Easter is the preeminent miracle of the Christian faith. But how do you feel now that it’s over? Lent and holy week are a tremendous build-up, and it can be easy for our spirits to slumber afterwards. It is as if all the energy of the church liturgical cycle results in emotional and spiritual exhaustion. You can hear virtual echoes from some folks who drift away, saying to themselves that “I’ve done my duty, gone to church on Easter, and now leave me alone.” This stinging reality emphasizes the statistical pattern of many American’s church attendance. To counter any creeping cynicism, we might challenge ourselves andRead More →

God bless you this wonderful morning and welcome to Easter, the most joyous of all Christian holy days. Join this festive occasion as we celebrate the magnificence of the resurrection. Easter emphasizes life over death and hope over despair. Jesus’ triumph demonstrates how love and light crush hate and darkness. The good news is that God’s eternal message lives within each believer. Jesus’ flesh and blood have since transformed in heaven yet the principles he demonstrated remain ever-active. Easter reminds us that death is not the final word. Through the power of love, we move from soul-slumber into spiritual awakening. We are God’s children and,Read More →

Welcome to the joy ride of Palm Sunday, a time of great celebration as we welcome Jesus through Jerusalem’s gate (and ultimately into our life). Jesus’ highly public entrance into Jerusalem encouraged his supporters, who recognized in him a man of promise and hope. The crowds adoring Jesus might have known him as the populist prophet from Nazareth in Galilee. Perhaps these admirers even considered Jesus to be the Messiah who would set them free. The Jewish and Roman leaders would take notice of a fervent crowd. From the perspective of the authorities, the Jerusalem populace might get out of control and this could leadRead More →

Today’s message arises from Philippians 3:4-14, where Paul reflects on his former persona as a blameless, rigorous Jew. If Paul had stopped here and flaunted his privileged ethnic heritage, his education, or more ego-fueled pride then we could dismiss him as a fatally-flawed spokesman. But Paul does not disappoint. Paul perceives his heritage as loss compared with his Christian faith. Paul demotes the righteousness he gained as a pious Jew and instead emphasizes redemption through Jesus. Paul becomes a compelling role model in the way he lives in the present and moves forward. “[F]orgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, IRead More →