,” she said, “I never had a black eye or a mark on my face. My husband was calculating enough to know not to hit me where anyone would see it, but that didn’t mean he didn’t hit me in other places.”       And that conversation came back very powerfully to me when I first turned to our gospel reading this mor…

Jesus on the mountain; Jesus on the level place

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Hespeler, 17 February 2019 © Scott McAndless Jeremiah 17:5-10, Psalm 1:1-6, 1 Corinthians 15:12-20, Luke 6:17-26 (From the high pulpit) T he blessed evangelist, Saint Matthew, has to us written that on a particular occasion, our blessed Lord Jesus Christ did go up into a high mountain and, when he was set, his disciples came even unto him and he looked upon them and opened his mouth and he spoke some of the most enduring words of all history:       “How blessed are those who are poor in spirit for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. How blessed arethey that mourn: for they shall be comforted andthe meek: for they shall inherit the earth. How blessed arethey which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” And you know those words; they are justly famous. What’s more, how perfectly apt it is that they should have been spoken from a mountaintop – you might even call it a Sermon on the Mount. After all, have mountaintops not always been seen as unique places – as p…

But look how clean our nets are!

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Hespeler, 10 February, 2019 © Scott McAndless Isaiah 6:1-8, Psalm 138:1-8, 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, Luke 5:1-11 I f there is one thing that these fishers knew, it was that you have got to wash your nets. It doesn’t matter how tired you are, how hard you have been working, your shift isn’t over until those nets are completely clean. A net is designed to fall swiftly through the water and to fall invisibly over the fish so that they are not frightened away. And after you have been fishing for a few hours (even if you haven’t caught a thing, as they hadn’t) the net will have scraped the bottom countless times and picked up enough sand and seaweed and shells and bits of dead things that it no longer glides invisibly to the bottom.       Also, they knew from long experience, that a dirty net will not only stink up the whole boat and anyplace you dock it, the filth and gunk will also make the ropes rot and then, before long, you have a tear and a much bigger repair job in front of you. No, they …

A still more excellent way

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Hespeler, 3 February, 2019 © Scott McAndless Jeremiah 1:4-10, Psalm 71:1-6, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, Luke 4:21-30 O f all the passages in the entire Bible, the one we read this morning has got to be one of the most famous. Almost all of the time when I meet with a couple who are planning their wedding, it is their very first choice of a passage that they want to have read. And you can certainly understand why. It offers a description of the kind of love you are going to need to support and sustain a marriage through good times and bad times. It is so perfect. It so beautifully describes what it was that brought these two people together and to the place where they are willing to commit to each other to such depths that it is almost a shame to have to explain that that is not actually what it is about.       Oh, the description of love applies to marriage and if we really did all love each other in our marriages in the way that it describes, it would certainly help a lot to make marriages be…