The Ascension – Jesus is ‘not on sabbatical!’

The Feast of the Ascension, deserves more attention, as we were reminded in last Sunday’s sermon, Is Jesus Really in Charge? Someone has said, “Ascension isn’t Jesus ‘on sabbatical’ until the Second Coming!” It marks, after Jesus’s conquest of death, his cosmic exaltation. In the Anglican and other traditions, prayers often end with reference to Jesus “who lives […]

What makes Jesus Angry?

We know Jesus often felt sad. He wept over Lazarus and over unresponsive Jerusalem. But what made Jesus ‘mad?’ We may think only of turning the tables in the Temple, but Jesus had some extremely angry words for the Pharisees and ‘experts’ in the Law. In Luke 11:37-12:3, we see Jesus ‘in the face’ of his religious […]

The Lord’s Prayer and Discipleship

Listen to this message (if you missed it or not in town) from Neil Botts, our Executive Pastor at Christ Church, on The Lord’s Prayer. Our current teaching series has a double focus: Learning what a disciple of Jesus is really ‘like;’ and learning from the Master how disciples are ‘made.’ Here is a helpful resource […]

God’s Grace: ‘Free, but not Cheap!’

The Return of the Prodigal Son was the last completed work of Rembrandt. The famous painter had always utilized biblical scenes, but after the death of his wife, his life took a serious and seeking turn. He began to focus on the central themes of Gospel, especially the cross. He painted characters with humanity and […]

If Jesus Came to Our Home

Our vision at Christ Church begins: “We will be a diverse community that lives the Good News of Jesus Christ for the flourishing of all people…” A right view of diversity comes from the very heart of God. Neil Botts, our Executive Pastor, preached a wonderfully challenging sermon from Luke 5, linked here. A summary and […]

If Jesus Came to Church

One thing is certain. Jesus’s Vision was crystal clear! It was embedded in the amazing prophecy of Isaiah (chpt 61 and 58) that Jesus read in his hometown synagogue in Nazareth. This sermon explores what is behind the vision and its implications for us today. (Due to a technical difficulty, this is a ‘studio’ recording, not the original.) “The […]

Is Jesus Vision really OUR vision?

Beginning at Advent, we are preaching through the Gospel of Luke this year at Christ Church. We are taking the first 3 weeks of the new year to explore the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry recorded in Luke, chapters 3-5. We’re asking the challenging question, “Is Jesus’ vision OUR vision?” Listen to the first sermon, […]

“Few are Guilty…but All are Responsible”

I’ve decided to turn a Facebook post into a blogpost with additional links based on response to this important point. It’s something I have found helpful in our often defensive conversations around racial tensions and efforts at reconciliation. These words come from Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (d. 1972), the great Jewish theologian and sometimes activist: “FEW ARE GUILTY, BUT ALL […]

Mary’s Magnificat: Soundtrack for a Revolution

The “songs” of Luke’s Gospel are many and amazing. Zachariah, Simeon, the Angels’ Gloria, and of course Mary’s Magnificat! They are sung throughout the year: morning, evening, and late nite by Christians all around the world. In preaching on the Magnificat, I borrowed this title: “Soundtrack for a Revolution” from a documentary on the “Freedom Songs” […]

Annunciation, some further thoughts in art and poetry

The arts help us slow down, and like Mary, “ponder these things” in our hearts. Above is a famous Western painting, along with an Eastern icon. Below are two poems from two of my favorite poets, Denise Levertov and Scott Cairns.   Annunciation, by Denise Levertov ‘Hail, space for the uncontained God’ (From the Agathistos Hymn, Greece, […]