Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Pace

I can't believe April's just about history...again. Wasn't it April just a few weeks ago?

Today's weather finally felt like summer. It must have been close to 90 degrees, with full sun. It felt so good to be outdoors for a bit. Once I was halfway through my errands, though, I was regretting the fact that I hadn't put on shorts before leaving the house.

My family is well, again. I'm thankful. We've been experiencing more illness than I can ever remember. Just this past week we had three members of the family depositing their undigested meals into the porcelain portal of our sewers. Looks like I might escape this current round without getting the least I'm still hopeful.

Tonight we hosted a half-dozen folks at CWR's Newcomer Cafe. I really enjoyed the conversation and appreciated the very thoughtful questions from these new friends whom I already count dear. It's incredible how much healing the gospel is bringing to their lives. More than half of them have been through some very difficult "religious" experiences in the recent past, but they have not relented in their pursuit of God's truth and they are finding our true God to be faithful. God is good.

Tomorrow I'll be preaching the last sermon from Luke's gospel. I started preaching through Luke in December 2007. We've taken a few detours through Ephesians, Jonah, and Ruth along the way. The perspective I've gained on Jesus through Luke's gospel has been very helpful to say the least. What a Savior!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Empty Tomb

Yesterday I was tasked to preach on Luke 24:1-12, the account of Jesus' resurrection. No details are given about how he actually "got up" or how the angels moved the stone away. Instead, the attention of the text is the process of discovery and initial disbelief on the part of Jesus' followers, including the apostles.

It was just too crazy to take in. The way things unfolded, though strictly according to what Jesus had already predicted, and according to the Old Testament Scriptures, was still not what they expected. The empty tomb forced a re-organization of their understanding about God and how he would redeem and rescue his people from the effect of sin in the world.

Two things struck me about the events and interactions that day in Jerusalem. First, everything happened in plain sight. Anyone could do the investigation and check with the eyewitnesses to see if indeed Jesus had risen. If someone wasn't willing to engage the truth (for example the religious leaders we read about in Matthew's account who just paid money to the Roman guards so they'd cover up the truth) it wasn't because the confounding events couldn't be verified, but it was because hard hearts didn't really want to know the truth.

This is a humbling reality. Sharing the good news about what God has accomplished through Jesus' life, death, and resurrection isn't just a matter of making sure people can get the facts straight. The Holy Spirit must first break up the ground of hardened hearts so that an individual will want to go through the difficult process of truth discovery and the resulting reorientation of worldview leading to peace and fulfillment in Christ.

So, I'm off to pray for my unbelieving friends in Vegas. I'm praying for clear communication, but I'm praying all the more for the soil of their hearts to be made ready for the true truth.

Me and Angie

Me and Angie
December 2010