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Bring Your Doubts

This morning we begin a four Sunday sermon series called Keeping Company with the Resurrected Christ.  We spent the eight Sundays before Easter keeping company with the crucified Christ.  Let’s spend a few Sundays after Easter with the resurrected Christ.  He appeared to his followers over a 40-day period after his resurrection.  Those days, those appearances, matter to…

A Psalm for Every Street

As we continue our Psalms theme, I invite you to open your Bible to Psalm 23—my favorite psalm, one I’ve preached many times.  Some of what I say today will ring a bell.  This is more than a psalm to me.  Psalm 23 is my friend.  It seems right today because if there’s ever a psalm from the street and for the street, any street, it’s Psalm 23.  I have my version of this…

Who Are You Seeking?

On this Easter Sunday, I invite you to open your Bible to John 20:11-18. According to the fictitious parish priest, Father Smith, “… the young man who rings the bell at the brothel is unconsciously looking for God.”  What do you think: is Father Smith onto something here?  Could we say the same thing about folks who drop hundreds of dollars on lottery tickets or in the…

Why the Cross?

Hear the word of the Lord from John’s Gospel … (John 19:16-18 read the text). Pay particular attention to the short phrase that begins v. 18: “There they crucified him ….” Not a single one of the gospel writers says much more than this.  They provide no description of the agonies of the cross.  We are fascinated with those details.  The gospel writers are not.  Maybe…

An Unexpected Witness

As we conclude our series, Cross Words, I invite you to open your Bible this morning to Mark 15:37-39. For the last seven weeks we’ve been lingering at the cross.  We’ve eavesdropped on the words Jesus said as he suffered there.  We’ve also noticed that Jesus’ words weren’t the only words spoken at the cross.  The crowd hurled insults.  One of the criminals crucified with…

Into the Father’s Good Hands

As we conclude our series, Cross Words, I invite you to open your Bible to Luke 23:44-46.  We’re listening to the last of the seven words Jesus said from the cross. A lot of companies change their branding over time.  Take McDonald’s for instance.  In the course of my life, they have branded themselves in a variety of ways … Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce,…

Done and Done

With the Little Rock marathon last week, I overheard a couple of the participants talk about their race … “Long about mile 17, I really wanted to quit, but I didn’t.  I did all 26.2.” “I’ve run half-marathons before but never the full one, and I finished.” For most marathoners, the time is not as important as the finish.  Cross the line.  Earn the medal.  Git ‘er done. …

Parched

I invite you to open your Bible to John 19:28-29.  As we march toward Good Friday and Easter, we’re spending our Sundays at the cross.  Our series is Cross Words.  We are lingering at the cross and listening to the things Jesus said as he suffered there.  A kid approached me the other Sunday and said, “When I saw the title Cross Words, I wondered if it was going to be…

As Lonely As It Gets

As we continue our series, Cross Words, I invite you to open your Bible to Mark 15:33-39.  We are eavesdropping on all seven words Jesus says from the cross.  Today’s word is the only word recorded in Matthew and Mark, and it is the loneliest, most gut-wrenching word of all.  Hear the word of the Lord … (read the text). I Some of you will remember 70s pop singer, Gilbert…

11th Hour Grace

We continue our series, Cross Words, and I invite you to open your Bible to Luke 23:39-43.  As we move toward Good Friday and Easter, we are lingering at the cross.  We are listening to the last words of Jesus before his death.  Jesus is suffering.  Yet before he thinks to pray for himself, he prays that the Father forgive those who crucified and mock him.  He takes a…

A Bigger Family Than You Know

As we continue our series, Cross Words, I invite you to open your Bible to John 19:25-27. Family devotions.  Something most every Christian parent wants to do but finds a bit elusive.  Author Larry Crabb encouraged creativity when his kids were young.  Sometimes their devotions took the form of one of the children impersonating a biblical character.  The rest of the…

Grace In Our Face

I invite you to open your Bible this morning to Luke 23:32-38.  Between now and Easter we are going to linger at the cross and listen to the words of Jesus as he suffered there.  It’s important that we do.  We far too easily miss the cross. We don’t miss the image of the cross.  It’s everywhere: hanging on necklaces, imprinted on T-shirts, planted over graves, decorating…