Showing posts from December, 2018


Hespeler, 30 December, 2018 © Scott McAndless 2 Corinthians 1:15-20, Revelation 22:17-21, Psalm 41:1-13 T hroughout 2018 we have printed a weekly selection from “A Catechism for Today” in our bulletin. It is a teaching document that was produced by the Church Doctrine Committee of the Presbyterian Church in Canada several years ago. The reason for doing this was to take an opportunity to focus on some of the essential doctrines and teachings of the church. Throughout the year, therefore, I have often drawn on the readings of the catechism for the sermons I preached (though not so much during the season of Advent, I admit). But today we come to the end of 2018 and the end of our little experiment with the catechism. Starting next week, we will begin a new adventure in another old church tradition: the lectionary.       But as we leave behind our old friend, the catechism, it is kind of fitting that we take a little bit of time today to ask ourselves the final question. The final question…

40 Weeks: Labour

Hespeler, 23 December 2018 © Scott McAndless Romans 8:18-25, Luke 2:1-7, Psalm 80:1-7 T he Gospel of Luke is the only one to give us any sort of description at all of what it was like. But I am afraid that it just doesn’t answer many of the questions that I wonder about. Luke says that they made a long trip – and I mean a very long trip. It is over 100 km from Nazareth to Bethlehem and with ancient modes of transport and political and physical barriers, it would have taken weeks to travel so far. He also seems to say that they arrived there when Mary was just about ready to deliver her baby – at least, they did not have the time or the means to arrange anything like proper accommodations and Mary was forced to lay her newborn in a feeding trough.       We all know that story, but it has always raised lots of questions for me – questions like, how on earth did Mary (who must have been somewhere between eight and nine months pregnant) manage such a long, arduous and dangerous journey in s…

Forty Weeks: Quickening

Hespeler 16 December 2018 © Scott McAndless Luke 1:39-45, Luke 1:46-55 I t usually happens somewhere between 13 and 16 weeks into a pregnancy. I’ve not experienced it myself, for pretty obvious reasons, but I understand that, at first, it is just like a little fluttering sensation in your belly. Sometimes you might not even be sure exactly what it is and wonder if it might just be gas or something. But, when you first do figure out what it really is, it changes everything. It is traditionally called the quickening.       I think that for many mothers when they first feel that – first feel their baby moving within them, it is a great sign. You see, up until then, they have known that they were expecting. They have known that everything happening within them was leading to a baby being born, but that is just head knowledge. In many cases, it just doesn’t seem real. For many mothers, the moment when that happens is when they feel that movement inside them, movement inside their body that i…

The children were nestled

Hespeler, 9 December, 2018 © Scott McAndless Matthew 1:18-25, Psalm 10:12-18
Note: this was a dialogue with children, not a preached message. The following only approximates the conversation.
T was the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there; The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap...       But wait a minute; I’m having trouble sleeping, aren’t you? I’m tossing and I’m turning. Do you ever have trouble sleeping? What can sometimes cause that? When you’re worried about something, or when something is wrong and it is really bothering you, or sometimes when you are sick or uncomfortable in some way.       Well, let me describe a situation that might give you trouble sleeping at night. Have any of y…

Forty Weeks: First Trimester

Hespeler, 2 December, 2018 © Scott McAndless – Advent 1 Galatians 4:1-7, Luke 1:26-38, Psalm 25 I ’m going to start off this morning with a little quiz, just a little bit of Bible trivia. Let’s see if you can answer these questions:       During Noah’s flood, how many days and nights did it rain?       How many years did the people of Israel wander in the wilderness?       How many days was Moses up on Mount Sinai receiving the law from God?       For how many days was Jesus tempted in the wilderness?       When Jonah was preaching in Nineveh, how many days did he give them before the city would be destroyed?       According to the Book of Acts, how many days did Jesus hang around with the disciples after the resurrection? Yep, that is about the easiest Bible quiz that you will ever have. The answer to all of those questions is 40. And if you are at all like me you have wondered about that – about why that particular number keeps on coming up when you read the Bible. I have learned th…