Parting can be such sweet sorrow … Jesus had to leave the disciples and Paul had to leave the disciples at Corinth. But even mid the sorrow of such departures, there is the promise of a future. Once lives have intersected and touched in the Spirit, there is never any true parting, for all lives […]
Worship is not entertainment, but is rather designed to give all glory to God. In worship, the pastors, music leaders and the congregation as a whole are the actors and God is the audience. So worship’s focus is bringing glory to God.
Freedom always exacts a price. And Paul reminds us that Christ has set us free. But freedom is not license for self-indulgence. Freedom’s purpose is so that we can serve one another in love.
It’s a fairly famous quotation from the scriptures, as far as quotations from the Old Testament go: “Choose this day whom YOU will serve . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” That statement offers us an option, a choice – and implicit in that choice is a […]
Have you ever noticed that when we come to church for worship, we are reminded on a weekly basis as to how we have fallen short in being disciples, instead of being reminded of the ways we ARE disciples? The usual structure of our order for worship begins with a Call to Worship, a few […]
It’s funny, but I know less about preaching now than I think I did when I started 39 years ago. I figure I have written and preached about 1800 sermons over the course of my years of ordained ministry. But I have never been able to figure something out: Why does a sermon work, when […]
Some time ago, a university chaplain had an opportunity to meet with a group of law students – folks who were preparing to be attorneys. They had requested the chaplain to speak on the subject, “On being a lawyer AND a Christian at the same time.” OK – some of you are already snickering at […]
Psalm 22: 25-31 Acts 8:26-40 A congregation was struggling. They had been in a slow, steady decline for a number of years. They were stuck, like many urban churches, with a building that was too big and a congregation with resources that were too small to meet the obligations imposed by just the UPKEEP of […]
In the Acts of Apostles, all the accounts up until this fourth chapter have been quite “spiritual” in nature. In chapter 2, all the believers are gathered in one place; devout Jews from every nation of the then-known earth are present. Miraculously, and quite dramatically, the Holy Spirit of God descends upon the believers. They […]
Imagine this scenario for a moment: A couple is standing up before their wedding guests in a church, repeating their vows in a Service of Christian Marriage. They promise to love, cherish and respect one another; but then after the ceremony, they refuse to live with each other. “O, she knows how I feel […]
Well, here we are the Sunday after Easter. We are one Sunday after that great day of triumph instituted by our God. Easter is that wondrous event that sets right all that death made wrong. Death? Evil? Injustice? Easter declares that God’s good purposes could not and would not be defeated – that in and […]
As far as biblical scholars have been able to discover, the passage we just shared from the Gospel of Mark was its original ending. Yet, if you will check your Bibles you will find two additional endings, the shorter one added sometime after the fourth century, and the longer one sometime during the second century. […]