The cross has now been dismantled. The winding cloths that wrapped our Lord’s crucified and battered body now lie empty in a vacated tomb. Only angels are left… and wonder!
Women came to the cemetery to finish the proper process of Jewish burial. Instead of a bloodied corpse, they met an angel who asked a … Continue Reading
For some reason that escaped me in seminary lectures, the church never named the Saturday before Easter. I have thought of several names we might use: “Sad”urday. “Dark” Saturday. “Pause” Day. It was a day of sorrow. Of grief. Of loss. It was a day in which the Gospel story seems to have … Continue Reading
Friday dawned. Jesus had been arrested, arraigned by a midnight, kangaroo court. Tried by the religious hierarchy and found guilty of blasphemy. The disciples had fled. Only Peter remained… denying. It was Friday, but Sunday was coming.
The religious lied… the government conspired… the governor buried justice. The soldiers drank. The crowd grew restless. It … Continue Reading
Easter is coming this weekend. Not the bunny. The Sunday. The people. You know… the resurrection!
I don’t know why the church acts surprised every year… company is coming. New people are arriving. Daily. A bunch of them will be here that day.
We know growth is happening. Already in a 48-hour window over 475 … Continue Reading
Though Holy Week began with shouts of “Hosanna” and celebration with waving palms, joyful faces, and hopeful hearts, it landed five days later in darkness, questions and the quietness of a graveyard. Crucifixion had crushed the last hopes of believers and brought assurance to the enemies of Christ that the problems He had created were … Continue Reading
“The early church did not invent the empty tomb or the resurrection sightings of Jesus,” said historian N.T. Wright. “Nobody was expecting this kind of thing, no conversion experience or experience of being forgiven, no matter how guilty they felt, no matter how many hours they pored over the Scriptures would have created it. To … Continue Reading
Jesus was a man; fully human just like you and me. He experienced our trials and travails, and like our lives His was marked by “many dangers, toils and snares.” He was “at all points tempted like we are, yet without sin.” And as we, He “learned obedience through the things that He suffered.”
Even … Continue Reading
“I waited patiently for the Lord,” the Psalmist said. Pregnant words… filled with unspoken backstory and unfulfilled desires. Painful words, because we don’t want to wait… don’t like to wait. I’m embarrassed to say if I could take an elevator that had a passing lane I would. We don’t like to wait.
“I waited patiently … Continue Reading
A couple of decades ago, I attended a conference led by Dr William Jones, a great, African-American professor of theology. During the conference he gave some pointers on preaching and he said, “The key to a great sermon is having an engaging introduction, a compelling conclusion, and keeping the two as close together as possible.” … Continue Reading
Last week two Princeton University researchers released a report to the Brookings Institute, tracking the startling mortality rates of middle-class, white Americans. Among both men and women, deaths by suicide, alcohol or drug use have risen alarmingly.
These “deaths of despair,” the researchers named it, claim thousands of lives each year. And the number is … Continue Reading