Rest You Well – A Poem for Holy Saturday, by NT Wright

April 15, 2017 12:42 pm

On the seventh day God rested in the darkness of the tomb; Having finished on the sixth day all his work of joy and doom. Now the Word had fallen silent, and the water had run dry, The bread had all been scattered, and the light had left the sky. The flock had lost its shepherd, and the seed was sadly sown, The courtiers had betrayed their king, and nailed him to his throne. O Sabbath rest by Calvary, O calm of tomb below, Where the grave-clothes and the spices cradle him we do not know! Rest you well, beloved... Read this post

Good Friday Homily

April 15, 2017 2:49 am

This service is very unusual, isn’t it? It’s uncomfortable. We are used to walking into this room with handshakes, hugs, high fives, and even a holy kiss or two. But tonight we gather in silence and in darkness. Why? A Question at Passover: Why is this night different than all other nights? We could ask this question of tonight’s gathering too. We could wonder why the darkness, why the silence, why the somber tone, and why all the focus on the cross? We need this focus desperately. Why? We forget how great our need is. We forget how great our... Read this post

Prayer Guide for Lent, Week 2

March 13, 2017 11:09 am

Hunger “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. Thus I have beheld you…” – Psalm 63:1 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness; they shall be filled” – Matthew 5 Given that one of my life heroes is Julia Child it will come as no surprise that preparing and serving exquisite food for friends is a singular delight. So is eating that food! Imagine spending several hours preparing a menu, shopping for the... Read this post

Prayer Guide for First Week of Lent

March 5, 2017 1:10 pm

C3 Lenten Prayer Guide First Week of Lent Dependence “Bow down thine ear O Lord and hear me, for I am poor and needy.” – Psalm 86:1 “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of God.” – Matthew 5 “No, I’ve got this.” I will never forget those words. They were said by a man I visited in a hospital many years ago. He was about to endure open-heart surgery, and this was at a time when the outcome of such operations was far less certain – and far more painful – than it is today.... Read this post

Building with Burned Stones – Sermon Notes for March 5, 2017

March 4, 2017 1:16 pm

Building with Burned Stones Nehemiah 4:1-3 March 5, 2017 Background and Review Nehemiah revealing Jesus: coming to us in our disaster to restore and revive us (Leaving the throne room, coming to our ruins, rising after three days to build). There is a Jesus-authored building project – the Church (Matthew 16). Peter tells us that you and I are ‘living stones being built together…’ (1 Peter 2) Does this surrounded by his enemies Restoration and Revival Renewed life and faith together with mending and renewal of service We are aware of the rising numbers who’ve given up on the Church.... Read this post

Easy Like Sunday Morning

March 4, 2017 12:23 pm

I believe gathering for worship is the single most radical act any Christian can make today. Answering God’s call to rise from mere individualism or the boundaries of family and identify in public with the Church of history, the Church of heaven, and the Church right now; to offer oneself in sacrifice to the One who for love sacrificed all on the Cross; to publicly acknowledge personal and institutional sin, one’s need for forgiveness, instruction, spiritual nourishment and renewal; to confess in public with others the truth of the ancient Faith so vehemently despised – this is truly a most... Read this post

Hitting Pause

February 23, 2017 6:48 pm

  Hitting Pause: The Unexpected Gift of Ash Wednesday and Lent “The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time. Any fool can do it.” – James Taylor In his new book Thank You for Being Late New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman notes the struggle we all to have to keep up with the pace of change we are experiencing. The speed of our lives keeps accelerating in a never-ending battle to maintain awareness and efficiency in an age that continuously outpaces our ability to stay abreast of new information and changing demands. We’re tired. We’re even intimidated. We... Read this post

Arise and Build: Sermon Notes for February 19, 2017

February 22, 2017 10:12 am

Arise and Build Nehemiah 2:1-12, 17, 20 February 19, 2017 Ernest Hemingway. With a group of authors over lunch, they bet him that he couldn’t come up with a short story only six words long. He took that bet, pulled out a napkin and wrote ….. ” For sale, baby shoes, never worn.” At one level, just a story about a man who loved his people and wanted to secure their future by seeing God’s will accomplished. Nehemiah’s entrance into Jerusalem’s ruins points us to God’s redeeming work in Jesus. Journey from the throne to the ruins Faceoff with the... Read this post

Prayer as Life: Sermon Notes for February 12, 2017

February 11, 2017 11:47 pm

Rise and Build Part Two: Prayer as Life Nehemiah 1- 2:4 February 12, 2017 We’re not very good at this, but we can learn. Paul wrote, “We don’t know how to pray as we should…” “One moment of prayer, of weak worship, confused contrition, tepid thanksgiving, or pitiful petition will bring us closer to God than all the books of theology in the world.” ― Peter Kreeft Praying in the passion and reality of exile and unrealized hope Psalm 61:1-2 This is sustained prayer over four months (1:1-4; 2:1): around 100 Days. This is the first of nine prayers recorded... Read this post

Tears of Sorrow to Springs of Joy: Sermon Notes for February 5, 2017

February 4, 2017 5:44 pm

Rise and Build Part One: From Tears of Sorrow to Springs of Joy Nehemiah 1:1-11 February 5, 2017 Historical GPS No walls: defenseless (immune system was shot) Jerusalem destroyed about 580 BC Return of exiles had occurred but the work on the walls had been stopped through the combined efforts of people who hated the Jews and the King of the Medo-Persian Empire. I. Nehemiah’s Position Part of a great strategic team Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, Esther, Zechariah, Haggai, Zerubbabel II. Nehemiah’s Passion Highways to Zion: Psalm 84:5-6 “How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, In [c]whose heart... Read this post