Showing posts from April, 2020

Luke 24- Emmaus Road and the Hiddenness of God

Luke 24:13-35

In the Gospel today we read about two disciples leaving Jerusalem, “while they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him”. … After the resurrection, two disciples of Jesus are walking with their resurrected Lord and they don’t recognize him. Isn’t that strange?

This isn’t the only time this happens. We read that Mary Magdalene encounters Jesus outside the empty tomb, but for some reason she assumes he is the gardener … until he says her name. … People have tried all kinds of ways to explain this. Maybe she is blinded by her tears and her grief. Maybe seeing Jesus was too much for her mind to process, so she couldn’t see him. Maybe Jesus is hiding behind some bushes. … I’m not sure if Rembrandt meant his painting to be comical, but when he painted this scene Jesus is even dressed like a gardener! He has a big sun hat on and he’s even holding a shovel! It’s so amazingly odd!


John 20- Thomas and Doubt

John 20:19-31
Most of us have no problem relating to Thomas as he struggles to believe something that seems too good to be true. We live in an age of science and belief based on evidence. I speak to many people that are plagued by doubts. I meet many people who would like to believe but they feel they just can’t bring themselves to that point. 
If you struggle with doubts, it can be comforting to read about people like Thomas, who doubted the resurrection. … When Jesus meets the disciples in Galilee and they are standing in front of the risen Jesus as he is giving them the great commission to go out into the world to make disciples, Matthew tells us, “And when they saw him they worshipped him, but some doubted” (Matthew 28:17). Believing isn’t always easy, especially in our world.

Thomas says he won’t believe “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side” (John 20:25). He wants proof. And, to be fair, h…

Good Friday

Like other liturgical Christians, Anglicans save the hopeful stuff for Saturday night and Sunday. So today is dark. We gather with the disciples who have prepared the body of Jesus and we place him in the tomb. We are here for a funeral. And like a funeral we gather to support one another in our grief. We are here to remember a death. Our Lord, our teacher, and our friend has been crucified. …. But, that in itself is not extraordinary. There are plenty of people who have been crucified.

There was a slave rebellion between 73 and 71 BC called the Third Servile War. About 120,000 rebel slaves were led by a man named Spartacus in revolt against the Roman republic. This led to about 6000 of his followers being crucified along the 200km stretch of road between Capua and Rome as a warning to those who would oppose Rome’s power. (Just to help you visualize that, if you drove from Olds to Edmonton that is just over 200km … Imagine every telephone pole is a crucified slave).

Psalm Sunday

Matthew 21:1-11;  Isaiah 50:4-9; Psalm 31:9-16; Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew 27:11-54

As Jesus enters the great city of Jerusalem some begin asking, “Who is this?”

It is a question that comes up a lot in the Gospels. Jesus calms the storm, “Who is this?” (Matt 8). Jesus declares a man’s sins forgiven and then heals him and the religious leaders ask, “who is this?” (Luke 7). Jesus asks his disciples “Who do people say that I am?” … and then “who do you say that I am?”

When people answer this question in the Bible they often get it wrong, or only partly right. Some of the religious leaders thought Jesus’ power came from demons and so he was some kind of dark magician. … Some called him a prophet, which is getting closer. At least he’s playing for the right team. Peter declared that Jesus is, “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mat 16:16). But, Peter still didn’t quite understand. Right after he declared this about Jesus he pulled him aside and began to scold him for saying that he w…