Peter. What is Peter thinking? What is he feeling and experiencing after his denial of Jesus during his crucifixion, and now that Jesus is alive, risen? I can only imagine his guilt and shame.
Jesus tells the disciples to go to Galilee and he would meet them there. And when Jesus invites the disciples to share a breakfast meal of fish and bread I can imagine the mixed feelings and emotions raging inside of Peter. It would have been difficult for Peter to even make eye contact with Jesus. As painful memories of his rejection of Jesus flood his heart and mind.
Read this amazing story from the Gospel of John chapter 21. How does Jesus restore Peter and bring reconciliation to the relationship between them? What do you notice about the repetition of their conversation? What affect might this have on Peter?
Shame can be a debilitating reality. It is probably our most limiting factor in following Jesus effectively and wholeheartedly. In order for us to love him well, and love others well, we must come face to face with the reality of shame. It affects all of us in powerfully negative ways, even significant ways we may not fully realize. Jesus brings the answer to our shame. He is the one who can free us from shame and release us to engage in an abundant life.
Come Sunday ready to receive the grace of Jesus and to give of yourself to Him,
See you Sunday, Peter Restored: This is what it looks like! from John 21. We will be having a second offering this week for Graduate Christian Fellowship on the campus of CU.
Passion Week (Passion/Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter) has arrived. Every year, I have this experience of the Lenten Season: All of a sudden its Easter and there is some shame about not having spent the time preparing my heart for the rich spiritual blessings of this season. The Lent season is abbreviated because of my busyness and filling my time with all kinds of ‘good’ and seemingly ‘necessary’ things, yet, I didn’t invest enough time in the preparation of my heart for Passion Week.
This week, there is an opportunity for us to spend a half hour to come to Crestview Sanctuary and go through the 7 Stations of the Cross. Space has been prepared for you to come and spend time in preparation of your heart for Good Friday and Easter celebrations. Only one thing remains, for you to take advantage of the opportunity, carve out a half hour this week between the hours of 7am to 7pm to visit the sanctuary and the Stations of the Cross.
Passion Week Spiritual Growth Opportunities:
- Stations of the Cross: Daily this week, in Crestview Sanctuary from 7am to 7pm. Self led and self guided stations for prayer, reflection, and meditation on the Stations of the Cross. Enter through the West entrance door to the sanctuary. Instructions on table in center isle for beginning. You will be guided through 7 Stations: The Last Supper, In The Garden, Before Pilate, Crown of Thorns, Taking Up the Cross, Death of Jesus, and His Burial. Each station will have a Scripture to read, a reflection for meditation, and an experience to engage in. See you at the cross.
- Good Friday Worship – 5:30pm. Join us for Good Friday worship at Crestview Church at 5:30pm as we join All Souls Church for Good Friday worship service.
- Sunday Easter Worship 9:30am, followed by Brunch and Easter Egg Hunt. Our worship service will be a celebration of Jesus resurrection and what that all means for life. We will celebrate in a variety of ways!
Peace in and through Jesus our Lord,
We are coming to the close of our journey through Matthew. Things are coming to a climax for Jesus in his last days of life on earth. Two weeks ago we witnessed Jesus handing out 7 woes to the religious leaders of his time. And this Sunday, the very next chapter (Matthew 24), Jesus goes prophetically bananas! Jesus isn’t bananas in that he is crazy, bananas as in outrageously and graphically prophetic.
As he leaves the temple mount and walks with his disciples outside of temple walls he says, “Do you see all these things? Not one of these stones will be left on another.” This is crazy talk – what does he mean?
The disciples are confused too and can’t believe what Jesus is saying. Jesus then answers their questioning by mixing the description of two very important events that will occur in the future. One that will happen in 40 years to come, one that the disciples will experience for themselves: the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. The other event Jesus will describe is when he will return to earth in all of his glory at the end of time, an event that hasn’t yet happened.
Jesus descriptions of these events are chilling and can bring on fear. There have been many attempts by Christians to try and define what Jesus words mean in terms of the how and when of these events. Some of the conclusions of Christians, especially in recent history, is very descriptive and can generate fear.
I would like to take an approach to Jesus words that may be more descriptive than prescriptive based on clues Jesus gives us about how and when of the event of his return. Jesus words should not cause fear. Rather, Jesus words should stimulate two things from us: “Relax!” and “Get busy!”
Jesus words about the end of all things give us courage, confidence, and purpose. I will attempt to open up this understanding from Scripture itself. Our message will be based on Matthew 24. Read the entire chapter for Sunday and you will be prepared to dive in. The focus of the message, “Relax and Get Busy!“, will intensify on vs. 36-51. Download will unpack different interpretations of Jesus return from the history of Christian thought and reflection.
See you Sunday and be prepared for Jesus to go prophetically bananas!
Welcome to my friend and ministry partner Eric Snyder from Hillcrest Church in Denver. Eric and I have been spending regular time together as part of his transition into the Christian Reformed Church from another denomination. Eric completes his educational and practical training for ordination this spring. Eric has a ministry degree from Dallas Theological Seminary and has pastored previously in Cheyenne, WY before coming to Hillcrest. Eric is married to Radha, and they have two children, Lily (9) and Ben (7).
Eric and I will be trading churches this Sunday. Eric is continuing our series in passion week texts from Matthew 25:31-46 by focusing on the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats. While I will be continuing his series in Luke in chapter 19/20, Jesus interactions with the Rich Young Ruler and Zacchaeus.
Welcome Eric! Eric will also be available following the service for a time of download discussion. For preparation for Sunday, read the text from Matthew on the Sheep and the Goats and also Romans 8:14-17 and reflect on this question: Is life in Christ more about avoiding and rising above our own suffering and the suffering of others or is it more about entering into our own suffering and the suffering of others?
Reminder: This weekend we ‘spring forward’ in our time change! I’m ready for the longer lighter evenings!
Its Passover Week for Jesus and his disciples and their families. He is under increasing pressure from the ruling class of Herodians, Pharisees, and Sadducees. In our passage for Sunday (Matthew 22:15-46), the leaders come to Jesus with intent to ‘trap’ him. The Greek word is stronger than our English translation of ‘to trap.’ The Greek has an understanding of being attached to the work of Satan and the demonic.
The intent of the leadership is to destroy Jesus. They attempt to take Jesus down by posing a series of tricky questions on paying imperial taxes, marriage and resurrection, and the greatest commandment. If Jesus answers one way or the other its a trap!
Ultimately, the truth that the leaders are having trouble with is being faced with a truth that they have to acknowledge or deny: Is Jesus the Messiah or not? Jesus follows up these three questions with a tricky question of his own that leaves the leaders speechless. They didn’t dare answer.
We will revel in Jesus masterful teaching in response to these three questions this Sunday. For download discussion, we will focus in on the first question and answer of Jesus about paying the imperial tax. What is due the government and what is due to God? What is the authority of the state and the authority of God meet? How are we to understand this relationship? Sounds like a testy conversation to me 🙂
Three Testy Questions from the Peanut Gallery and One in Return Matthew 22:15-46
See you Sunday,