Locked Doors

To say that “no one locks their doors here” is a badge of honor for many communities. It is an expression of confidence in the safety of the neighborhood. I once lived in such a community. When my parents first moved there, there was not even a lock on the door! Today I always lock our doors before going to bed. I bet you do too. I don’t think there is anything wrong with locking the door to your house but is worthwhile to consider whether you are locking danger out or locking yourself in.
For Jesus’ disciples, it was a little of both.

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Did you Hear the News?

The Resurrection of Jesus was shocking, world changing news.
It was so unexpected that even his disciples struggled to believe it! As with most big news, some were excited and others were definitely not! There are three basic approaches you can take when a breaking story puts you in a bad light. 1) cover it up, 2) Wait it out, 3) Admit your wrongdoing, apologize and deal with the consequences. As we consider the news of the Resurrection of Jesus, let us consider each of these approaches.

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The “Goodness” of that Friday

How can a day filled with so much pain, suffering, and injustice be called “Good.” When faced with the reality of Jesus’ passion, we might wonder whether all of this was really necessary. Couldn’t there have been another way? It is even worse when we remember that Jesus didn’t die because of something he did, like the criminals next to him, he died because of something you and I did.

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Palm Sunday

It is in the nature of God to profoundly love us even though we are broken, lost, and often make bad decisions. It was profound love for you, me, and all of humanity that Jesus took upon the cross so many years ago so that we might know the way to the Father. Jesus’ gift of being willing to suffer so traumatically for all of us was meant to set us free from our brokenness and free from our addictions and free from our thoughts of worthlessness. Come and see that the Lord is good this Holy Week.

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We Wish to See Jesus

If someone came to you and said that they wanted to see Jesus what would you do? This is exactly what happened to Philip in the gospel passage today. Jesus’ disciples had gotten pretty used to people wanting to see Jesus, but these men were Greeks! Gentiles! Philip didn’t know what to do. While Jesus doesn’t seem to address these Greek men directly, the interaction seems to signal something significant to him.

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Let Us Go to the House of the Lord

In the years before the exile to Babylon, The Lord gave warning after warning to the people of Israel, but they wouldn’t listen. They continued to worship false gods and participate in abominable practices. Lest we look down on the Israelites in judgment, however, let us point a finger at ourselves. Just like the sins of Israel caused them to be cut off from the land that was promised to them and the temple where God had promised to dwell among them, so also our sins have caused us to be cut off from God. But the Lord also promised hope through the prophet Jeremiah.

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Perfect Law, Broken Heart

Psalm 19:7 says that “The Law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.” What more needs to be said? Just, obey the Ten Commandments and life will be better! And yet, even the author of Psalm 19 admits to not keeping these commandments (v. 12). Knowing the right thing to do is not the same thing as doing it! The commandments are an opportunity to examine yourself.

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Listening to the Lord

This past year or so has felt much like a long season of Lent. For many of us we have given up so many experiences, times with family and friends, activities we used to enjoy, or even just feeling like things are normal. It can be very tempting to focus on everything that is different and yet Fr. Chris and I truly feel like it is an invitation for all of us to draw closer to the living God who wants to speak to each of you and to provide a way for you. Abraham was faithful to God and God provided a way out of His situation. God provided a sacrificial ram that would take the place of Isaac.

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Into the Wilderness of Lent

The first Sunday of Lent is always devoted to remembering Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness being tempted by Satan. The length of the 40 days of Lent is modeled on these 40 days of Jesus, and reading an account of this time in Jesus’ life helps us to frame these 40 days of fasting leading up to our celebration of Easter.

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