The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
Can you imagine a church with this marquee? “Come now this Holy Week—sin and death and other unpleasantries—for you!” How do you soften that? With a honey-glazed ham and candy? Continue reading “Jesus’ Hour Has Come…For You! Reflections on Passion Sunday”
Who is this King of Glory? This is the King for you and me.
Lift up your heads, O you gates;
Be lifted up, you ancient doors,
That the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
Riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey?
Who is this King, whose praises the children sing,
whose great deeds his disciples acclaim?
The LORD strong and mighty,
The LORD mighty in battle. Continue reading “Who Is This King of Glory?”
Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. (Psalm 25)
The problem with our eyes, with our ears, with our senses is this: they will let you down. And to be perfectly honest, perceiving the mess, how often and how difficult it is to tell the difference between God and the Devil. And if you don’t think so… Continue reading “The Lord’s Crumbs”
Psalm 39; Ezekiel 17:1-10; Romans 2:12-16
But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you. (Psalm 39)
The weary traveler walks headed into the storm. It is relentless in its battering. Every step forward is a struggle. To stay upright is an achievement. He catches his breath for a moment, hiding his face in his tattered overcoat. Turning away from the scorching wind he looks behind. There, a trail of dust. The traveler collapses. The weary dust is him! He is swept away. Continue reading “Meaningless?”
The Lord’s banquet room will not be empty. The wine will flow. The food will be served. Music will play. Conversations will be had. The Lord’s table will be crowded. He will make sure of that. Continue reading “The Lord’s Banquet”
Man, it must have been crazy back then, with all these demons and devils afflicting people, huh? It was really a different day, don’t you think? Thank God it’s not like that anymore, right? But is it so different? No, we don’t have a bunch of exorcisms taking place, but is the devil any less active? Are people any less afflicted? Is hell any less real and its powers any less tyrannical? Read the news. Look around you. Examine yourselves. The devil is still a busy boy. And today’s gospel reminds us that Christ’s work of casting out the devil is as important today as it was then, and he still does it in the same way, with His Word and by His authority as the Son of God, our Savior. Continue reading “To Beat the Devil”
Pilgrimages are usually defined as journeys to a sacred place as an act of religious devotion. Sometimes, when we’re experiencing what we perceive as spiritual decline, we think a pilgrimage will be just what we need. We may think that by going to a holy place, we will reconnect with God in a meaningful way and spiritual fervor will be rekindled. I can identify with this. I figure that if I am part of the problem, I can also be a part of the solution and God will be my helper. Continue reading “Our Pilgrimage”
The children came into his house all out of breath. It’s not that the distance we so great, only a mile or two, but, as usual, they ran the last half mile or so. They raced to Grandpa’s house because they wanted Grandpa to tell them their favorite story. Like only a little child can do, the youngest grandchild crawled up on Grandpa’s lap and looked up at him with those big, puppy dog eyes and asked: “Grandpa, can you tells us again about the day you met Jesus?” He had told the story a hundred times, if he had told it once. But the children never tired of hearing it…nor he of telling it. “What is it?” he thought to himself, “at least 40 years ago now, but I can still remember it as if it were yesterday.” “Well, kids,” he said, “you see, I had come up to Jerusalem for the Passover all the way from Cyrene in Africa. And it was just as I arrived…yes, just as I started coming into the city, when it happened. It was there I met Jesus.” Continue reading “Why Me?”
“Et tu, Brute” (Even you, Brutus) are the famous words from William Shakespeare’s rendition of Julius Caesar’s assassination. On March 15, 44 B.C. Roman senators took turns stabbing their elected consul out of fear of his rising power. They saw a threat to their freedom. They conspired to kill that threat. That conspiracy went into action on the famous “Ides of March” (March 15). A coin minted under Brutus’ leadership is known as the “Eid Mar” denarius. On one side, it’s Brutus’ face. On the other are two daggers with a “pileus” (the cap of freedom or liberty cap) in the middle. Brutus’ and those with him felt that their action preserved Roman freedom. Others would say that they were trying to protect their power. Continue reading “Et tu, Brute?”
Harmony of the Gospels: Passover and the Lord’s Supper
Jesus told His disciples, “The hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table.” Jesus would be arrested by His enemies, but a friend would deliver Him into their hands. And what do we read in the next paragraph? “After Jesus had said this, he was deeply troubled. His disciples were very sad. They stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant, and began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this. One after the other they began to say to him, ‘Surely not I, Lord?’” Continue reading “Surely Not I, Lord?”