Our Jesus Holds the Keys: Good Friday 2014

Note: The audio recording for this message is available here. One of the most unusual elements of the Christian gospel is the fact that we celebrate the death of our leader. For most movements, for most religions, for most kingdoms or empires, the death of the leader is a moment of instability, chaos, disillusionment. But…

How To Change the World

We see injustice. We see pornography and sexual abuse. We see scraping poverty and economic systems of oppression. We see big business in bed with the military and little Arab girls get bombed to kingdom come. We see millions of children dismembered and sucked out of their mother’s wombs by medical vacuum cleaners. And meanwhile,…

Coming Like Kids

So why do we worship the way we do? We noted last week that the overall structure of our worship service is called Covenant Renewal. We are following the thematic structure of the three main sacrifices of the Old Covenant: first we confess our sins, then we ascend into heaven in songs of praise to…

From Dust to Light

Ash Wednesday Homily Mk. 8:27-38 We’ve said before, and it’s no trouble to be reminded, that we think of the church calendar like a devotional guide. Over the course of the Christian Year, we are reminded of the most crucial, most important parts of our life in Christ: what it means to know Jesus and…

The Parable of the Cross

The first half of the life of Jesus is a parable. It’s full of parables, but it is itself parabolic — it’s mysterious, enigmatic, and constantly pressing a question: Who is this? What does it does it mean? What does He mean? And perhaps most importantly, how will you respond, what will you do? And…

The Bomb Shelter of Self-Deception

Self-deception is terrifyingly easy. Sin is the great deceiver: “For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me” (Rom. 7:11). The reason people sin is because they are deceived. Like Adam and Eve in the garden, people believe lies. But in order to believe the big lies, we have to…

With No One Inside

Why would a man want to become a preacher? Why would anyone want that job? Is there some kind of sick delight in hearing other people’s problems? Are you grasping for power, influence? Do you just like to hear yourself talk? No… We preach for the boys who lost their dads. We preach for dads…

With Christ in the Dark: Ps. 88

Sixth Sunday in Trinity Season: Psalm 88, 1 Pet. 4:12-19, Mk. 15:25-39 Introduction The Hebrew title of the book of Psalms means “praises,” but it may come as a surprise that that the most common kind of psalm is a lament. These are psalms that describe enemies or threats and cry out to God for…

Jesus is Not a Victim: Good Friday 2013

“Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment I received of my Father.” (Jn. 10:17-18)…

Broken for the Broken

This table is for sinners. This meal is not for good people. This bread is not for people who have their act together. This wine is not for people who have never made enormous mistakes. No, this bread is broken because Jesus was broken for the broken. This wine is His blood because Jesus bled…