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 →