January 6, 2008

Isaiah 60:1-6 Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14Ephesians 3:1-12Matthew 2:1-12 The story of the magi’s visit to the young boy Jesus in Bethlehem is the classic Epiphany story. We often sneak the wise men into the Christmas story in December, but its proper place is here: after the birth of the child, after the shepherds have returned home, after the angels have receded into the sky. Once again, of course, I should remind you that the shepherds and the angels belong to Luke’s story, and the magi are Matthew’s. The birth narratives should not be read as historical accounts of factual events. So we don’t have to worry about why the Holy Family who had travelled to Bethlehem for a census (in Luke’s account) are still there a few years later (in Matthew’s account) and living in a house. Chances are that Jesus was really born in Nazareth, the Galilean town where he grew up and began his ministry. But both Matthew and Luke come up with reasons for his birth to take place in Bethlehem, the city of David. It’s a great way to show that Jesus is the predicted Messiah, in the family line of David, born in David’s town. Likewise, there is no historical reason to believe that Gentile astrologers came looking for Jesus to worship him as a little child in Bethlehem. My guess is that no one knew that there was anything particularly special about Jesus until he began his ministry as a young man. But the story … Read more »

July 3, 2016

Listen to this Sermon Luke 10:1-6, 16-20 Psalm 78:1-8 Ephesians 3:8-10, 16-21 “The Next Generations” This week it really started to feel like summer had arrived. The number of meetings in my schedule dropped drastically, and I easily found time to do a little more visiting during the week. I enjoyed several free evenings, fewer emails, and things were pretty quiet in the church office. But despite the seeming slow-down for summer, ministry and mission actually continued at an alarming pace. St. Andrew’s visitors were out in full force this week – visiting in all three hospitals and in homes and care homes too. Three prayer shawls will be gifted this week, along with prayers for healing and wholeness to people within and beyond our congregation. On Friday, a bunch of us went up to Camp Christopher. It was mostly Camp Committee members who joined the staff team up at camp for a BBQ lunch and a beautiful afternoon, culminating in the commissioning service. The new mattresses, for which our church raised the money, will arrive soon, and over the course of the summer the staff will welcome around 250 children and youth to participate in the Christian Camping program. My Facebook news feed was overflowing the last few days with posts by Canada Youth leadership getting ready for the big Presbyterian youth conference in Ontario. Some of them are already at Brock University getting things set up, and youth from our congregation and synod will leave tomorrow morning to … Read more »