Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Sunday

Today we celebrate the cornerstone of our Christian faith - the resurrection of Jesus.

On this day, as we gather with our brothers and sisters around the world, may we all take some time and reflect on the gift of new life we have been blessed with.

This is a new life where we are welcomed into an embrace filled with grace and hope. We are told that all of our sins, our shames, our failings are washed away and hope is born.

We are given an amazing gift called forgiveness, and we can walk boldly knowing that the last word is not death, but it is birth - the birth of the resurrection.

Have a blessed Easter.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Luke in 40 - Luke 24 cont.

Luke 24:36-53 

Congratulations -  you have done it.

In 40 days you have read the whole Gospel according to Luke.

We end with Jesus appearing to the disciples and then ascending into heaven.

What did you learn as you read through this gospel?

What surprised you?

What made you curious?

Thank you for joining me on this journey. I am sure that there will be more to come soon.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Remembering those who have gone before

Today I had a regular check-up with my oncologist. As I have mentioned before, this is a monthly thing where I go, he asks a few questions, checks out a couple of things, then I get a bone hardening shot and I am on my way. Normally it is about 15 minutes.

Today, Good Friday, the day I needed to get to the office to write - it did not take 15 minutes.

It took nearly 2 hours.

Thank you new computer system at the Clinic.

So I had a lot of time to sit and think while I was waiting. And as I sat in those waiting room chairs, I thought back to those many people who I have shared those chairs with. Old friends, parishioners, new friends I made there, the list goes on.

I have sat with a lot of people up there. Some are still there, many have moved on.

Some have entered remission or been cured.

Others, well, the cancer got them.

I thought of all of these people, ones who inspired me, who gave me hope, who lifted up my strength when I was struggling.

And I miss them.

Today is Good Friday. It is the day we gather at the cross with the followers of Christ and witness the death of our Lord.

It is not a happy day, but it is a powerful day. A day when we realize the extremes God will go to because of the love that he has for us.

It is also a day that does not have the last word. As Tony Campolo put so beautifully, "It's Friday ... but Sunday's comin'."

No, this Friday, this death, it does not have the last word.

Cancer does not have the last word.

Sin does not have the last word.

Pain and suffering do not have the last word.

Sunday, Easter Sunday ... now there is the word that is waiting to speak, to breath, to give life.

Life to all.

So yes, I miss my friends, I miss those who have gone before me.

But the ride isn't over.

Sunday is coming.

Luke in 40 - Luke 24

Luke 24:1-35 

Today we hear the resurrection story. 

The tomb is empty, new life is born.

What does the empty tomb mean to you?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Luke in 40 - Luke 23

Luke 23:1-56 

Once again, Jesus is before Pilate. There comes a time when Pilate realizes that he is being used by the religious leaders, and so he tries to give Jesus an out. But the crowd bellows - Crucify him, crucify him.

In what ways, by our actions and words, have we said, Crucify him?

Then Jesus is led away. He is crucified with two other criminals, and even offers salvation to one of them while they are hanging there.

Then Jesus breathes his last, and is carried to a tomb where he is buried.

This is a powerful passage. I invite you to take some time and just sit with it today.