Holy Week Worship and Gatherings

Schedule On Palm Sunday or "Passion Sunday", we encounter the paradox that defines our faith: Jesus Christ is glorified king and humiliated servant. We too are full of paradox: like Peter, we fervently desire to follow Christ, but find ourselves afraid, denying God. We wave palms in celebration today as Christ comes into our midst, and we follow with trepidation as his path leads to death on the cross. Amid it all we are invited into this paradoxical promise of life through Christ’s…

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Joy in the Midst of Sadness

“God’s one and only job description is to turn death into life. That’s what God does with every new springtime, every new life, every new season, every new anything.” — Richard Rohr The words above stand in tension with my past few weeks, as I said to more than one friend “Death is my constant companion of late.” Here in this season of Easter, of resurrection I’ve had more death than I’d like. Above you see a picture of a joyous occasion, the…

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Read more about the article A Living Stone and a Holy People
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A Living Stone and a Holy People

Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture:“Behold, I am laying…

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“Witness” can be a scary word to some church people. Even apart from church contexts, it can be scary to be a witness. Your name is now associated with a case, situation, or incident. If a new development or question might happen later down the road, you will likely be called. Whether you desire to get the facts straight or find yourself in a tricky situation because of being in a certain place at a certain time, being a witness can be stressful.Beginning…

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In this Easter Season:

As a lifelong Lutheran, I grew up with a close connection to the Eastern Orthodox as my grandfather was Greek Orthodox. All of this was on my mom’s side of the family and my grandmother was not an adherent of the orthodox so my mom grew up in something of a tension that spilled over into my childhood; hence the Lutheran. To this day I’m still not clear how my grandparents found each other. In the mind of the orthodox, Easter is far…

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Read more about the article Joy Comes with the Morning!
man embracing joy in the morning

Joy Comes with the Morning!

Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.Psalm 30:5bToday we are in the midst of the Easter Three Days, the high point of the liturgical year beginning the evening of Maundy Thursday and continuing until the evening of Easter Sunday. These three days are a single celebration that mark the end of the season of Lent to the celebration of Jesus’ Resurrection at the Easter Vigil and the later Easter Day worship celebrations. (Go here for a slightly longer…

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What is Holy Week For You?

In the church I grew up in on the West Side of Chicago, a church that worshipped about twelve hundred people on a Sunday in the mid-summer, Palm Sunday marked the ramping up to very busy week. There were twenty-four services beginning at seven in the morning of Palm Sunday and ending at one in the afternoon on Easter with six on that day alone. In my junior high days and through high school, I worked regularly at the church but for me…

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The sign says “Ashes on the Go”. There is snow on the lawn. The sun is shining. The thermometer says 38 degrees, but it feels more like 30, thanks to the wind. Four people gather on the bare parking lot. Three wear white robes, two with purple stoles.People arrive in cars. Some park, get out of their cars, and walk over to those in white robes. Others roll down their windows and stay in their cars. Words are exchanged. “What is your name?”…

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Living Joy in the Face of Suffering

So (Mary Magdalene and the other Mary) left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Matthew 28:8I am writing this on Easter Monday. We are now on the “joyous” side of Lent/Easter 2020 as we celebrate the life-changing Good News of Jesus’ Resurrection. We proclaim this event offers all who believe it life forever in God’s community of love.Yet, as I listen to news reports and read the reflections of persons who are trying to make…

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Living our Lives in Saturday’s Length

One of my favorite authors, Phillip Yancey jolted my thinking about Easter several years ago. He wrote: Two days, Good Friday and Easter Sunday, are perhaps the most significant days on the entire church calendar, and yet, in a real sense, we live our lives on Saturday, the day in between…Human history grinds on, between the time of promise and fulfillment. Its Saturday on plant Earth; will Sunday ever come? (“Unwrapping Jesus: My Top Ten Surprises,” Christianity Today, June, 1996 Its Holy Saturday…

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Emmanuel is Here!

In so many ways we who are a people of faith have been experiencing this Holy Week and Easter with a sense of dread. There is a feeling that there has never been an Easter like this. This Holy Week through Zoom meetings with friends and colleagues I could see the stress and deep sadness on their brows that they were going through since none of us would be together. Gone are the flowers, the lilies are not there, the tulips and other…

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Feeling Smart?

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 1 Corinthians 1:20I’ll be honest. I’ve been struggling with all of the hard things going on around the world lately. And "lately" feels a lot longer than what it used to mean to me. "Lately" can encompass a year or two, or feel like it at the very least. So many things seem confusing and…

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