Imagine living with God every day all day. What would this look like? What if you knew God was with you at work, at mealtime and everywhere in between? After His resurrection Jesus revealed Himself in a variety of ways to His followers. In this message we reflect on the day when the resurrected Jesus shows up to help His friends at work and then invites them to a shoreline meal over a charcoal fire. While Jesus gave many instructions, here’s one He doesn’t want you to overlook – “Come and have breakfast.”
On Palm Sunday Jesus unveiled that He is the gentle King we long for. One week later, on Resurrection Sunday He proved it. Today we review the record of King Jesus’ resurrection and celebrate that He is alive and with all who believe that he is Lord.
On this 4th Sunday of Lent we encounter Jesus at Lazarus’ grave. Tombs, vaults and cemeteries raise questions. Where is our loved one? What should I do as I consider my own mortality? Where is God? Jesus’ encounter with Lazarus and his family is not only the 7th sign in the Gospel of John and HIs greatest miracle (besides His own resurrection) on record, it is also a clarifying moment for all who ask these and other questions in the midst of death’s sting.
The 3rd verse of Joy to the World is probably the least known verse. Often when we sing the song, it’s left out altogether. Verse 3 is distinct from the other verses because it doesn’t take its inspiration from Psalm 98, but rather Genesis 3 – the curse. But it does take the form of a Psalm: the first 2 lines are a plea to God Himself, and the second 2 lines are a promise from God to His people. What is your plea to God today? And what is His promise, into that plea? In this world we will have troubles, but take heart! Jesus has overcome the world. And that is cause for true joy.
Why did followers of Jesus change their day of worship from the Jewish Sabbath to the day of Christ’s resurrection? Why did they transition from an annual Passover to a frequent celebration including the bread and the cup? Why do followers of Jesus continue today to sing about, talk about, read about and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus? While there are many reasons to celebrate Jesus’ emergence from the tomb, on this Resurrection Sunday we reflect and give thanks to God for three. Through the resurrection of Jesus, God blesses us with certainty in our faith, clarity in our hope and charity in our neighborly love.
Paul continues his 2nd missionary journey, and travels to Athens, the birthplace of modern western thought and democracy. In a proud city of extraordinary architecture, art, and culture – one designed to display its great history, people, and ideas, Paul becomes “greatly distressed” by what he observes – in a way reminiscent of God himself, whenever God-given artistry and ability is not attributed and celebrated as grace and gifts from him alone. Since Paul has been transformed by Jesus himself, he is able to deeply understand Athens, and at the same time love Athens with the love of Jesus himself. In so doing, he gives us a clear example of how to engage in our highly nuanced, pluralist culture… blank Starbucks holiday cups and all.
Acts 4 picks up the story a few hours after the crippled man has been healed… Peter and John are arrested and detained for upsetting the peace with their “uneducated” teaching, and for convincing people to join the “Jesus is Lord” movement. For the first time, the apostles find themselves in the exact same place Jesus was just weeks prior: in front of the ruling religious council of their day, being strongly questioned. Previously, this environment was the catalyst for Peter’s cowardly denials of Jesus as he observed the hostility and authority of the council to put his master to death. However, in this “second chance,” Peter stays on offense, yet respectfully. Through his response to the council’s intimidation, he provides one of the strongest case studies in the power of the Holy Spirit to transform people fully, into who they were created to be, in the image of Jesus himself.
What should I do with my life? What can I do that could possibly make a difference? Is there some way I could improve the world? Followers of Jesus have the privilege of uniting with Him in the greatest mission of all – to see people in our city and around the world restored to […]
We all drift from God at times. After 3 years with Jesus, the events leading up to Jesus’ death caused the disciples to drift away. Yet, when Jesus rose from the grave He came to His disciples in peace to restore them and empower them to rejoin Him in His mission to change the world. For all who have wandered from God, the good news for the disciples on that day is also great news for us on this day.
All of us, no matter our status of faith, encounter times when it seems Jesus is far away. In this post-resurrection account, we find two travelers literally experiencing just that. Suddenly Jesus himself appears and as he walks with them, unbeknownst to them, Jesus listens to their hopes and dreams and disappointment, revealing a pattern […]