Wednesday, April 8, 2020

John 17:6-19

John 17:6-19 
English Standard Version (ESV)

  The big truth that I take from this is how intimately Jesus loves us.  This is a deeper love than we can imagine -- he lived for his children, and he dies for his children.  Throughout his time on earth, his heart was focused on his children.  He does not forget them, and speaks of them, of you, with a passion that is greater than you can imagine.
  Jesus loves you, and Jesus looks out for you, and Jesus will not forget you, and he will not lose you.
  In the midst of the world's chaos, it is my hope that you will stop for 5 or 10 minutes and allow the love of God to embrace you.  Before Jesus went to the cross, he was praying for you.  He poured his Word into the apostles that it may be shared to the world, and because of their faithful ministry, we know of his great love for us.
  You are loved, today, tomorrow and forevermore, and even death cannot and will not change that.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

John 17:1-5

John 17:1-5
English Standard Version (ESV)

  This is Jesus' high priestly prayer that he prays before he goes out to the garden, is betrayed and arrested.  In the last week of his life, he's completely focused on what it takes to glorify God, even though the path to that leads through the cross, through his humiliation and crucifixion, through pain and betrayal and abandonment. Despite all of this, and having the weight of the world's sins placed upon his human shoulders, Jesus is focused on God's glory.
  I wish I had this kind of focus.  My focus definitely wavers, as I don't have the same courage Jesus has.  I am human, and sometimes hold a little too tightly to the things around me.  I know in my head that the more I focus on God, the better I will love the people in my life, but I'll admit I'm often too afraid of losing them, so I'll put other things in front of God.
  Jesus teaches us, Jesus shows us, that when we love God with heart, soul, and mind, that all these things will be given unto us, the rich relationships and a community of faith.  He also understands our weakness, and he comes to us, he comes to me, he comes to you in our weakness, and extends grace.  He did what he did because we could not, and so we are able to hope for a better tomorrow because of the unconditional love with which he loves us.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Palm Sunday Sermon

See below for the sermon from Palm Sunday, based on Matthew 21:1-11

Job 38:1-7

Job 38:1-7
English Standard Version (ESV)

  I'm trying to make sense of all of this, and sometimes I like to open Scripture and be reminded that it just doesn't always make sense.  Job had plenty of reasons to ask big questions -- his life had been devastated and he was lost.  He asked all of his questions, but when he was confronted with the majesty of God, he suddenly didn't need those answers anymore.  God was sufficient.
  In these times, I pray that we find sufficient peace in the majesty and mystery of God.  It's not easy, what we're going through, but God is here, even if we don't fully understand it.  There is peace in knowing that the God who crafted the mountains is still reigning in heaven, and that will never change.