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He Lives To Give Me Peace

For these last three weeks of the Easter season, we have opened to the Gospel of John and heard Jesus speak on Maundy Thursday night. In fact John’s Gospel dedicates four whole chapters to the interactions and conversations Jesus had with his disciples the night before he died. These last three weeks have given us some great highlights. We heard Jesus say, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” Last week we listened as he said, “Because I live, you also will...

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He Lives to Be My Life

“As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people both now and forevermore.” – Ps 125:2 I received an email this week entitled “Too Much Oil with Nowhere to Go.” It explained why the price of gas dropped so significantly in recent weeks. Let me try to summarize it for you in simple terms: with so many people not driving, gas stations’ tanks are full so they call up the distributors who transport gasoline to the stations and they say...

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He Lives To Calm My Troubled Heart

How are you doing? I think as a pastor that is the toughest part for me during all of this. I don’t get opportunities to ask you that, to listen to your answer. I miss all of the natural interactions we used to have, no matter how brief they were: Walking in and out of church; grabbing a cup of coffee after church; before catechism on Wednesday nights or Starting Point on Tuesday nights; dropping your kids off at school; a quick stop in the office; even running into you at the Y or the...

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He Lives to Shepherd You

When Abigail Bruce turned 10-years-old, she wanted a goat for her birthday. A real goat. They didn’t have any goats. And even though Dad didn’t think it was a great idea and wasn’t excited about having another mouth to feed (especially one that might possibly eat their clothes), she got one. His name was Speedy. One evening at about 1:00 in the morning, after the goat had been with them only two days, Abigail woke up because Speedy was bouncing up and down on top of her and...

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He Lives to Restore My Hope

“Surely it is God who saves me!  I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself is my strength and my song.  He has become my salvation” (Isaiah 12:2). In the last five weeks, I don’t know if I have seen any news on the internet, TV, or social media that is NOT related the COVID-19 crisis. Baseball might be shut down for all of 2020, college football might not start until next February, doctors in Europe debate whether to devote ICU beds to elderly...

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He Lives To Give Me Peace

Fear. Isolation. Completely unexpected. Disbelief over what’s happening. Going a little stir-crazy. Craving an answer and clarity. Not knowing what’s true and what’s not. Cautious hope. Confusion. – Am I describing the very first Easter or this year’s Easter? The description fits both, doesn’t it? You may have already heard someone make such a comparison, or perhaps you have noticed the similarities yourself between the very first Easter and this one. Yes,...

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Finished with Thorns (Good Friday Tenebrae)

Like many of you, my family decided to use some of the recent time at home to catch up on some yard work. We have a heavily-wooded area in the back of the yard, and it hadn’t been cleaned out since long before we lived there. So a couple weeks ago, that’s what we did. It was a good day. We accomplished a lot. Toward the end of the work day, I was picking up some sticks in an area surrounded by a couple of small trees when I stood up and turned my head quickly to the left. As I did,...

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Finished with Fear

I live close enough to the church that, on a normal day when school is in session, I can step out into my backyard when I’m home for lunch and hear the school children playing on the playground. I want you to imagine that you’re out on the playground with them and you see some children doing double-dutch. You know what that is? That’s when you have two jump ropes going at the same time, one person is jumping through them as they circle, and sometimes they even say a little...

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Meditations on Jesus' 7 Words from the Cross

Introduction: Words are powerful. So powerful that many of the strongest emotions you have ever felt and clearest memories you have are likely connected to words – words either spoken by you or spoken by someone else to you. “I am proud of you, son.” “You look beautiful, daughter.” “I love you.” “Will you marry me?” “I do.” “The promotion is yours.” “It’s a girl.” “Mom has died.” “I...

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Finished with...Selfishness

Did you know that while the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) are a record of Jesus’ entire life on earth, about a fifth (20%) of these four books is devoted to what happened on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter, and then the forty days until Jesus’ Ascension? The Apostle John actually devotes almost six chapters of his book to what happened—and especially what Jesus said—on Maundy Thursday. He starts chapter 13 writing this: “It was before the Passover...

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