Sermon: ‘Faces Downcast’ to ‘Eyes Opened’

Sitting around that table the hidden face of God suddenly becomes visible. The stranger becomes a dear friend. The empty hole in our heart is suddenly filled. The darkness is vanquished by piercing light. Hope is resurrected to dance a jig on the corpse of Despair. At that table the lump in our throat is replaced by an irresistible burning in our heart.

Social Media & The Sermon on the Mount

WWJT? “What would Jesus Tweet?”  I’ve been asking this question this week as I watch people wax bombastic on their Facebook pages or Twitter feeds. There’s a lot of shouting past one another and very little listening (not to mention loving). Strong opinions abound while grace and civility are in short supply. So, how might…

The Most Powerful Force of All

“I always tell my kids that while most people in the world just want to kill and get rid of the bad guys, Jesus wants to change bad guys into good guys. While guns have the power to kill bad guys, only love moves us toward an enemy with the compassion and hope for transformation. A gun or nuclear warhead can destroy our enemy, but only love has the potential to transform an enemy into a friend.”

The Long Journey of the Word

If you read the Book of Acts carefully, you’ll discover it isn’t really about Paul’s (or Peter’s) journey to Rome. Its a travelogue of the gospel message about Jesus! Its all about the movement of the Word from Jerusalem to Caesar’s Palace. Its the long and winding road the Wisdom of the Ages traversed to get from the backwater of the Palestinian foothills into the heart of the ancient world’s power-brokers and influencers. Today, we still need that Word to travel!

Imagine a World: Treasure Seekers (Matt 13:44-46)

We gathered at the beach for our annual baptism service and potluck. Always a highlight to preach in the open air with the lapping waves and morning breeze coming off of Lake Minnetonka. I resisted making mention (this time!) that just a few hundred yards down the shoreline Bill Bright housed the Campus Crusade headquarters…

God’s Masterpiece

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10). If I were called to the hospital bedside of a person who just attempted but failed to take their own life, I think I would bring this…

Bono & the Psalms

I’m going to see U2’s 30th Anniversary Joshua Tree Tour concert at U.S. Bank Stadium in a few weeks. My only other U2 concert was their Popmart Tour 20 years ago at the Metro Dome (a horrible echo-chamber for concerts). Needless to say, it’s about time. I’m pumped. I’m a long time fan of U2 and an…

Imagine a World: Grateful Stewards (Matt 21:33-40)

Jesus’ parables, in the words of my teacher Scot McKnight, invite hearers to “imagine a world like this…” Like a good novel or film, you get swept up into another world for a moment and when its over you’re dropped back into our world pondering what you just saw, heard, experienced or imagined. Jesus’ parables fire…