Showing posts from January, 2018

Doubt & Faith

Hespeler, 28 January, 2018 © Scott McAndless Luke 17:5-6, James 2:14-26, Psalm 26:1-12 W hen I spoke to him about his role in the church, asking if he might like to increase his participation in some way, he became very quiet – uncharacteristically quiet – and his face visibly dropped. “I don’t think so,” he said in a small voice “I’m not a very good Christian.”       Not a good Christian? How could he possibly think something like that? He was about the kindest and most thoughtful man I had met in many years. He was a committed father and husband who always tried to do his very best for his family. He was generous, sometimes to a fault. Most of all he was thoughtful and engaging when it came to questions about God, the world and his place in it. I loved to discuss with him as he sometimes pushed against my thoughts in provocative ways.       But there, it seems, was the nub of the problem. He explained that, while he did love talking about Jesus and enjoyed thinking about various storie…

School of Hard Knox; They never taught me this!

Hespeler, 21 January, 2018 © Scott McAndless Galatians 1:10, Isaiah 43:16-19, Psalm 91:1-16 B ack in October, as you will remember, we held a dream auction here at St. Andrew’s and we asked everyone to consider putting something up for auction – especially something that represented your own talents or hobbies. And so I decided to put up a sermon for auction. I, foolishly thinking that I could write a sermon about anything, said that the highest bidder would be able to order a sermon on the topic or with the title of their choice. I am here to tell you now that the winning bidder was Andy Cann and the day is today – which is my way of saying that, while you can absolutely blame me if you don’t like the content of today’s sermon, if you object to the topic, you can speak to Andy. (By the way, there was also a second place bid and Jean Godin has already named a topic for next month.)       So this is the title that Andy gave me for today’s sermon: School of Hard Knox; They never taught me …

What I am learning from preaching the Catechism

In 2004 the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Canada commended a document prepared by the Church Doctrine Committee for use in churches. The document was called "A Catechism for Today," and it was an updated version of a kind of teaching tool, in the format of a series of questions with supplied answers, that has been used in churches since the time of the reformation.

You can download and read the Catechism for yourself by clicking here.

This year at St. Andrew's Hespeler, we were looking for a way to reconnect with some of the basic teachings of Christianity and of our tradition. Unfortunately, we increasingly find ourselves in a world where people, including practising Christians, are not familiar with some of the basic ideas that have been so important to the faith down through the centuries. So we decided that we would make use of "A Catechism for Today." throughout the year. The document is conveniently broken up into 52 readings so we are pl…

Is faith incompatible with science?

Hespeler, 14 January, 2018 © Scott McAndless Genesis 1:26-2:3, 2 Chronicles 4:2, Hebrews 11:1-3, Psalm 111:1-10 I n the third century before the birth of Christ, one of the most brilliant people on the face of the earth was Archimedes of Syracuse. An inventor, mathematician and scientist, he accomplished many great things. He is the guy who is famous for discovering a process for calculating the volume of something that so amazed him that he jumped out of his bath and went running through the city naked shouting “Eureka.” You know, typical genius behaviour.       One of Archimedes’ greatest contributions to science, however, didn’t really draw a crowd like that. He was the first person to calculate the value of pi to any degree of accuracy. Pi, as you may recall from your high school days, is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. It is an extremely important number – foundational to many fields of science including geometry and physics. It is also used constantly in…

Made for joy in knowing God

Hespeler, 7 January, 2018 © Scott McAndless John 16:20-22, Philippians 4:4-9, Psalm 40:1-9, 15-17 D id you know the oldest dog whose age was ever reliably recorded was an Australian Cattle Dog named “Bluey.” Bluey lived to the almost unthinkable age, for a dog of 29 years and five months. But here is the really surprising part. You might think that the reason why Bluey lived so long was because she was pampered and well cared-for, that she got nothing but the best of foods and medical treatment. But that is not true. She was, by all accounts a well-loved and fairly treated dog, but she hardly had an easy life. She spent 20 straight years of her long life working at an extremely difficult and physically demanding job, herding cattle.       Bluey was an exceptional animal, of course, but in some ways, it is not that surprising that a hard-working dog should be the longest living. I believe that if you made an extensive search through the statistics concerning dogs, you would find that i…