“I Feel Your Pain”

Hebrews 4:15-20 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

In this meditation I draw on this passage from the book of Hebrews.  I put special emphasis on the word sympathize that it uses to describe Jesus state of being as a man.  Jesus doesn’t merely emphasize with us, He enters into it with us (sympathizes).

Looking at Jesus through the lens of Hebrews 4:15-20 I raise the question, “Could Jesus have lost His battle with Satan in the wilderness?”, not as an academic question of interest, but in order that we not dismiss the comfort of knowing that Jesus relates to us and our demons at a genuine level of human experience.  He knows our sorrows because He experienced them first hand and He offers spiritual resources to win the battle with our demons, just as He did with His.

The meditation comes in two parts.  Please click on the links below.

The Cross of Christ. “What is God up to?”

Christos VictorThis Ash Wednesday meditation asks the question, “What was God up to on the cross of Jesus?”  “Was it retribution for sin?”  “Satisfaction owed Godself for sin?”  “Was it simple scapegoat punishment?”

We will ask these questions to St. John and get his view of the cross of Christ.

The meditation comes in two parts.  Please click on the links below.

Listen to Him!

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This past Sunday, February 23, 2020, commemorated what the church calls, “The Transfiguration of Jesus”.  The story of the transfiguration immediately precedes Jesus final journey to Jerusalem where he knows he will be betrayed, beaten and killed.  The story functions to “uplift” Jesus with the assurance he needs to make that final journey, with the words that were first spoken to him, and about him, at his baptism:  “You are my Son, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”  With those words firmly embedded in his heart, Jesus is prepared for his passion and death.

Those words “You are my son/daughter with whom I am well pleased” are applied today to every listener who also unwillingly enters into a time of suffering or loss.  Beyond all suffering is promised a resurrection and new life.  Just ask Jesus.  Listen to Him!

The meditation comes in two parts.  Please click on the links below.

“What’s App Church?”

app store

This meditation is based on 1 Corinthians 1:10-18

Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose. 11For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there are quarrels among you, my brothers and sisters. 12What I mean is that each of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” 13Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15so that no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16(I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) 17For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power.

  18For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

In any congregation there are bound to be factions; groups who identify with each other by virtue of shared ideals or traditions or goals.  That’s OK.  It makes the congregation interesting and diverse.  But the group think that brings people together can never be so strong that it binds them from cooperation and indeed, sacrifice for the common good.

“What does an app do?”  Just push its icon.  Same holds true for the church.  “What does the church do?”  Just push its icon, the cross of Jesus Christ, and it will show you.

This meditation comes in two parts.  Please follow the links below for the videos.

Epiphany: It’s Your Life!

praying handsWe don’t fully appreciate what the work of our hands can do for others.  In the story of the Duerer brothers, we see how a “loss” turns in to a dramatic “win”.

Epiphany is about enlightenment…”ahah” moments of revealed truth.  In this mediation we contemplate not only the life and work of Jesus, but the life and work that God has assigned to each of us.  The meditation is based in part on 1 Corinthians 7:17 “let each of you lead the life that the Lord has assigned, to which God called you”. 

The meditation is in two parts.  Please click on the links below.