The Happiness of Jesus

Luke XXIV: Luke 6:20-26 Introduction Setting aside some of the intriguing questions about whether this is the same sermon as the Sermon on the Mount in Mathew 5-6, we can at least acknowledge that it is a very similar one. Nevertheless, Luke has very clearly presented this sermon as delivered to the “disciples” in the…

To Meet That Glory

What is a man’s power? What is his strength? A woman’s power is her beauty, and this is not merely her appearance, but her grace, her complexity, her thoughtfulness, her goodness, her motherhood, her compassion, her industry, her submission to her husband, her home, her intelligence, her creativity, her way of life. A godly woman…

Twelve Foundation Stones

Luke XXIII: Luke 6:12-19 Introduction Here, Jesus chooses twelve ordinary men to become the foundation of the new Israel, the Christian Church, in order to work His powerful grace through them. Prayer When Jesus chose the twelve disciples, He prayed all night (Lk. 6:12). Like Moses, Jesus goes up a mountain to choose twelve new…

Paul & Pastoral Jui Jitsu

The longer I pastor the more the New Testament becomes meaningful to me, and in particular, the more Paul’s letters and his pastoral jiu jitsu comfort and encourage me. Perhaps what’s so surprising is beginning to notice just how often Paul is talking about himself, his ministry, his life, his past and so on. But…

A Statement of Thanksgiving

[Below is a letter we sent out to our congregation a couple of days ago regarding some of the recent questions that have been raised about our pastoral care of a family in our church. This is not intended to be a reply to any particular individual or quarter, but rather, as the statement itself…

The Sabbath King

Luke XXII: Lk. 6:1-11 Introduction Jesus has been acting the part of a priest and calling men to follow Him. He says He’s come to do something new, and here, He explains a little more of what that means. Jesus & David Jesus and his disciples rub a bit of grain together in their hands…

Jesus Calls Sinners

Luke XXI: Lk. 5:27-39 Introduction This passage is about how God has broken into the world that was growing old under the curse of sin and death, and how He has begun to infect it with His new life. Jesus Calls In Jesus, God has come to interrupt us with His grace. And here, He…

Jesus Our Healer

One of the accusations leveled against our community has been our lack of care for the victims of abuse. And wound into that accusation is the assumption that instead of caring for children and victims, our refusal to cow to the accusatory catcalls is necessarily just an act of self defense, defending leaders and pastors…

Grace, Unity, & Orcs

As it turns out, I need to say a few more things about the nature of disagreement in the Christian Church, and I also need to talk about Orcs. First, on disagreement: There’s an easy optical illusion created by the blessing of God combined with just enough geographical distance for people to look at Moscow…

We Do Not Lose Heart

Just a few quick follow up thoughts on grace and justice in difficult pastoral situations. First, I linked a post from Tim Bayly this morning that is a great example of gracious, thoughtful disagreement with the way another session of elders has handled a difficult situation. It is helpful not only because of its tone…