Showing posts from April, 2024

The God Is Love Revolution

Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love...  So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.  God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. God is Love Those three words are found in two verses both from I John 4. The whole of the Bible leads us to that three-worded creed that in many ways is the gospel – the good news – in a nutshell. We should define what the Bible means by love here. So that’s how I begin this morning, defining the Love God is. We spell the love God is A-G-A-P-E. It is not pronounced like we’d pronounce “agape,” as in open (e.g., “leave the door agape”). It is pronounced a-gah-pay. C.S. Lewis states, Agape… is the kind [of love] God has for us and is good in all circumstances… Agape is all giving, not getting.” Dr. Martin Luther King describes it this way: “ Agape  means understanding, redeeming good will for all... It is an overflowing love which is purely spontaneous, unmotivated, groundless

Our Church, Our Jerusalem Temple

Our gospel story takes place in the iconic sacred space known as the Upper Room. Tapping into my inner Dwight Schrut, I say this. Fact: the first Christian church can be traced back to the Upper Room. It is where the first communion happened. It is where Jesus revealed to his disciples the full extent of the resurrection. And its where Pentecost happened. The Upper Room was the upstairs space of a larger home in Jerusalem. It is called the cenacle, and it is still there. Its been maintained well all these years and you can visit it. Why was it important to the first Christians 2,000 years ago all the way up to now to maintain that sacred space so well? Why is it important for us to take care of our church sanctuary? That’s the question I want to look at today. To answer this question we must go all the way back to the Jerusalem temple. The Jerusalem temple was segmented into three spaces.    There was the:   Porch:  Also known as the vestibule. This is where people gathere

The Corrective Lens of the Empty Tomb

  Love wins!  That is the reason for the season, friends! This is the point of this day, this Easter day. Hatred and violence had their day. Friday was fueled by sin, by the evil of ending innocence, crucifying compassion and destroying love. Friday saw God, Love itself, killed, saw the lover of all humanity, mocked, scorned, nailed to a cross, murdered, martyred. Saturday, this lover of all went to the darkest depths, to the underworld and to the epitome of suffering. But today, all that’s finished. He has risen, raising us up in the process. Love has won the final victory.  The ultimacy of death itself has died. The eternity of life is today born.   Might I ask you a question this morning? How do you look at the world? Do you look at the world through the lens of the cross? Or do you look through the world through the lens of the empty tomb?  What do you mean by those questions, Rev Don? What does it mean to see the world through the lens of the cross or through the lens of the empty