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Canada 150: Will protect our homes and our rights

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Hespeler, 23 July, 2017 © Scott McAndless Jeremiah 42:7-17, Luke 17:28-33, Psalm 37:1-15 A s all Canadians know, our much-loved Canadian national anthem was first written in 1880 in the French language. The words were written by Adolphe-Basile Routier. It was only decades later that the anthem appeared in English with lyrics by Robert Stanley Weir.       Weir’s lyrics have since been changed and edited a number of times – most significantly when the anthem was officially adopted in 1980 and there is still talk of editing them to this very day. But, since they were first written – for 137 years now – the original French lyrics have never changed.       If you only speak English, you may have always assumed that the words in French said pretty much the same thing as the words in English – after all, both languages start with the words, “O Canada.” But, if you assumed that, you would be wrong. Robert Stanley Weir didn’t translate the anthem so much as he completely rewr…

Canada 150: Where Pines and Maples Grow

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Hespeler, 16 July, 2017 © Scott McAndles\s Job 12:7-10, Psalm 8, Matthew 6:25-33 I grew up in the church and so, from a very early age I was told about God. I heard about what God was like and what he wanted from me. I absorbed stories about God’s priorities and actions and I even learned how to speak to God in prayer. But I do not think that I can say that I actually met God in my early life in the church or in my family.       No, I would have to say that the church taught me about God, but it was Canada that introduced me to God. At least that is how I think of it. For me, and I’m sure that this is true for many Canadians, I feel that the most authentic experiences of God that I have had have happened when I left behind the cities and found myself in Canada’s vast untamed wilderness – mostly, in my case, up in the Muskokas. Consider this:

      Have you been there, standing in a grove of trees, massive trunks around you on every side making you feel as if your strongest bones are lik…

Canada 150: Terre de nos aïeux (Land of our ancestors)

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Hespeler, 9 July, 2017 © Scott McAndless Exodus 12:33, Psalm 136:1-3, 10-21, Deuteronomy 26:1-11 I n the passage we read this morning from the Book of Deuteronomy, we are given an account of an ancient Israelite harvest festival. When the people harvested their crops, they were to take the first portion of that produce and present it as a gift to the Lord. This was a common practice in the ancient world and local temples of many different gods in many different places depended on it for major support.       Something that is unique about this harvest festival as described in Deuteronomy, though, is the speech that every Israelite male was to repeat as he gave his gift, a speech that began, A wandering Aramean was my ancestor…” From there the worshipper went on to tell the whole story of the people of Israel through their slavery in Egypt and how, through Moses, God saved them from slavery and brought them out through the wilderness and into the land that he had pro…

Canada 150: A Mari Usque Ad Mare

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Hespeler, July 2, 2017 © Scott McAndless Hebrews 11:13-16, Micah 6:6-8, Psalm 72:1-20 W ho here has a Canadian passport? If you travel, you know that it is one of the most valuable things that you can carry with you – more important than money or your phone or your insurance. And do you know why? Because of what you find printed in gold on the cover of that passport. There you will find the coat of arms of the Dominion of Canada. The presence of that coat of arms is an indication that, wherever you may travel, you are under the aid and protection of the Canadian crown.       A coat of arms is, therefore, a very powerful symbol, or, if you prefer, a set of symbols because every element in the arms carries a great deal of meaning. But there are two particular elements I want to focus on today – specifically the words. First of all, there is a ribbon that runs about the main shield upon which are words that you can just barely make out. The words, in Latin, are “desider…

Canada 150: Our home... and native land

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Hespeler, 25 June, 2017 © Scott McAndless – Aboriginal Sunday Joshua 9:1-20, Deuteronomy 28:1-6, 15-19 Joshua 9:1-2 Now when all the kings who were beyond the Jordan in the hill country and in the lowland all along the coast of the Great Sea toward Lebanon – the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites – heard of this, 2 they gathered together with one accord to fight Joshua and Israel. A nd it came to pass that a settler people came even unto this land and found that it was a rich and good – a land that was flowing with beaver pelts and lumber and many fish. And they knew that God had given this land to be a possession for them and for their children and for their children’s children until they became a people as numerous as the stars in the sky.       And lo there were nations that were in this land that God had given to the settlers. And these nations, the Iroquois, the Algonquin, the Cree, the Anishinaabe and many others heard of these …