Thursday, April 26, 2007


Protestants don't spend a lot of time on the Ascension. Oh we believe in it and know that it's a necessary transition from Jesus' earthly life to heavenly life. Ascension traffics in the language of mystery and that makes many of us nervous. Jesus died. We get that. He rose. We get that too. But hanging around 40 days talking, touching, eating, explaining is a bit weird. Is he physical or spiritual? What happened to that post-resurrection body of his as he ascended into heaven.
The altar-piece evokes upward mystery and the gold brocade and crown of royalty. The ascension event innaugurates an uncomfortable period for the disciples; a period of waiting. They were taught no more. They heard all that they would hear from the human lips of Jesus. He told them that their job now was to not leave Jerusalem but to wait for the promise of the Father.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Through Locked Doors

Have you thought about the number of doors you have gone through today? How about the numbers of keys and passwords you have to "let you in" to places or sites? How critical are doors to your life? Is a door a functional object? a decorating accent? a security necessity? an obstacle? a hideaway? Do you open and shut most of your doors or are they opened for you and shut on you? Do doors shut you out or let you in?
In the text for April 22, Luke 24:36-49, the disciples are hiding behind shut doors. They were in "hunker-Down" mode. They were uncertain, overwhelmed, and afraid. Jesus, however, went through the shut door. Not with a battering ram or key, but with resurrected presence. He came through the shut locked door so they could see him and touch him. The verbal witness of resurrection was supplemented by touch and sight and sound.
Is your door locked?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

On the Road to Emmaus

On the Road is such a well-worn term in our culture. It speaks of the grueling work of the sale-person out Sunday night on a plane and home Friday evening exhausted, slumped, drained. Then out again Sunday night to the next anonymous city, hotel room and conference room. On the Road does not have the same romantic cache of Jack Kerouac's 1957 novel of the same name. For many the adventure of travel has turned into the bland monotony of brand-name hotels, restaurants, airport concourses and airlines.
On the Road to Emmaus was, I think, more modern and less romantic. These two guys were returning from Jerusalem exhausted, disappointed, and weary. Their hope in Jesus as the promised Messiah was shattered at the cross. In his death their dreams and hopes died, and they were now going back to the backwater town of Emmaus where they had their routine jobs handed down from generation to generation, more of the same.
And that's where Jesus met them; on the road, and into their lives. Guess where Jesus still is? On the road.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Sunday Celebration

It started with an egg hunt in the courtyard. The kids ran back and forth, looking for hidden Easter eggs planted by willing Jr. High schoolers. Out on the patio Suzanne oversaw a marvelous feast of foods and drinks.

Inside the sanctuary was filled with more kids and grandparents, choir members and instrumentalists. It was a good day to be in church with friends and family.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Chirst Is Risen

The sanctuary was covered with palms last week, then stripped bare for Good Friday. Now there is an upward celebration of color, light and texture. Trace Robinson designed a branch construction entitled "Ascension" to tell the mighty story of resurrection. The whole structure focusses the worshiper's eyes upward from the rock to the branch to colored flowers to white flowers shooting out the top. There are 3 structures as well; a trinitarian image of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

On either ledge is a glade of colored flowers pointing inward to the altar-piece and empty cross. Resurrection brings back color to black and white worlds. May your world, inside and out be filled with the colors only Christ can bring.