Monday, April 20, 2009


Yesterday in the sermon I talked about how Jesus saying to Thomas, "Have you believed because you have seen? Blessed are those who have not seen yet believe" begs the question of us today, "What do you believe?" The reading from Acts then also begged the follow-up question of "What difference does it (what you believe) make in your life?"

Now that you've had some time for it to settle in a little, what is it that you believe? What difference does it make in your life? Where do you see your faith lived out in your day to day life? I would to hear some of your thoughts and stories, so please post a comment and we'll see where the discussion might lead.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Sunday's Comin'

Some people struggle with calling today "Good Friday" because they want to know what's so good about it? This is a sad day, or sad week, in the church year. I am tempted to say that it's not so much sad as serious, but that's probably a subtle difference that doesn't matter much. However, in regards to what is so "good" about this Friday let me offer the following video clip.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Maundy Thursday

So the word "Maundy" gives us the word, "Mandate" and so today we celebrate this new mandate that Jesus gave us at the Last Supper. This "new" mandate? To love one another. Is that really all so "new?" I am no Biblical expert, but I recall something in Deuteronomy saying, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind and love your neighbor as yourself." If you ask me, that sounds awful similar, and not exactly "new."

On that same night, Jesus removed his outer robe and got down and washed the feet of the disciples, a humble act of service one would not expect from the Son of God. Only a few short (or long, I suppose depending on your perspective) Jesus was suffering on the cross on our behalf a selfless act of love like no other. If this is the level of love that Jesus was referring to, and I believe He was, then maybe it is a "new" mandate after all.

How will you be celebrating this new mandate, Maundy Thursday, today?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Gift of Worship

Here is a video I came across encouraging our worship to be "genuine," that it be about the object of our worship and not about us. I like the line at the end that invites us to come and gaze and the cross.

I like the sentiment of the clip, but not so much the music included. I found another version here with music I prefer, if you would rather, but I don't know how to embed it in this blog.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Communion Follow-Up

Here is an excellent reminder of the context in which Paul shared the words of institution in his letter to the Corinthians.


On Thursday our readings will lead us back to the night in which Jesus was betrayed and shared, for the first time, what we no know as communion. So this morning I've been thinking about communion. I wonder if we as a church have soiled the practice through our traditions that attempt to keep "good order?" I find it interesting that over the years, because we hold communion in such high estate, we have decided that we need to put stipulations on who is allowed to participate and who is not. The chief deciding factor seems to be a clear understanding. That's why in some denominations you need to be a member of that church or in other denominations you need to be of a certain age so you can take the class to be allowed to participate.

I am sure there is good reason for this, but I also find it somewhat comical. For one, a big dividing point that has created a variety of different denominations is disagreement over the what communion means and what is really happening. When we gather around the table is it just a symbolic act? Is Jesus somehow "magically" appear in the bread and the wine? These are some serious differences, but also differences that brilliant church leaders and theologians have been unable to agree upon. How then can we require people to understand what is happening in communion if we don't even know? Does that mean none of us are eligible until we're dead and can ask God?

I also wonder about this need to understand to participate when I think of the disciples on that night. Do you suppose it all made sense to everyone of them in the moment? I imagine there was a lot more confusion than there was understanding. I can only imagine that as they were out in the garden waiting upon Jesus as he went off and prayed that there were a few whispered, "What the f*@# just happened in there?" between disciples. What makes us think we can understand it all?

Then there is this whole deciding who gets to participate and who doesn't business. How did we become so arrogant? I don't recall Jesus stipulating who was participating nor specific people that He died for in lieu of others. The words I speak each week are, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin." Who, then, are we as a church to limit how "all people" should include?

It just kind of makes me wonder.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Dramatic Ad

What do you think?