It is harder than it looks to know how to take Easter. On the one hand it feels like an easy home run, a touchdown, a triumphal entry. But those were the kinds of thing we were celebrating last week. How then is this week different? For one thing it amazes how few people to whom Jesus appeared after the resurrection. One would think he would be taking out billboards all over town that said, “I told you so!” but he doesn’t. The first to see Jesus would be the last we would expect. It was not the disciples, not even his family, but one of the…
“Unless our Hopes Fall to the Ground and Die” — We have some grieving to do, but not for Jesus.
The Gospel of Mark is my favorite. I especifically love the eighth chapter. It is hysterical. I still find myself being caught off guard and LOL-ing sometimes. The disciples are dolts. They have the hardest time learning the most obvious lessons. Jesus goes and feeds several thousand, gets on a boat with them, and suddenly they are afraid Jesus will be mad because the didn’t pack a lunch. Zheesh. In that same chapter Jesus heals this man in a most unusual way and he has to do it twice. Either Jesus is losing his touch or Mark is writing to try to be be obvious: We don’t see clearly…
Face-Palm Sunday: How sincerity can keep Christians from being Christian.
Nearly every Palm Sunday sermon I heard growing up emphasized the inevitable hypocrisy of those who would be shouting Jesus’ praise on one day and crying “crucify him!” just days later. During these sermons I always pictured the crowds as wicked bearded villains (perhaps with pirate hats?). I most certainly never pictured them being anything like me. That is why it was so confusing when, without any sense of irony, we all picked up Palm leaves and cried, “Hosannah!” just like those bearded hypocrite-pirates that we knew turned on Jesus later. I knew that there were sides but I lost track of whose side to be on. Sunday? Friday?