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Showing posts from April, 2019

The Power to Believe

It is very hard if not impossible sometimes to keep faith in the face of death. When faced with the loss of what you hold most dear, it is not only difficult to believe in life after death, it is difficult to believe that your own life here on earth can go on in any meaningful form. Thus, I think that we should not be too hard on Jesus’ disciple Thomas for not believing at first in the resurrection. It is a lot to believe after all. You and I might have responded just the same way if we were in Thomas’ shoes.  However, we are not in his shoes. We are in our own shoes. Thus, our task today is to see what we can learn from Thomas and his encounter with the risen Christ. Listen for God’s word to you from John 20:24-31… But Thomas (who was called the Twin ), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.  So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nai

Jesus & The Sojourners

On Easter Sunday morning we often focus on the Gospel stories surrounding the empty tomb and that is understandable. But that also means that we often neglect the other stories of Jesus’ resurrection appearances. I want to correct that deficiency this morning by reading to you one of my favorite resurrection stories from Luke 24:13-35. Listen for God’s word to you… Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles   from Jerusalem,   and talking with each other about all these things that had happened.   While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them,   but their eyes were kept from recognizing him.   And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad.   Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?”   He asked them, “W

God's Love

I invite you to imagine this scene. Jesus and his disciples are standing atop the Mount of Olives. Spread out before them, on the other side of the Kidron Valley, is the Temple and the city of Jerusalem beyond. As Jesus, riding on a donkey, along with his disciples walking beside him, begin to descend the Mount of Olives, various pilgrims who have gathered for Passover, greet him by spreading their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. This is how the crowds greeted another conquering hero less than two-hundred-years before Jesus. Next, the crowd begins to recite the words of Psalm 118 (which we read this morning) just as they always do, while flowing in pilgrimage up to the Temple to celebrate Passover. I want you to keep that picture in your mind as we consider what this psalm that was chanted on that first Palm Sunday has to teach us today. I believe this psalm teaches us at least three things. First, it teaches us t