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Showing posts from November, 2017

Episode 8: A Council of the Resistance

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The 8th Episode of the Podcast "Retelling the Bible" came out earlier today

During the first season of his podcast, storyteller, W. Scott McAndless is retelling the story of the nativity of Jesus from the Gospel of Luke, trying to help us to see some of the historical and biblical references the author is making - helping us to hear the story more as the author may have intended.

In today's episode, we jump back before the beginning to trace some of the reaction to the census that was taken at the time when Jesus was born. A rebel named Judas and his friend, Zadok, plan their response to the Roman initiative - a response that will have a big impact on the birth of Jesus and of the Christian faith.

I encourage you to subscribe and to listen via one of these popular Podcasting apps. Each of the links below will take you to a page where you can subscribe:
Itunes or Apple Podcast
Stitcher
Google Play
Podbean (host)
If you use a different podcasting app, try searching for "R…

Did Jesus really get that mad at a fig tree?

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Hespeler, 26 November, 2017 © Scott McAndless Mark 11:12-24, Matthew 7:13-20, Joel 2:21-27 I s that in the Bible? It is one of those questions that you just have to ask sometimes when you read this book. And few passages elicit such a response more easily than the one we read this morning. It is a story that seems odd on so many levels. Jesus is just walking along one bright morning, he sees a fig tree in the distance, sees that it has some leaves on it, and feels a little rumble in his stomach. He is hungry so he goes over to see whether it has any fruit on it.       Now, mind you, it is not exactly the right season for figs, but I guess if you’re really hungry (as I guess Jesus was) you can hardly blame a guy for hoping that there might be a few early fruits. I mean, who hasn’t been there: you open the cupboard and hope against hope, when you see the old Twinkie box shoved up in the back corner, that there will be just one golden cake still hidden inside. You can hope, but when you di…

Episode Seven: A Traveler at the Door

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Today the 7th Episode of the Podcast "Retelling the Bible" came out.

During the first season of his podcast, storyteller, W. Scott McAndless is retelling the story of the nativity of Jesus from the Gospel of Luke, trying to help us to see some of the historical and biblical references the author is making -- helping us to hear the story more as the author may have intended.

In today's episode, Mary and Joseph finally arrive in Bethlehem after their long and difficult journey and seek shelter even as Mary approaches her time to deliver. They are seeking hospitality in a very particular place - just not necessarily at the particular place we have long assumed.

I encourage you to subscribe and to listen via one of these popular Podcasting apps. Each of the links below will take you to a page where you can subscribe:
Itunes or Apple Podcast
Stitcher
Google Play
Podbean (host)
If you prefer a different podcasting app, try search for "Retelling the Bible" in the app. Ple…

Caesar's Census, God's Jubilee by W. Scott McAndless

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This is just a reminder that the book that will revolutionize your knowledge and understanding of the Bible's story of Christmas is available now and can still be shipped before Christmas (or in the case of the ebook immediately).

Are you really going to let another Christmas go by without getting the inside scoop on the season?

The Gospel of Luke alone tells the story of the birth of Jesus set against the background of a census taken on the orders of Caesar Augustus. This historical setting has always raised serious questions: Was there ever really such a census? Why does Luke describe the census as being carried out in a manner that does not fit with what we know of Roman practices and policies?
This book struggles with questions like those in a creative way which leads to some surprising new ways to understand Luke’s timeless story of Mary and Joseph and their journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Part investigation, part exercise in creative imagination, this book will help you to…

Yeast or Bread?

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Hespeler, 19 November, 2017 © Scott McAndless Deuteronomy 8:1-3, Psalm 37:18-29, Mark 8:13-21 W hen Mark wrote his Gospel – which most scholars agree was written sometime around the year 70 CE – he had two main purposes for doing so. The first one is kind of obvious. It had been about 40 years since Jesus had been crucified which meant that the people who had been there and seen Jesus and known him in the flesh were pretty much all gone or going soon. There was a need to set down the words of Jesus and the stories of what he had done in a way that would endure.       But there was a second agenda to the writing of the gospel that isn’t quite so obvious to us, but that actually may have been even more important to its writer. Mark was writing the story down for the people in his church – a church that was living through some very difficult times. He wanted to show them how to be the church in those times – to be a church that would be faithful to the vision and calling of Jesus.       An…

First Church of the Wilderness

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Hespeler, 12 November, 2017 © Scott McAndless Mark 6:32-44, 2 Corinthians 9:6-12, Psalm 34:1-10 T he First Church in the Wilderness was facing yet another crisis. The twelve member leadership council assembled to talk about it and try to come up with a solution. The problem, as usual, was the budget. There just didn’t seem to be enough resources for everything that was needed. People were coming, they were hearing the word of life and it was affecting their lives giving them hope and a sense of purpose. It was just so darn hard to find the resources to keep the whole thing going.       And it is not just them. This seems to be a universal problem. There may be a church out there somewhere that never struggles to make ends meet, but I haven’t found it yet. It doesn’t matter whether a church is small, medium or mega. It doesn’t matter whether it is in a rich neighbourhood or a poor one, every single church I’ve ever looked at just seems to find that its revenues fall at least a little bit…

Peace, peace, when there is no peace.

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Hespeler, 5 November, 2017 © Scott McAndless Remembrance Sunday Jeremiah 6:10-15, Matthew 10:34-39, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 W e call Jesus the Prince of Peace. We love to tell the story about how, when he was born in Bethlehem, the angels sang that an era of peace on earth had dawned. And Jesus was the one who said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God,” wasn’t he? I don’t know about you, but that is one of the key reasons why I am pleased to identify myself as a follower of Jesus. We need peace. The world needs peace. And on a day of Remembrance like this when we remember all of the carnage, all of the death and all of the grief of war, we particularly look for the healing power of peace. Indeed, no one craves peace more than veterans who remember war’s horrors all too well and soldiers on active duty. So I feel blessed indeed to be a follower of the Prince of Peace       But Jesus doesn’t seem to have always remained consistent on the topic of peace. Ther…