Showing posts from April, 2013

God's Forever Home - and Ours

"Heaven" ( Psalm 148 ) Revelation 21:1-6 “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”  Paul said (1 Cor. 15:19).  As people of a resurrected Lord, we claim that death does not have the last word, that there is more than we can see, and that death is not the end that it appears to be.  But what does that mean?  What is our hope? Standing in a long line, our feet hidden by fluffy clouds, outside of a gate made of actual pearls that reaches high beyond the scope of our vision, we approach the oldest looking man we have ever seen.  Long white beard down to his belly, white robe tied with a golden rope, huge feather pen in his hand.  He is leaning over an enormous volume, on a podium in front of him, and as each one approaches, he fans through the tabbed pages in search of their name.  If he finds it, the gates slowly open, and the person walks into a shining light.  If he doesn’t, he points his arm, and the p

There is where you'll find me

John 21:1-19 I had a professor (Ray Anderson) in seminary who tells of once seeing scrawled on the wall of a men’s room, “Judas, come home. All is forgiven.” It eventually led him to write a book called, The Gospel According to Judas , about a post-death encounter between Judas and Jesus, Judas’ own resurrection story, forgiveness after the grave, wherein Judas finds that his own refusal to forgive himself keeps him from accepting Jesus’ forgiveness, until finally Jesus’ compassionate and relentless love prevails, and Judas is welcomed home. In the story as we have it, Judas dies on a cliff at the end of a rope steeped in shame and guilt.  And that’s the last we hear of Judas.  Good Riddance, right?  He got what he deserved. No need to wonder what might have been. But here is Peter. And while he didn’t outright betray Jesus into the hands of the enemy, he may as well have. The last time he saw Jesus, Peter was standing at a charcoal fire and Jesus locked

Spying for Hope and Joining Jesus

One of my favorite bloggers wrote on the day of the Boston Marathon, that as she watched the news, ". ..I learned that I want to be a First Responder to every hurting person who crosses my path. God bless all those who run toward those in pain and fear." - Glennon Melton That is Incarnation, friends, a  God who runs toward those in pain and fear.  At LNPC we've been talking  a lot   in this Easter season about noticing the Living Lord, seeing Jesus right here in our concrete, daily lives.  And so as we held in prayer all those affected at the Boston Marathon, we also sought to notice and give thanks for all the ways people join Christ in being with and for one another in the midst of pain and fear. As "spies for hope" and witnesses for wonder, we began collecting some words, images and article links on our church facebook page  that help us to see God-with-us as we are with and for one another. Here are some glimpses of grace we came across: Stori

Learning to notice

Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it. - Mary Oliver Luke 24:13-35 Here is something I’ve realized since Easter: it is really, really hard to look for the Living One.  Resurrection is so difficult to recognize.   Noticing life isn’t easy. Which is silly, actually, because it’s all around us all the time.   Within us, between us, around us, life is everywhere.  It’s greater than death, even, but, still… we really struggle to see it. I held my baby nephew last night as he fell asleep. Gazing into my eyes until he drifted off.  Nothing else but trust and comfort, sleepiness and presence. I played with my little foster niece.  She watched me make meatloaf. Standing on a chair peering over the counter, she exclaimed about each ingredient and pointed dramatically as I added it to the bowl. She helped me set the table for dinner, clapping a