A couple of weeks ago, I was talking with a friend of mine – a young guy about 30 years old. We were talking about God-stuff and applying it to our lives when all of a sudden he looks at me with a smile on his face as well as in his eyes and says, “Imagine how it would change you if you came face to face with Jesus right now! Wouldn’t that be amazing?”…What do you think?...
In the next few weeks we are going to focus on “Resurrection Stories” - on people who actually did come face to face with Jesus after He rose from the dead. We are going to marvel how He connected with them in their tears and fears and doubts and emptiness, offering and giving them a new life in relationship with Him. We will see how it changed them, the difference it made in their lives…. And how it can for us, also, as through these same stories the living Jesus mysteriously comes face to face with you and with me!
For the “Resurrection Stories” do not end with those we read in the Bible. I see them and hear them every day. They are happening all over the globe and right in front of us. Jesus came, finally, to bring His story into our stories of brokenness, emptiness, doubts, tears, fears, and death; the story of each of us personally but also of all of us together –all of humankind. Jesus is alive –and He is on the move! - and through these stories He comes “face to face” with you to give you your own “Resurrection Story!” Where do you especially need this in your life?
“Imagine how it would change you if you came face to face with Jesus right now! Wouldn’t that be amazing?”…What do you think?...
Sunday, April 23rd In Great Fears, Peace
Peace. Say the word out loud. How do you long for it? What fears grip you, getting in the way of peace? We live in such a time of fear….fear of violence, fear of the other political party, fear for our children…or grandchildren, fear that we “won’t have enough.” Fear. And it causes us, at times, to have such violent thoughts and words and actions, doesn’t it?..In what fears do you especially need peace?...a peace that covers everything?.. Face to face, it is what Jesus, the resurrected one, gives.
Sunday, April 30th In Great Shadows, Light
When is the last time you’ve been “in a funk?” You know, when it is like you are walking under a shadow? Sometimes we know how we get there and sometimes we are just there and we cannot even figure out how-right? Usually what puts us there is that the stuff or people in life we thought we could depend on no matter what becomes unstable or unsure, like quick sand, though sometimes it is just a shadow over our souls that, as I said, we don’t know where it has come from. Where do you need a little light in the great shadows? It is what Jesus, the living One, would bring to you face to face; a light to chase away all darkness.
Sunday, May 7th “In Great Doubts, Certainty”
My brother and I shared a room and slept in bunkbeds growing up. He was four years older than me and we were always close, every night talking in the dark after the lights were out. One night when I was maybe in the third grade, I must have been struggling with some things because in the dark after the lights were out I said something like, “Steve, what if this God-stuff isn’t true?” To which –after a pause where I asked the question again - in a typical big brother way he answered with absolute certainty, “Ah Brad, shut up and go to sleep.” It was enough for me. Do you have some doubts?...even great doubts? Today, the living Jesus would come face to face with you to give you absolute certainty!
Sunday, May 14th “In All Things, A Love That Trumps All” Mother’s Day Celebration!
Today we celebrate moms. We celebrate families. We celebrate love. We celebrate how love –the love a mother has for a child – so often trumps everything and results in such wonderful acts of love and service. We celebrate this gift of God to us joyously! And it is my heart felt hope and prayer that each of you has great joy in this gift. Yet, we also remember the struggles of being a mom. We remember the challenges. And we remember those who on this day struggle with things that “should not have been,” whether it is a mom or child who has died, a mom or child who was not what they should have been, or one who wanted so much to be a mom, but was not able. Yet, in all these places and in every broken relationship, we remember a love that “trumps all,” the love of the living Jesus, who would come face to face with you in His love today
Sunday, May 21st “Everyday, Presence and Purpose”
My dad retired, due to health reasons, about two years before my mom. But even when she went to work, it was like they were never apart. Once he recovered somewhat from the surgery, they would sit down every night and put together a “to do” list for my dad for each day…things that they wanted to accomplish together but that he could get done when she was at work. And while he was accomplishing them it was like she was right there with him because she was a part of it. This gave my dad “companionship” and a purpose. Do you ever feel like you are “all alone” doing meaningless things like a mouse running in circles? It is easy to do as one day runs into another and as we instinctively long for a purpose greater than ourselves. Enter Jesus, the living one, face to face. He is with us every moment of everyday doing life with us and giving us a purpose that transcends our lives! Interested?