Showing posts from January, 2011

Present to the Passion

Matthew 27:26-31

It is hard for me to read the story of the events leading up to Jesus Christ’s crucifixion. At some point in my life, I told myself that I could no longer just read the words, but rather I needed to imagine them. I think this transition took place at around the same time as Mel Gibson’s film, “the Passion of the Christ” came out in theatres. For those of you who remember, at the time it was almost expected that Christians would go to see this movie. I didn’t want to see the movie, because I said that if Jesus was crucified today, I wouldn’t be in attendance.

When we think about what happened to Jesus Christ, it can be so easy to be desensitized. We watch violent movies and our everyday news includes horrific images from around the world. But the passion of Jesus Christ was not a movie and it is not an image on television. Christ’s passion was and continues to be a reality. Jesus Christ really was tortured and deserted by his friends.

It is so easy to move forward to…

Write that Down!

“Generation after generation stands in awe of your work; each one tells stories of your mighty acts.” – Psalm 145:4 (The Message)

“You should write that down.” How often do I hear those words? I tell a story about a way I have witnessed God in either my life or someone else’s and I get the response, “you should write that down.” Why? So I don’t forget? How could I possibly forget? So, I don’t write it down and I forget.

One of the gifts of faith that can be passed down from generation to generation are the stories about our encounters with God. These stories are powerful and they are part of our legacy. The stories don’t have to be about something out of the ordinary, they can be quite simple. How I found strength when someone shared a kind word at just the right time. About that job promotion that was unexpected, but much needed. Or that moment when I witnessed a red full moon for the first time and just knew that God exists.

They are stories about why we believe, why we worship,…

Storms of Life

In the midst of the storm, Jesus is sleeping. When he is awoken by the disciples he asks, "Why are you fearful?"

Sometimes in the midst of trouble people ask, "Where is God?" There is talk of a Dark Night of the Soul. People question whether God is always alert to their troubles. Has He left me? Has God fallen asleep? Does God not care?

Yet, in Matthew 8, we have the disciples in a boat, in the midst of a storm, afraid! And Jesus, although sleeping, is with them. "O you of little faith" he comments.

What if God is sleeping during the midst of our trials? What if God does not seem fully alert to what is taking place? What does it mean for God to be present, even if He is not present in the ways that we desire?

The disciples were safe, because God was with them, even though He, in the presence of His Son, was asleep.

In the midst of our trials and tribulations, the storms that make life seem difficult, God is with us - Immanuel! He has not forgotten us nor h…

Prepare the Way

Repentance prepares the way for Christ. That is pretty simple, isn't it. Or is it?

Why is it so difficult for us to repent? Is it because it requires that we swallow our pride? Is it because repentance makes us face the reality of who we really are? Is it because we don't have the time to truly repent? Or is it because it is a lot of hard work?

In Matthew 3 we read that John the Baptist came to prepare the way for Christ. How did he do this? By preaching a message of repentance. See, repentance must be a requirement for us to be prepared for Christ. It is a manner by which we prepare mentally and whole-heartedly for the presence of Christ in our lives.

I can't fully see who Jesus Christ is, unless I recognize who I am and who I am not. In order to recognize Jesus as the Messiah, I need to first recognize that I am not the Messiah. I must see what makes up my own humanity in order to see the unique divinity and perfect humanness of the Anointed One. If I am unwilling to t…