Double_Take

As I was sitting and listening to the passion narrative read during the Good Friday service. I began to realize that I am not as familiar with the story as I should be. There were points where I thought; that’s not how I remember it or is that in the wrong order. Of course the four gospels have different narratives of the Passion but it got me to think. How often do I speak about or refer to the bible with what I think I know, or from what I remember. How often do I take the time to actually deeply know how each gospel portrays the life, death and resurrection of Christ. I have to confess that I do not read the Bible as much as a should. I often rely of what I think I know. The sin of relying on the memory of Christ’s story is that we can turn the story to fit our needs. We can fill in the blanks spots of our memory with our own version.

As Christians were claim the narrative of Christ but do we really know it? Do we deeply contemplate this story and make it a part of our own story and lives?  I don’t think we do. Throughout the Old and New Testament we are reminded to remember, the Passover is a reminder of God’s grace and mercy on Israel and their deliverance. How often did Israel forget and have to be reminded by Prophets. (Anyone know what that number is? I guess the point is that is was a lot.)

As we celebrate Easter we remember Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. That his death as an act of love bought us freedom from sin. We should not relegate his story to mere myth, We should make sure that this story is authentic and accurate. We should not only refresh our hearts of the Salvation Christ brings to the world but also our minds. In the first half of Duet 11:18 it says “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds.” Human memory fails. If the story of Christ shapes and forms our lives, we should know it. It should be the one story we cling to and want to know as accurately as possible. So take a deep look at the Story of Christ, at this death and resurrection. Maybe you’ll find something that surprises you, maybe you’ll have a double take.

I wonder how the world would change if us Christians actually knew the Gospel story rather than assuming we did?

Accusations

I am reading a book call “To be know as we are known” by Park Palmer. It describes how we have taken the spiritual task of knowing and knowledge out of the learning process. We’ve turned it into facts and power rather than a journey of self-discovery and discovering the world around us. One quote really stuck with me

“The self creates the world by means of projection. Much of the world’s violence, for example, is an acting-out of the violence we find within ourselves, an effort to get rid of our inner demons by projecting them “out there.” We help create the outward enemy (be it russians or asians, blacks and WASPs) to distract us from the inward enemy who always threatens to overcome us.” – Parker Palmer

I find it so true. As a Chaplain, the more I learn about myself the more I am at peace with others. I think in today’s society because of vague spirituality and lack of community there is so much inner violence. The world needs community and resources to help us understand and confront our own inner demons.

Jesus for me is the source of strength and guidance in the journey. He dealt with temptation. He calls us to look inward and see the inner violence and how it affects the world around us. The Christian community although not perfect should strive for peace within ourselves so that we can give it to others. The heart of the Gospel is that God loves  us. Much of our inner turmoil is from a self-hatred or low value of our place in the world. God values us and has a place in his kingdom. When we realize that we can share that awesome message to others.

So far this book is pretty good. I’ll keep you posted as a read more of it.

Detail of the Christ Child

Grace and Peace to you from Our Father in Heaven and Our Lord Jesus Christ whose birth and incarnation we celebrate today. Amen

Our lives are filled with Hope and Expectation. We hope the economy will get better. We hope for Christmas and birthday presents. And we hope for a better future. There are a million things we trust and hope that will happen. As Christians our hope rests on Jesus Christ. On Christmas morning we celebrate with all the saints before us who trusted and hoped in Jesus. Christ is our hope from the dawn of creation and now through his incarnational presence. Christ is the fulfillment of Hope both as his presence on earth in human flesh and through his presence as the church, his body, working in and through us to redeem the world. Christ is the fulfillment of future hope when he will come again to complete his redemption. Hope is in the “Word made flesh and dwelling among us”.

John’s Gospel points us to the very act of creation, and to the God of Creation. “In the beginning” John writes echoing Genesis. He reminds us of how God, by just uttering a word created both light and life. God said “Let there be Light and there was Light.” Read More →

Florence Verrocchio's Doubting Thomas
Christ is Risen, He is risen indeed! Amen!

We’ve all heard or seen things that we didn’t quite believe. The call of a loved one’s unexpected death, hearing that your mother has breast cancer, seeing the after math of the plane hitting a building where people you know work. The day I heard my grandfather died, the day my mother told me she had cancer and the day in 2011 seeing the aftermath of the plane hitting the pentagon were very real for me. My initial response to all these events was shock and disbelief. I wanted to hide and escape from their reality. There were moments when nothing could break through the fear and doubt.

The disciples in the upper room where no different. They had witnessed Jesus die. The had seen Christ crucified and buried. And now they were overcome with grief. They had heard the story of the empty tomb, of Mary Magdalene, Peter and the other disciple seeing the risen Christ. But for the disciples in that room fear and grief prevented them from believing. Which is understandable, when you see somebody die you don’t expect them to just be resurrected as if nothing happened, Do you? They had locked themselves in that upper room not just physically but also emotionally and spiritually. At that point the disciples were more Read More →

Temptation-of-Christ
Here is my first sermon for my preaching class. It was well received.
Feedback would be nice. Enjoy the new tinder dating app as well.!!!

Gospel Text: Matthew 3:16-4:11

Sermon:
It is the first day of class. We have heard various rumors or information about what the class is like and especially what the professor is like. Is the professor mean, scary or nice? How do they teach? What are their expectations? However, you do not really know until you actually meet the professor. As you begin to dialogue with the professor you get a better idea of who they are and their expectations for you.

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