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Showing posts from March, 2015

In Like a Lion and Out Like a Lamb

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“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is He, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9). Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! I’m sure you’ve heard that old phrase about March weather that goes, “In like a lion and out like a lamb.” Well, according to the late stargazer Jack Horkheimer, it appears that the phrase got its imagery from the two constellations, Aries—the Ram or Lamb, and Leo—the Lion. A long time ago, someone noticed that their movement in the March skies coincided with the fiercer weather at the beginning of the month and the milder weather at the end of the month. “In like a Lion and out like a Lamb.” That could describe Jesus’ movement as He comes into Jerusalem for Holy Week. As we just were reminded by the procession of palm waving children, Jesus comes into Jer…

The Foolishness of the Pole

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“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life” (John 3:14-15). Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! It doesn’t make sense. It’s a crazy way to save. How could looking at a bronze serpent hanging on a pole bring healing? It’s a severe challenge to faith. It smacks of superstition, magic and mysticism, maybe even crass idolatry. And just how gullible do you have to be in order to try it? Gullible or very desperate. But here’s a greater mystery: Why would God save a people who are so opposed to Him? Why would God send any sort of healing for men and women so wicked and rebellious that He must send fiery serpents to chastise them in the first place? Why? The answer is short and sweet: sin and grace. The foolishness of the pole is all about sin and grace. Let’s admit it up front: the world and the majority of people in the world will …

We Preach Christ Crucified

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“For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:22-24). Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! There is a church in Connecticut with an interesting cross. “Pretty” is not a word that one would use to describe the cross. It is 10 feet tall, made of raw, untreated wood. But it’s not that the cross itself is unique; it’s the positioning of the cross that is truly unusual. It’s not behind the altar, but bolted down into the concrete floor, right in the middle of the aisle, between the pews and the altar. To the casual observer it seems like an obstruction. The pastor’s words have to pass through it. And the congregation always has to look through it. And everyone who come to the baptismal font or to the Lord’s Table has to come by it…