Showing posts from March, 2014

Crossed-Up: Subjective - Mark 15:16-23

There are some things that once you see them, you can’t “unsee” them.They become part of who you are and how you experience life from that point forward.One that Davey introduced to me was the “Fed-Ex” arrow.How many of you see the arrow in the Fed-Ex logo between the “E” and “x”?Once you see it for the first time, the arrow takes a predominate place in the logo and you can’t not see it anymore.How about the “g”/”face” combo in the Goodwill symbol? The “31” in Baskins Robins?Or the fact that Amazon claims to have everything from “A” to “Z” for sale on their website?
There are other things that are not so pleasant that folks have trouble unseeing?Maybe it is a visit to a poverty stricken country where families scour dumps to survive from day to day?Maybe it is a city in the wake of a natural disaster?Maybe it is a crime scene?Maybe it is discovering a loved one deceased?Maybe it is a terrorist attack?Those horrific events that we see, they become etched in our memories, and not only can…

Crossed-Up: Substitution - Mark 15:1-15

I’d like to do a survey this morning?Is there anyone here wearing an injection needle?An electric chair?A rifle?A hangman’s noose?A guillotine?How about a cross?Every one of those items are instruments of execution, yet we are unwilling to adorn our necks, ears, clothing, vehicles, and homes with the needles, electric chairs, rifles, nooses, and guillotines.When it comes to crosses, though, we often don’t pause a moment to think about wearing them or using them to decorate.What is it about this most barbaric form of execution—because the reality of it is that all of those other means of implementing the death penalty are, comparatively speaking, quick and humane, compared to crucifixion—what is it about the cross that causes us to make an exception to the rule when displaying instruments of death?What makes the cross beautiful while the others are things that we would rather not see?
There must be something special about the cross.The truth of the matter is, my brothers and sisters, th…

Need Power? - Ephesians 1:15-23

How many of you have ever felt powerless?
I imagine over the last few days quite a number of us have felt powerless…in fact, many of us may still feel powerless this morning and may have come here not only to worship but as a refuge of the cold and darkness.Anita and I, as I am sure many of you have, have been powerless on a number of occasions.In fact as we sat in the cold on Friday morning we debated.We have lost power due to winter storms and hurricanes and were discussing which time of the year was the worst to lose power.She suggested it was the winter time, because you simply get cold and it’s hard to get warm, and probably, it would seem that way to many because it is also a time of the year when it stays dark longer.I, on the other hand, think myself more practical.In the summer time when the power goes out, the things in your refrigerator and freezer get warm a lot quicker, and the ice you use to keep stuff cold in the coolers tends to melt quicker.In the winter time, at least…

A Glimpse of Glory - Matthew 17:1-9

“Is this Heaven?”
“This is Iowa.”
John was so impressed with the love and beauty and opportunity of the baseball diamond in the Field of Dreams that he question whether he was in heaven.His son (though he didn’t know it was his son), Ray, responded that they were in Iowa.When pressed as to whether Heaven was real, John said, “Oh yeah…It’s the place where dreams come true.”Ray looks around and his dad and his family and responds, “Maybe this is heaven.”
Later on, Ray would be confronted with loss, pain, and suffering, which should have convinced him, that while the feeling of love and joy in that scene might have been a glimpse of Heaven, it was not Heaven (for we know that when we will truly find ourselves in Heaven, we will encounter, “…the home of God is among mortals; He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes.Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the firs…