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Showing posts from April, 2015

Sermon for April 5, 2015 / Easter Sunday

The Rush to Completion
Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. On the way they were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside. When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.” The women fled from the tomb, trembling and bewildered, and th…

Good Friday Meditation | April 3, 2015

Thirst No More
Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. Batter my heart, three-personed God; for You As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and ben Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new . . .
Now that’s a God for you. Those words were written by the English poet John Donne in his 14th Sonnet. John Donne’s God kicks butt and takes names. We know all about this God – the God of unlimited power and might who breaks down prison doors and bends human will like Superman curls an iron bar. We were taught to put our hope in the One who shatters the chains of evil and conquers death. And don’t get in this God’s way. His anger and fury are notorious. Many of us were raised with this image of an eternal, almighty, irate Being who smites enemies for all etern…

Maundy Thursday Meditation | April 2, 2015

It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last. Luke 23:44-46 In Matthew’s version of the crucifixion of Jesus, Matthew uses a Greek phrase we translate as, “He yielded up His spirit” or “He released his spirit” (27:50). John uses a similar phrase: “He gave up His spirit” (19:30). These descriptions of Jesus’ last breath are bold and active. They emphasize the voluntary nature of Jesus’ death. Jesus is in control up to the very last breath. It fits in well with John’s theology. He’s the one who has Jesus say, “I lay down my life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from me, but I lay it down on my own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again (Jn. 10:17–18, emphasis added). For …