Bible: Want proof of the resurrection?

Apr 15, 2019 by

Oh, for a video camera trained on the tomb on that original Easter Sunday! How perfect it would be to witness the grinding of the grave stone, the genuflection of the soldiers, the gleaming of the...

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Most ancient testimony

Apr 15, 2019 by

Assigned to read Herzog by Saul Bellow, a college student encountered these thoughts on death: What is the philosophy of this generation? Not God is dead, that period was passed long ago. Perhaps it should be...

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Lasting Lenten sacrifice

Mar 18, 2019 by and

What are you giving up for Lent? Like showing up for Christmas Eve and Easter Sunday worship services, Lenten self-sacrifice is one of the few church traditions that still finds some measure of appeal with the...

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‘If you love me…’

Apr 5, 2018 by

After the resurrection of Jesus, there were still things he needed to teach the disciples before his ascension to heaven. The disciples, no doubt, had guilt about their disappearance during his trial, his...

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How do we know Jesus rose from the dead?

Apr 2, 2018 by

How do we know Jesus rose from the dead? We discussed this question at Followers of Jesus Church Atlanta as part of our Easter celebration. How would you answer it? The resurrection is the basis for our...

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Bible: Breakfast with the risen Christ

Mar 26, 2018 by

I wish our Uniform Texts had started with Luke 23:55. In both the Greek New Testament and the NRSV, Luke 24:1 begins with “But . . . they came to the tomb.” What happened before the “but,” and who is...

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Awake, O sleeper

Mar 26, 2018 by

When a congregation has a lot of funerals in a short time, the shadow of death looms large. At the same time, the light of the Resurrection shines. Darkness and light, sorrow and hope, compete for power over...

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Resurrection reality

Mar 26, 2018 by

As we enter the Easter season, we’re celebrating not merely a feel-good story but an actual event in history. In the person of Jesus, God entered our space and time as one of us. He lived, died and returned...

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Patience, prayer, power

May 22, 2017 by

The weeks following Jesus’ resurrection must have been an exciting time of transition for his followers. “After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them...

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Bible: Mercy wider than we imagine

Apr 24, 2017 by

It’s worth reading the Book of Jonah in one sitting. It won’t take more than five minutes. Getting the details freshly in mind as well as the entire scope of the story can make an old, familiar tale come...

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Are we stuck at the cross?

Apr 10, 2017 by

It’s Holy Week. Sunday we progressed around the church with our palm fronds singing hosanna, reminding ourselves of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. From here we walk with Jesus toward the cross...

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Bible: How can we keep from singing?

Apr 10, 2017 by

“Nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus,” the speaker said. “Nothing at all. Not anything we do — or anything we don’t do.” I pushed the rewind button and played the recording...

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Skeptic’s quest

Apr 10, 2017 by

Thomas, the doubting disciple, doesn’t make the list of biblical role models. But he deserves a second look. Scripture’s most famous skeptic has something to teach us about faith and doubt. The disciple...

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Resurrection lite or resurrection light?

Mar 31, 2016 by

Today I am reminded of what Michelle Webster-Hein once wrote: This morning at church I plunked out the four parts of an old hymn while above my chords the congregation’s voices took flight. And I thought of...

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7 weeks of celebration

Mar 28, 2016 by

Jesus is risen! When you read this, Resurrection Sunday may have passed, but this is our declaration for the next seven weeks. The organizers of the church calendar understood that Christ’s triumph over...

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The 4 days of Holy Week that shape my life

Mar 23, 2016 by

It’s Holy Week and, for the first time in my professional life, I’m not guiding a church through it. The freshness of simply being a sojourner is allowing me the opportunity to reflect on this sacred...

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More than a memory

Mar 14, 2016 by

Good Friday and Easter look different in the shadow of a loved one’s death. Grief brings Christ’s death and resurrection closer. It magnifies the fears and hopes we normally suppress. Thoughts of a cross...

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Resurrection through tears and change

Mar 14, 2016 by

Several years ago during the Easter vigil at Resurrection Catholic parish in my hometown of Johnstown, Pa., I found myself weeping almost uncontrollably. The Saturday Easter vigil is among the grandest of...

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Good Friday with children

Mar 11, 2016 by

It’s difficult to know what to do with Good Friday when you have little children. I’m always a little itchy about skipping from Palm Sunday to Easter with no worship that centers us on Jesus dying. At the...

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The gospel of enough

Apr 15, 2015 by

The following sermon was preached at Germantown Mennonite Church in Philadelphia, based on Acts 4:32-35. I hate to break it to you, but despite those verses in Acts, the church never really held all things...

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Holy Week in an unholy world

Apr 3, 2015 by

We call it Holy Week. But it was a terrible week. His trial reeked of injustice. His own disciple sold him out for a few pieces of silver, betrayed him with a kiss . . .  and hung himself. As he was arrested,...

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Holy Week is hard

Apr 2, 2015 by

I love involving children in our Palm Sunday worship — letting them parade around and wave palms while the adults sing our Hosannahs. And I really love to celebrate Easter with children — with baskets and...

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Undeserved Easter

Mar 30, 2015 by

The story of Christ’s death and resurrection is a study in humanity’s shortcomings. It seems designed to contrast a divine plan with mortal mistakes. There is the parade of offenses in the garden before...

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Pacific shore is holy ground for Easter baptisms

May 12, 2014 by and

VANCOUVER, B.C. — The chilly spring waters of the Pacific Ocean didn’t deter 29 people from plunging beneath the surface this Easter as a public witness to the truth and power of the gospel. On April 20,...

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Easter: Actually it’s 50 days

May 2, 2014 by

Easter is not one day. It is not a week. Easter is not 40 days. Easter is actually a season of 50 days in the churches’ calendar. Is this pure ecclesiastical pedantry? No. Easter is the season where the...

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