Pastoral Series

The Sabbath of Waiting

Saturday, March 26Jesus’ Church: The Sabbath of WaitingHow intriguing is it that Jesus died just before the sun set on a Friday – which meant that just minutes after he died, the Sabbath began, the obligatory day of rest, God’s gift of a holy pause in the work week.  The women were gathering their spices…

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Good Friday

Friday, March 25Jesus’ Church: Good Friday Good Friday? Seems like it should be Bad Friday, Tragic Friday, the Worst Friday Ever. But this is the paradox of Christianity:  God’s power is “made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).  “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise” (1 Corinthians 1:27).  “For God…

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Maundy Thursday

Thursday, March 24Jesus’ Church: Maundy ThursdayThursday at sundown was the beginning of Passover, when Jews like Jesus and his disciples commemorated God’s salvation of Israel from Egypt. To celebrate their God-given freedom, and to yearn for a future restoration of freedom, they ate lamb, unleavened bread, and drank wine. Jesus set a somber tone, first…

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Anointing at Bethany

Wednesday, March 23Jesus’ Church: Anointing at BethanyWhen people had Jesus over for dinner, it must have been uneventful once in a while.  But over and over, we read about high drama, startling interactions, and frankly one faux pas after another on Jesus’ part when he was a guest at supper. On the day before his…

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Teaching Tuesday

Tuesday, March 22Jesus’ Church: Teaching TuesdayAfter what had to be physically and emotionally draining days, you’d think Jesus would chill, give it a rest, or regroup.  But no, after the drama of Palm Sunday and the chaos of cleansing the temple on Monday, Jesus rose early on Tuesday, made the arduous climb from the village…

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Den of Thieves or House of Prayer?

Monday, March 21Jesus’ Church: Den of Thieves or House of Prayer?Any notions you might have of Jesus being sweet and kind are shattered when you read what Jesus did the Monday before he was crucified.  In fact, what he did gave the authorities plenty of cause to put him to death. “Jesus entered the temple…

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take heart, he is calling you

Thursday, March 17Jesus’ Church: take heart, he is calling youWe learn a lot about Jesus’ church from this last of Jesus’ miracles, his final stop on his way to Jerusalem to die: Mark 10:46-52.  Blind Bartimaeus is healed; he can see – and while in Jesus’ church we pray for and believe in God’s healing…

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Let the children come

Monday, March 14Jesus’ Church:  Let the children come In the ancient world, where one-third to one-half of all children didn’t survive to adulthood, with no antibiotics or age-appropriate activities, in the thick of extreme poverty and malnutrition, it is no surprise that “they were bringing children to Jesus, that he might touch them” (Mark 10:13). …

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The Shining

Thursday, March 10Jesus’ Church: The ShiningOn a high mountain, Jesus was “transfigured” (the Greek word means something like “underwent metamorphosis”).  “His garments glistened intensely white” (Mark 9:3); he was shining.  Moses and Elijah, long dead, but evidently not finally dead in God’s realm, were talking with him. What were they talking about? Peter said “Jesus,…

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Take up cross

Monday, March 7Jesus’ Church: Take up crossStill in Caesarea Philippi, the new, garish, gleaming city built in adulation of the Roman emperor and his gods, Jesus darkly explains his mission, his destiny – and asks us not merely to watch or be moved, but to go with him.  “He began to teach them the he…

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