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Showing posts from October, 2016

Laughter

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Hespeler, 23 October, 2016 © Scott McAndless – Baptism Genesis 18:1-15; 21:1-7, Psalm 126, Luke 6:20-21 I f you are going to understand the two stories that we read from the Book of Genesis this morning, you need to learn the meaning of one Hebrew word. If you do not know this word, you totally miss the point of both of the stories. The word is yitschaq and it is the Hebrew word for laughing. It has been suggested that it might be an onomatopoetic word – that is, a word that sounds like the thing that it describes (you know, like the word quack sounds like the noise a duck makes and the word bark, like the noise of a dog). Apparently, to an ancient Hebrew ear, laughter sounded a little bit like somebody going “yitschaq, yitschaq, yitschaq.” I guess that some ancient Hebrews just had weird laughs. That Hebrew word is important because laughter is an important theme in both stories we read this morning. In one, Sarah laughs in her tent when she hears an angel promise her husband that she …

Gird your loins

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Hespeler, 16 October, 2016 © Scott McAndless – The Jeff-a-thon 1 Kings 18:41-46, Isaiah 40:27-31, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 O n Saturday, May 28 at 7:56 am, I did something that I had never imagined that I would do in all my life of my own free will. I stepped out of my front door and started to run and didn’t stop running until I had travelled about four kilometers. I ran through the arena parking lot down the streets, down the long path through woods to Queen St, I ran along Queen St. right in front of the church here, on through Forbes Park and up the trails that run through Woodland Park. And there, after about 4 kilometers as I said, and half way up what has to be one of the steepest hills in all Hespeler (that I foolishly took at a run), I stopped. My breath was ragged, I was carrying a great weight upon my chest and my legs and even (much to my surprise) my arms felt like lead. The muscles in my limbs would continue to be sore for a couple of days.       Why did I put myself throug…

In all circumstances

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Hespeler, October 9, 2016 © Scott McAndless – Thanksgiving Ephesians 5:15-20, 1 Thessalonians 5:12-25, Psalm 92 I was at the store the other day and there was, up in the checkout line ahead of me, one of those customers. You know the type I’m talking about. He was complaining about everything. The cashier was moving too slow. He was pretty sure that the item he was buying had been advertised at a lower price. The stock was old, the people who worked there used to be nicer and the lines moved too slow because people spent too much time talking to the cashiers. This went on for a while until he finally they arrived at his real issue. The store didn’t have his favourite brand of something. Here he was being forced – forced, I tell you! – to purchase an inferior brand and, adding insult to injury, to pay full price for it.       “Oh how retail service has declined in Canada,” he exclaimed, “that I cannot get exactly what I want. If you people were at all a decent enterprise, you wouldn’t ch…

I am very excited to announce...

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I am very excited to announce that this summer I took a fair bit of my vacation time to finish the second draft of a book that God laid on my heart a couple of years ago.

The book is called, "The Seven Demons of Miryam of Magdala," and it is a work of historical fiction, set in Galilee in the opening decades of the common era. It is a short book (54,000 words, 164 pages) but it is one that I hope will help people see the story of Jesus of Nazareth from some very interesting new angles.

I am, at this point, looking for some colleagues to look at what I have written and give me some critical feedback. I would especially appreciate some feedback from my female colleagues (when you read the book, you'll understand why).

I am sure that, after this second draft, the text still contains some spelling, grammar and stylistic errors as well as typos but I am not necessarily looking for proofreading at this point. That will come after.

So if you would be willing to help me at this …

Gathered into One Loaf

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Hespeler, 2 October, 2016 © Scott McAndless – World Communion 1 Corinthians 10:14-22, Luke 14:15-24, Psalm 104:1-15 Y ou are all familiar enough with the gospels and the letters and other writings that make up what we call the New Testament. This little collection of books is the most important source that we have for understanding the early Christians and how they worked out their life and faith together. This morning I would like to introduce you to one other document that you really ought to know about. It is called the Teaching of the Twelve and also goes by the name of The Didache, which is the Greek word for teaching.       The Didache is a very old document – some scholars think that parts of it may well be older than parts of the New Testament. It is also a very important document for a few reasons. It may well contain genuine traditions that go all the way back to the very words of Jesus – traditions that are independent of the gospels. It contains, for example, a version of …