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Showing posts from April, 2010

Sermon for Third Sunday of Easter, "New Life: On the Road to Damascus"

Sermon 4/18/10, Acts 9:1-20, John 21:1-19
New Life: On the Road to Damascus
            I’ll admit to you that Paul hasn’t always been my favorite Biblical figure. When I read Paul’s writings, I see someone who is pretty full of himself and his own faithful discipleship. I think Paul thinks an awful lot of himself, and would be the first one to tell you, Biblically speaking, about how much he’s had to endure for the sake of the gospel. But over the years I’ve come to terms with Paul, at least, and though he’ll never be my favorite follower of Jesus, our text from Acts today, the story of Paul’s beginning in particular is one that I really enjoy, one that has stuck with me since I was a child. When the passage opens, we hear about Saul, a Pharisee, and his systematic and intentional persecution and execution of members of “the Way,” the name in the early church for followers of Jesus Christ. In fact, Saul is on the road to Damascus, hoping to find some of these followers as he travels so…

Sermon for Easter Sunday, "Resurrected"

Sermon 4/4/10, John 20:1-18
Resurrected

I’ve always thought Easter was the hardest day of the year to preach on. Every year as I prepare for what is our most holy of Sundays in the life of the church, I struggle. I’ve preached on this Sunday many times now, but every year it seems to be the same. What do we say about Easter? The stories of Jesus, preaching about his life, his teachings – that gives us a concrete hold – we can hear a lesson he shares and learn how to apply it to our own lives. But what do we do with Easter?             We know the story. That’s not the problem. We know that Jesus was crucified and his body was laid in a tomb. Mary Magdalene comes to the tomb, and sees that the stone is removed. She runs to get Peter and another disciple. They come to the tomb and see that Jesus is not there, and they return home. Mary stays, and she encounters Jesus, although she doesn’t recognize him at first. But when he speaks her name, Mary realizes that it is Jesus. He sends her to …

Superstar

Tomorrow night, I will be participating in perhaps my very favorite Holy Week tradition - I'll be heading off to see Jesus Christ Superstar, performed by the Salt City Center for the Performing Arts. Sadly, Joe Lotito, the longtime director, died last year, and the theatre itself is no more - the building was forever falling down and 'under construction' and finally sold. But the company still performs in other locations. 


If you read this blog, or have known me for any length of time, you know that I *LOVE* Jesus Christ Superstar. I can't remember ever not knowing at least a fair amount of the music from Superstar. We had the record? tape? in my home growing up. But the first time I saw it performed live was when I was in 7th grade. My pastor at the time, Rev. Bruce Webster,  took our youth group to see the long running community theatre production at Salt City Center for the Performing Arts in Syracuse. (That year was their 15th anniversary production.) I instantly be…