Scripture Psalms: 95* & 88 & 27 OT: Job 19:21-27a NT: Heb. 4:1-16** & Rom. 8:1-11*** Reflection Today is Holy Saturday. What would this day have been like? The fear of the disciples. The sadness of the death of Jesus hanging over them. It would have been Sabbath so all they were left with was to ponder on what had just taken place. I imagine it would have been  a day of sharing stories. A day of intermittent crying and laughter. Yet, also a day of great fear, expecting the authorities to show up at any moment to arrest them and crucify them too. Yet,Read More →

Scripture Psalms: 95* & 22 & 40:1-14(15-19), 54 OT: Gen. 22:1-14 NT: 1 Peter 1:10-20 Gospel: John 13:36-38** or John 19:38-42*** Reflection Have you ever wondered why Christians call the Friday before Resurrection Sunday, “Good Friday”? What was good about it? Think about it. This is the day that Jesus was crucified. He was beaten. He was mocked. He was hung on a cross and he died. How could this, in any way, be considered good? An innocent man died one of the most brutal deaths known to man. Yet, we call this good. Why? We call it good because Jesus “gave up his spiritRead More →

Scripture Psalms: 102 & 142, 143 OT: Jer. 20:7-11 NT: 1 Cor. 10:14-17; 11:27-32 Gospel: John 17:1-11(12-26) Reflection Today we celebrate Maundy Thursday. It is the day that we remember the evening of the Last Supper. It is when we Christians traditionally believe that Jesus celebrated this final Passover meal with his disciples and then was arrested. It is a somber evening. It is the beginning of the end of the life of Jesus. In mere hours he will be handed over, beaten, and ultimately crucified. Yet, in the midst of this Jesus is looking at the bigger picture. He is shaping and creating identityRead More →

Scripture Psalms: 55 & 74 OT: Jer. 17:5-10, 14-17 NT: Phil. 4:1-13 Gospel: John 12:27-36 Reflection What do you think about? What consumes your mind when you have time to think a bit? Does your mind fill with worry, anxiety, or details? Are you consumed with thinking about all the things that you have to get done? Perhaps your mind wanders to what others think of you. Maybe you are filled with thoughts of your favorite sports team or what you’re going to to do this weekend. Are your thoughts filled with the news and everything that is happening in the world? The Scriptures areRead More →

Scripture Psalms: 6, 12 & 94 OT: Jer. 15:10-21 NT: Phil. 3:15-21 Gospel: John 12:20-26 Reflection Do you know people who have green thumbs? These folks could plant a water lily in a desert and have it grow. I am not one of these people. It simply wasn’t part of my life growing up. I never learned the “joy of gardening.” Yard work was always a chore. Our “gardens” simply meant more work. When we built our home we had some landscaping done, professionally. We did this because we knew we wouldn’t do it on our own. As we met with the landscaper we toldRead More →

Scripture Psalms: 51:1-18(19-20) & 69:1-23 OT: Jer. 12:1-16 NT: Phil. 3:1-14 Gospel: John 12:9-19 Reflection What happens when you challenge the status quo? If someone rocks the boat those in power get really uncomfortable. When you start doing things and saying things that force people to look at the world differently then folks who guard the normal begin to try and stop you. Jesus made the religious leaders really uncomfortable. He did things that were relegated to God to only. Jesus pushed back against the normal and the expected, he forced the world to look at itself in a new way. Check out John’s tellingRead More →

Scripture Psalms: 131,132, [133] & 140, 142 OT: Jer. 26:1-16 NT: Rom. 11:1-12 Gospel: John 10:19-42 Reflection I love superhero movies and comics. I always have. Maybe it was the underoos I wore as a kid or the superhero jammies. How can you not love pajamas that come with a cape? Playing superheroes was every day for my brothers and I. Superhero cartoons on Saturday mornings were the best. There’s nothing like watching Spider-man and Friends and munching on Cap’n Crunch Berries. One of the themes that the superhero films always pick up on is that of identity, particularly Spider-man and Batman. Their hero identityRead More →

Scripture Psalms: 119:145-176 & 128, 129, 130 OT: Jer. 25:30-38 NT: Rom. 10:14-21 Gospel: John 10:1-18 Reflection Speaking is a central component of our being saved, according to Paul (Romans 10:10-13). There is more to it than just us. In our American culture we are so individualistic that we miss the communal aspect of the faith far too easily. The reason that speaking is important to our faith is that it impacts others. We have a role to play in other people hearing the gospel. Paul writes, How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they toRead More →

Scripture Psalms: [120], 121, 122, 123 & 124, 125, 126, [127] OT: Jer. 25:8-17 NT: Rom. 10:1-13 Gospel: John 9:18-41 Reflection “Are you saved?” That’s an important question. It’s one of those questions that people don’t necessarily like asking. It is also one that can be uncomfortable to answer. Yet, it is one that each of us must grapple with at some point in our lives. When I worked with a large parachurch ministry we spent a lot of talking with people about having “assurance of salvation.” As I grew in my understanding of the Scriptures and following Jesus I began to discover that thisRead More →

Scripture Psalms: 31 & 35 OT: Jer. 24:1-10 NT: Rom. 9:19-33 Gospel: John 9:1-17 Reflection “I’m a good person.” “How do you know?” “Because, I follow the rules, I try to do no harm, and I try to help people as best I can. Besides, I’m definitely better than my neighbor.” This is a conversation that I’ve had hundreds, if not thousands of times over the years with people. We so desperately want to be able to say that we are acceptable to God apart from faith that we find all kinds of ways to ease our consciences. We work hard to please God. ThRead More →