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Showing posts from March, 2016

The Resurrection of Jesus

"The Incredulity of St. Thomas" by Caravaggio
In The Apostles’ Creed the Church confesses her faith in Jesus who “on the third day … rose again.” In that same creed we say that we believe in “the resurrection of the body”. But why should we believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus and our own future bodily resurrection? After all, isn’t such belief terribly antiquated in our own scientific age?
I imagine that believing in the resurrection of Jesus was just as hard in the first century as it is in the twenty-first. After all, people in the first century knew just as well as we do today that when someone dies and you put their body into the ground, that body doesn’t come out again. It would seem that St. Thomas had at least as many questions about the resurrection of the body as any modern doubter of our own day.
So, if we have doubts, we are in good company. And to my mind, former atheist C. S. Lewis offers much helpful explanation about the resurrection of Jesus in his book,…

Good Friday

Does not every movement in the Passion write large some common element in the sufferings of our race? First, the prayer of anguish; not granted. Then He turns to His friends. They are asleep--as ours, or we, are so often, or busy, or away, or preoccupied. Then He faces the Church, the very Church that He brought into existence. It condemns Him. This also is characteristic. In every Church, in every institution, there is something which sooner or later works against the very purpose for which it came into existence. But there seems to be another chance. There is the State; in this case, the Roman state. its pretensions are far lower than those of the Jewish church, but for that very reason it may be free from local fanaticisms. It claims to be just on a rough, worldly level. Yes, but only so far as is consistent with political expediency and raison d'├ętat. One becomes a counter in a complicated game. But even now all is not lost. There is still an appeal to the People--the poor and…

Maundy Thursday

Today is Maundy Thursday. The word "Maundy" comes from the Latin "mandate" which means "commandment". On the night before his crucifixion, Jesus gave to his disciples a new commandment to love one another as he had loved them (John 13:34). Furthermore, Jesus demonstrated his love for his disciples, on that same night, by taking off his clothes (taking the form of a servant) and washing his disciples dirty feet. Afterwards, he tells his disciples that he has given them an example to follow.

I like what C. S. Lewis says about this in a letter to a Catholic priest, Don Giovanni Calabria who lived in Verona. The letter was written in Latin during Holy Week in 1948. I will give the lead in to the key statement so that you can understand the context. And I will also quote from the English translation....

Everywhere things are troubling and uneasy--wars and rumours of war: perhaps not the final hour but certainly times most evil.Nevertheless, the Apostle again and…

The Life Development Process

Chapter 8 of The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren deals with applying what we say is our purpose as a church. One thing I really like in this chapter, and have used before in one of the churches I served, is what Warren calls "The Life Development Process". Warren illustrates this process using a baseball diamond. Each base represents a different class that helps people in the church grow in their relationship with Christ. First base is the membership class. Second base is the maturity class. Third base is the ministry class. And home base is the missions class.

The way I applied this in a previous church was to use this as the format for adult education on Sunday mornings. When I went to the church in question they had only one adult education class. We expanded to as many as four adult ed classes going at one time on Sunday mornings. The way Rick Warren's baseball diamond helped me was to maintain balance in our adult ed. I found that without the  baseball diamond as …