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QUESTIONING JESUS what must i do

What must I do?

 

A rich young man questions Jesus. “What must I do to be saved?” he asks.  Does he really want the answer or is his question a way of confirming a false assumption he has made about himself?

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i am the rezToday’s Gospel is about a death and a resurrection.  It is a sad story – even Jesus weeps in it — but it has a very happy ending:  Lazarus walks out of the tomb and is reunited with his sisters.  Lazarus is actually one of three people Jesus raised from the dead during his ministry.  But we are not going to talk about resurrection today or the miracle that Jesus performed or the happy ending to this story.  I mean, I suppose we shouldn’t be talking about resurrection YET anyway!  Easter is still two weeks away and this is still Lent.

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questioning jesus prayerWe’ve been looking at QUESTIONS during Lent.  Questions that people asked Jesus.  Some of these questions challenged Jesus and took a lot of nerve!  Sometimes a question asked of Jesus was an attempt to wake him up to respond to a desperate situation. Sometimes a question reflected a deep longing or struggle. Questions came from disciples and friends – opponents and strangers.  And they come from us. Continue Reading »

questioning jesus prayer

I’ve always been afraid of corn mazes.  You can’t see the way to get out.  And there are lots of dead ends and who knows how long it will take to navigate through all those twists and turns.  It’s scary!  I think I’m going to write a book called, “Life is a Corn Maze” because we are often in places where we do not know where to go. Or how to find the way out.  Or what is at the end of the road.  This can be a scary place to be.  It is right now a scary place to be.

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Picture1This feels like the longest Lent ever!  Today is the 4 Sunday in Lent.  The Third Sunday in Lent feels like at least a month ago.  Actually, the season of Lent is 6 weeks long.  And there is an ancient reason for that and it was very practical.  In the early church Lent was a time to prepare converts to Christianity for baptism.  They took six weeks to do this – and so we have inherited a six week season of Lent.

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“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”

 

John 3:16 is a favorite bible verse.  It’s the most FAMOUS bible verse!  And what’s not to like about this piece of Scripture?  It captures the Gospel message perfectly.  It speaks of the incredible, abundant, extravagant LOVE of God that has the power to save us!

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Our Gospel today takes place at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry which may seem a bit out of place today this far into the church year.  Our Epiphany season began with Jesus’ baptism — his first public appearance as an adult.  The past couple months we have focused on events during Jesus’ ministry in Galilee as recorded in the Gospels.  So it may seem like a step backwards in the chronology to hear about Jesus’ 40 days in the desert.  This event actually took place immediately after Jesus’ baptism—right at the outset — but Epiphany skipped over this event and brought us a Jesus who was revealed as God’s beloved Son – shining with the presence of God’s glory. Continue Reading »

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