Monthly Archives: March 2016

  • Resurrection Sunday

    Usually it’s here you read my words and my reflections. Below, instead, I offer an Easter reflection from a sermon preached by N. T. Wright. He points out that Easter is a time of intense and profound celebration and that the length of it is much longer than many Christians realize. As we welcome in Eastertide this year may God fill our heart for the next 50 days and beyond with the life changing reality that Christ is risen. He is risen indeed!

    …one of the main things I want to say this morning is that we as Christians must learn how to celebrate Easter properly. We in the West aren’t good at this. I was talking to somebody over coffee … and we were agreeing that the Eastern Orthodox do their Easter celebrations much better than we do in the … Read More »

  • Palm Sunday

    One week before Jesus died in Jerusalem he entered that same city and was hailed a king. How quickly things can change! What is going on here? In a highly charged and freighted symbolic and liturgical act Jesus enters the city and is greeted with a warm reception. He is hailed as king and the one who will save (that is what Hosanna means) this people from their tyrannical enemies. He and they engage in this public act according to the Scriptures (Ps. 118:25; Zech. 9:9) and thus regard this and him to be the fulfillment of prophetic announcements from God in the past and the last days when Messiah would come to save his people. Jesus’ actions here and the people’s response shine a light upon us and help us to view this event and his ministry and ourselves … Read More »

  • Read through the Bible, Part 9

    Deuteronomy 7 – 25; Mark 8 – 13:31

    Communicators of all stripes and shapes and sizes are acquainted with the well-known ancient triad: logos, ethos, and pathos. Journalists, novelists, preachers, artists, salesmen, and many others know – even if they don’t really know and are not able to articulate it – of the ancient triad’s importance and power. Logos. It comes from Greek. It means “word, thought, idea.” We, of course, get our word “logic” from it. That alone gives us a hint at what the ancients were getting at when they spoke of logos. It refers to facts and evidence, logic and structure, and to the airtightness of an argument. It’s an important part of persuading your audience; though surely not the only part. Ethos. It refers to a person’s credibility. Why are they fit to speak to me about … Read More »

  • Read through the Bible, Part 8

    Numbers 23 – Deuteronomy 6; Mark 6 – 9

    The Bible speaks of being in relationship with God by using covenantal language. Individuals and nations are covenantally united to God through faith or through a relationship with someone already united (think here of members of a household–whether that be a familial one or a national one, thus, citizens, slaves, spouses, children, etc.). We tend to talk about the blessings and benefits of being in covenant with God. And this is good. But sometimes we do this to the neglect of the obligations of the covenant. To be sure, there are also obligations—Scripture is replete with them; obligations which, if left unmet or undone, carry with them a stricter judgment. On one occasion Jesus told a parable about a master who was away at a wedding (Lk. 12:36). Everyone knows that weddings—at least weddings … Read More »