Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, Uncategorized

Jesus’ Ascension: What Does It Mean?


The disciples are trying to put it all together: Jesus died, raised to life again, and now what?  Jesus tells them to stay in Jerusalem until he sends them the Holy Spirit.  And then something very unusual happens.  After this promise to send the Holy Spirit, he ‘ascends’ into the clouds.

Read the end of the Gospel of Luke (24:36-53) and the beginning of the Book of Acts (1:1-11).  Its believed that the disciple Luke wrote both of these Biblical books.  He writes in Acts 1:4, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.”  And then he was “taken up before their eyes.”

What does Jesus ascension into heaven mean?  Why did Jesus leave the disciples again?  What was God’s master plan in all of this?  I suspect the answer is in Acts 1:8, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Somehow, someway, Jesus ascension is connected to the sending of his Holy Spirit in fulfilling God’s purpose for the world through his people, the church.  Lots to unpack here.  Is Jesus ‘outta here’? Or is he just getting started!  Jesus Ascension: What does it mean?  Luke 24:36-53 and Acts 1:1-11

See you Sunday,
Pastor Mark

 

Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, Uncategorized

Peter Restored: This is what it looks like!

Blog banner with the image of a highway and the word: "Journey" for the study of the Book of Matthew.
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.   
Pastor Mark

Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, Uncategorized

Life in Christ – One aha moment after aha moment…

Blog banner with the image of a highway and the word: "Journey" for the study of the Book of Matthew.

We are changing gears from The Gospel of Matthew to the Early Church and the Gift of the Holy Spirit!  Beginning this Sunday we wonder with the disciples what Jesus death and resurrection really means.

We start with a story in Luke 24:13-35, as two followers of Jesus wonder about the events in Jerusalem.  As they are walking along the road, Jesus comes up beside them and has probably one of the most fascinating conversations anyone has ever had with him.  One problem, we don’t have the conversation recorded in Scripture.

However, I think that almost the entirety of what Jesus said to these two men on the road to Emmaus is recorded somewhere in bits and pieces throughout the rest of the new testament writings.  Read the story in preparation for Sunday and imagine trying to make sense of Jesus crucifixion and crazy reports of Jesus resurrection.  Questions would abound!

This story gives us a couple clues as to what life in following Jesus post resurrection looks like.  Two truths strike me: One, following Jesus (a life of discipleship) is one AHA moment after another.  Two, be on your Guard!  There will always be an alternative narrative to try and explain away Jesus’ death and resurrection.  So what will you believe?  The story of Scripture?  Or the alternative stories that discredit Jesus’ death and resurrection?

Come Sunday, come ready, come and worship,

Pastor Mark

 

Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, Uncategorized

7 Stations of the Cross, Passion Week

Blog banner with the image of a highway and the word: "Journey" for the study of the Book of Matthew.
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,

Pastor Mark