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Showing posts from March, 2018

The Sign of the Cross

Sheldon Vanauken once wrote these words describing the aftermath of his decision to follow Christ:
Forty days after: The decision made, one begins to act on it. One prays, goes to church, makes an incredibly meaningful first Christian communion. One tries to rethink everything one has ever thought in this new Light. One tries to subordinate self—to make the Sign of the Cross, crossing out the “I”—and to follow Christ, with something less than brilliant success.
I invite you to meditate with me, during these few moments we have together, on what enabled Jesus to go to the cross on Good Friday. I think a good portion of what made that move possible was Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane on Thursday night. Listen for God’s word to you from Mark 14:32-42….
They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and agitated. 34 And he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even…

Following Jesus into the Temple

Usually on Palm Sunday I preach on Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. One drawback to that plan, however, is that between Palm Sunday and Easter we miss all the important things that happened in the last week of the life of Jesus before his crucifixion and resurrection. So today I want to focus on an event that actually took place on Monday of what we call Holy Week—the cleansing of the Temple.
Most of us are familiar with this story of Jesus turning over the tables in the Temple. But the even raises the question: What moved Jesus to do this? Let’s look into Mark 11:12-19 and see if we can find out the answer. Listen for God’s word to you….
On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he [Jesus] was hungry. 13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see whether perhaps he would find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples he…