Showing posts from April, 2019

One week later

Hespeler, 28 April 2019 © Scott McAndless Acts 5:27-32, Psalm 150:1-6, Revelation 1:4-8, John 20:19-31 I t had been one week, seven days, 168 hours. It had been one week since everything had changed, since the stone had been rolled away and the power of death had been broken forever. It had been a week since he himself had appeared among them despite the fact that the doors were locked and they cowered in fear of everyone in the outside world. What is more, it had been a week since he had given them, as a free no-strings attached gift, many great things. He had given them his peace – in fact, that had been so important that he had said it twice. He had given them the evidence, imprinted upon his very hands and on his side, of what he had been willing to suffer for them. He had given them his commission, sending them out in his name. He’d given them the gift of the Holy Spirit and, wonder of wonders, he had given them the power to forgive anybody.“If you forgive the sins of any, they are …

Just One Word

Hespeler, 21 April 2019 © Scott McAndless – Easter Isaiah 65:17-25, Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24, 1 Corinthians 15:19-26, John 20:1-18 S ometimes it can happen to any of us – we get caught in a story that we are telling to ourselves. It is a story that may not be true but, because we keep telling it to ourselves, it takes us in a spiral of deeper and deeper despair. That was what Mary was doing and it took one word – just one word – to change everything for her. Mary had gone out to the tomb, the place where they had laid him, as soon as she could early in the morning. The sun was barely coming over the horizon when she arrived there. And her heart was only fixed on one thing. Her Lord, the only one who had ever given her reason to hope, was dead. She had come to weep and to mourn. She just wanted to throw her arms one last time around the body of the man who had meant everything to her, just to say goodbye, to say that she wished she could have done something to save him. It wouldn’t have really…

Why I Made a Controversial Notice of Motion

About a month ago, I made a notice of motion at a meeting of my Presbytery – Waterloo-Wellington. A notice of motion is basically a heads-up – an indication that you intend to put forward a motion for debate that will bring significant change or that might be controversial.
This was the notice that I gave:
At a future sederent, I will move or cause to be moved: That the Presbytery of Waterloo-Wellington insert in an appropriate place in its standing orders the following section: Recognizing Affirming Congregations:Recognizing that there is a variety of opinion and theological understandings of the place of people who identify as LGBTQ+ in the life of the congregations of our presbytery, the Presbytery of Waterloo-Wellington would like to affirm that an inclusive and affirming approach is valid and has been chosen by a number of our congregations. We reflect this affirmation in the following standing orders of our presbytery.
The Presbytery will perpetually extend the philosophy of amnesty …

Palming off the palms

Hespeler, 14 April 2019 © Scott McAndless – Palm Sunday Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29; Luke 19:28-40, Isaiah 50:4-9a, Philippians 2:5-11 T oday is Palm Sunday – the day when the church celebrates the triumphal entry of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem. Every Christian knows that. Every year we read the story of that day. If you follow the lectionary (as we are doing this year) one year you read the account in the Gospel of Matthew, the next year in Mark and the next year in Luke. So I was very eager this year to turn to Luke’s account of the story of that day. What new insight would I find into the palms and that meaningful entry? So I read the passage… and I honestly could not believe what I saw.       I read it through once and I just thought that I missed them, so I read it again. Nope, still weren’t there. What is missing in Luke’s story? There are no palms and no triumphal entry in the Gospel of Luke. I went and looked it up on Wikipedia and Wikipedia assured me that, yes, that they were th…

One Perfect Afternoon

Hespeler, 7 April, 2019 © Scott McAndless – Lent 5 Isaiah 43:16-21, Psalm 126, Philippians 3:4b-14, John 12:1-8 I  remember one perfect afternoon when I was in grade 6. It was a winter’s day and after school a friend and I had stayed late. We were having fun in the schoolyard. The hills behind the school were covered in ice and snow and we were sliding down them. And we were having so much fun particularly because my winter boots at that point were kind of old. The tread was all worn away and so I was able just slide all the way down the hill on my feet. It was so much fun. It was a perfect afternoon and I never wanted it to end.       And then my mother came along. You see, she had been waiting for me at home and wondering why I was taking so long so she came to look for me. She had decided that today was the day I needed to get new boots. She had noticed something. She had noticed that my winter boots were really old. So old, in fact that the tread was, like, completely worn away. We …