When a church, or a church denomination, faces controversy, THIS SERMON gives a great example of how to expose the issue because it is necessary to expose the issue, and all the while still believing in the resurrected Christ.
I am working my way back through NT Wright’s book, Surprised by Hope, and it is bending my mind all over again. How I used to think about heaven and eternal life was transformed by this book, and I need this refresher.
Wright has the reminder for me that the New Testament witness isn’t about believing in Jesus so that when we die we get to go to heaven. Strangely enough, that is completely absent from the gospel narrative.Read more
Christians, at their best, are the fools who dare believe in God’s power to call dead things to life. That is the testimony of the Black church. It is not that we have good music (we do) or excellent preaching (we do). The testimony of the Black church is that in times of deep crisis we somehow become more than our collective ability. We become a source of hope that did not originate in ourselves. — Esau McCaulley (more HERE)
I am a Christian today not because it answers all my questions about the world or about our current suffering. It does not. And not because I think it is a nice, coherent moral order by which to live my life. And not because I grew up this way or have fond feelings about felt boards and hymn sings. And not because it motivates justice or helps me to know how to vote. I am a Christian because I believe in the Resurrection. If it isn’t true, to hell with it. (Tish Harrison Warren)
More of her thoughts HERE.
“Freedom in Christ is to be released from perpetual inner conflict into ‘the glorious liberty of the children of God’ (Rom. 8:21) where we are enabled to live, not by our own tyrannical wishes, but for the love of others.” — Fleming Rutledge
We have been recruited, through the resurrection, to go into the Father’s “business.” It is the forgiveness business.Read more
1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: 2 This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. 3 Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. 4 If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbor in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. 7 They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8 They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 9 Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs. 10 You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. 11 This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the LORD. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD. 13 The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
14 This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
O God, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant us so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Almighty God, who through your only‑begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life:
Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by your life‑giving Spirit;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
When it comes to church work, a mantra I’ve heard for decades has been, “It’s easier to birth a baby than raise the dead.” Just plant a church.
But resurrection? That’s God.
I’ve walked through resurrection. I’ve also planted a church. The biggest moment of awe I’ve had?
It was God. ALL God.