Why Forgiveness?

Why Forgiveness?

I am beginning to realize that the opening chapters of Genesis are more important than I ever could have thought. They are a poem, an epic poem, that tells the story of humanity. We find our ultimate and foundational identity of “image bearer” described there. In that poem we discover the roots of our fall from that identity and the foreshadowing of our redemption. Two things have particularly stood out to me in these opening pages of the Bible. First, humanity has a vocation, men and women, to create. This is an idea that has been a part of my understanding of the Christian faith for a long time. What is new is that little word, “vocation.” I have often referred to what God sets up for us to do as a “calling.” But that’s not really the best word. It is a vocation. Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have...
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Why Carry a Cross?

Why Carry a Cross?

A missionary who has given his life to serving God and people is diagnosed with cancer. A loving father who is at the beginning of his journey of walking with Jesus develops what turns out to be an incurable infection. The child of a pastor who is highly regarded because of her faithful service to the community and Jesus dies of cancer before his life even begins. A woman with a gentle and quiet faith who prays and serves wakes up one day alone because her husband left her for another. These brief snapshots are real life stories of people who I love and care for. They are all people who are authentically trying to follow Jesus. These are not people who are false or who simply sit in the back of worship service to be entertained. These are people who you want to be around and whose faith would cause you to stop and wonder about their God. These are...
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Why Communion?

Why Communion?

Communion. The Lord’s Supper. The Eucharist. This meal at the center of Christian worship goes by many different names. Yet, regardless of your tradition Communion is of utmost importance. Some congregations celebrate it weekly, others monthly, and still others less frequently. It begs the question, why communion? Why is this celebration central to the worship of God’s people? Why has it been of such importance? (more…)...
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Why the Cross?

Why the Cross?

There are some really weird things about Chrstianity. First among them is how we rejoice in blood. We sing songs about blood. Blood this and blood that. Blood, blood, blood. I remember one of the first times I heard the song, “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus,” and thinking that it was a little awkward singing about blood. When we take communion we talk about eating the flesh and blood of Jesus. The first century Romans accused the early Christians of being cannibals as a result. Of course they also accused Christians of being incestuous and atheists too. But, it wasn’t lost on those early folks that this new sect of Judaism had a weird fascination with blood. When Christianity was beginning animal sacrifice was a normal part of most worship in most religions of the time. Some were even sacrificing their children. One would think that God, in Jesus, would have figured out a different way of doing this whole salvation thing than through...
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