Showing posts from April, 2014

Reflections on Easter - Matthew 28:1-10

Read the text here: Matthew 28:1-10 Resurrection – Surprised by Hope! The title is partly borrowed from N.T. Wright’s incredible book “Surprised by Hope!” Jesus was dead – completely dead!   No question about this.   The Romans had made sure of it before they removed Jesus from the cross and there were witnesses including some of the women and the disciple John to the reality of Jesus’ death.   Joseph of Arimathea also could have seen that Jesus was dead when he had him wrapped in burial clothes and placed in the tomb.   Everyone in the story knew this and this meant some kind of an ending for everyone.   For the Romans and the leaders of the Temple it meant the end of this troublemaker, this messianic pretender; the end of the one who challenged their power and authority and wealth and privilege.   Now these men whose priorities and way of life represent the power of death were free to continue as they had.   Jesus’ death is further confirmation that no one challenges

A Sermon for Palm/Passion Sunday - April 2014

Read the Procession of Palms text here: Matthew 21:1-11 Read the Passion text here: Matthew 26:14-27:66 Who Is This and What Is Going On Here? Pontius Pilate, Roman Prefect of Judea This weekend we enter into the Passion of our Lord.   This is the most important week of the year for those who are disciples of Jesus.   For the love and commitment of God to the creation and to us, who are God’s beloved children, is put on display in ways that are both profound and overwhelming.   But at the same time it is a bit baffling because throughout his ministry and especially during the story of the passion what emerges as important, and essential for Jesus (and for God) is in direct conflict with those things that we humans have determined are essential and important for us.   This is starkly obvious when the events of the Passion and Jesus’ actions are compared and contrasted with those of various other characters in the story.   So beginning on this weekend when we celebra

Reflections on the text - Lent 5A – John 11:1-45

Read the text here: John 11:1-45 Not What I was Expecting! How often do we ask questions where we already know the answer we expect?   I think quite often.   Occasionally someone will call the house and ask if I would like to take a “non-partisan” poll.   Usually I say no, but occasionally I have agreed.   So then the questions start and within the first couple questions you can tell this is not a “non-partisan” poll.   The questions, in fact, are designed to elicit specific answers and there is no space for an alternative perspective.   I know what I want to hear – end of discussion!   It is perhaps one reason why I have no respect for the polls to which everyone on television and in politics is always referring.   But we do the same for faith issues too, don’t we?   How often have you asked a question expecting a certain answer?   How often have you asked a question with the express purpose of making a point?   Throughout the season of Lent we have experienced this