Showing posts from March, 2015

An Invitation to Easter

(Yes, I know you will receive tons of invitations to Easter: postcards, shared Facebook posts from friends, radio ads, etc. I'll even receive some of these myself-- and I am sort of tied up Easter morning!)

But I wanted to offer a different invitation. You are invited to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus in a quiet, contemplative setting: at Custer Road's 17 acres, the corner of Custer and Legacy in Plano. Bring your folding chairs and blankets!

"Sonrise," 6:30 a.m. April 5
Maybe you are a pastor or staff member, busily making preparations for celebration at your own place.Maybe you will be a greeter or have another role in worship, as a leader or participant-- and your Easter experience will be focused on meeting others' needs.Maybe you'll benefit from a worship setting before the kids wake up and you move into make everyone look amazing modeMaybe you haven't received the Lord's Supper outdoors in a long while (Sonrise will be the only Communion oppo…

Relationship Status: It's Complicated.

I joined Facebook in 2008, mostly because it seemed like everyone else I knew was. Social media is a fun way to catch up with friends, check out pictures of your grandkids' achievements, or share common interests. I remember setting up my profile page, and when it came to "relationship status," I clicked "married," and indicated to whom. But one of the options for relationships struck me as curious:

Aren't all relationships complicated? Here is a quick list of some of the many relationships I enjoy/endure/experiment with every day:

ChristianPastorFatherHusbandSonConsumerCitizenLeaderFollower And there have to be a billion more, right? But of that quick list I compiled in less than sixty seconds: which is not complicated?

I learned yesterday that HBO will re-launch the first several seasons of Game of Throneseach Sunday starting this week at 9:00 a.m.-- 10 consecutive hours each Sunday before the new series begins April 12. I've never watched it, so I sch…

My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?

Note: this sermon was preached this morning at Custer Road UMC, continuing our sermon series for Lent: The Seven Words from the Cross.

We’re continuing in our sermon series on Jesus’ final words from the Cross. Last week we considered “Behold your Son/Behold your Mother,” words where Jesus creates the community of believers we understand as the church today—folk defined by their love for Jesus, each other, and the world. Today everything shifts: tone, the scene around the cross. Whereas John had Mary and the disciple whom Jesus loved and a couple of women near the cross, in Mark everyone who is near Jesus either tortures him physically or emotionally. The same crowds who excitedly welcome his entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday now shout hate and insults at him.
Jesus turns his attention away from the noise of the moment to the heavens. He cries out to God in a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” They are words of desperation, of loneliness, of grief. Before his c…

Behold Your Son/Behold Your Mother

Note: this sermon was preached this morning at Custer Road UMC, continuing our sermon series for Lent: The Seven Words from the Cross.

Several years ago I presided at a funeral. I do not remember today whose funeral it was—maybe a parishioner or extended family of a church member. What I remember was a comment shared with me following the burial at the cemetery. A young man approached me, shook my hand, and said, “I could tell you really believed what you said.” This was not the usual, “Nice service,” or “Good job” preachers normally hear after a funeral. I was sort of taken aback. My response was pretty strange: “Well, yeah.” Not the most pastoral response ever. But my immediate reaction was: “Of course I believe this stuff. I am a Christian. I am a pastor. This is what I do. Well, yeah.”
For the Gospel of John, the issue of what we believe is central. In fact, of the 173 times the word believe appears in the Bible, 57 of them are found in John! Many of us can recite John 3:16 from mem…