Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Shepastor: "Do This in Remembrance of Me"

And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Luke 22:15-19

Tomorrow in the Christian Church, many will observe "Maundy Thursday." The term Maundy comes from the Latin term, "Mandatum," which means "mandate" or command. On the night before Jesus would face crucifixion, He gave His disciples a command to love one another, exemplified through foot washing and Holy Communion. Jesus showed humility and love by washing their feet, sharing a cup of wine, symbolic of His blood and breaking bread, symbolic of His broken body - even though He knew that several in his inner circle would betray, deny and desert him.

Despite these things he showed them how to love. As He broke the bread, drank the cup and shared both with his disciples, He said, "do this in remembrance of me." Was Jesus just talking about the act of eating bread and drinking wine or grape juice? Was He simply referring to the act of foot washing? Could it be that He was commanding us to do something much greater, something that required much more introspection, something that required a greater depth of selflessness? What exactly should we do in remembrance of Him?

Could it be that Jesus wanted us to love in remembrance of Him, forgive in remembrance of Him, serve in remembrance of Him, endure the pain of rejection and betrayal, if necessary, in remembrance of Him? What is The Lord asking you to do in remembrance of Him. Consider that the next time you go before His presence at "the table."

Post a comment or send me an email at

May you experience the power of the Resurrected Lord in your life, not only this Sunday, but all the days to come.

Until next Wednesday,
In faith, hope and perseverance,
Pastor Chris

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

"Be still and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10 (NRSV)

Being still - Not always the easiest thing to do. It can be very challenging to be still when everything within us is screaming, "Do something!" We become frustrated, anxious, nervous and sometimes angry because things are not happening as we had hoped. God is not moving on the schedule we have created for our lives so we take matters into our own hands.

We devise plans, rearrange events, jump in where we are not invited and do our best to remain busy in order to avoid the "still place." The still place is that place where we are made to come face to face with our inability to control life. We must face that God has the last say.

Our need for and expectation of immediate or at least rapid responses have been fed by the conveniences of today's society. Gone are the days when we have to wait for someone to come home before we can talk to them. Now we have cell phones. Gone are the days when we used to pull out the old black skillet, fill it with oil, heat the oil, pour in popcorn kernels and wait for them to pop. Now we have microwaveable popcorn! Expectant mothers don't have to wait to discover the gender of their unborn child. Blood tests and ultrasounds give the answer in advance.

But life says, "not so fast." There are still things for which we have to wait. After several job interviews, someone is still waiting for an offer. After years of hoping and praying for a spouse, someone is still waiting to share their life with a companion. Someone is still waiting for healing after years of therapy. After much prayer and support, someone is still waiting for their loved one to be delivered.

The instruction, "Be still and know that I am God," can be a challenge to obey. How can we overcome our angst, our frustration?

Remember that God is El Roi, "the God who sees me." Before the foundation of the world, God knew where you would be at this moment in your journey. He sees your stress and your strain. He knows your anxiety and your dilemma. He meets you in the place of your pain. He says, "Be still my child, I am exalted among the nations. I am exalted in the earth."

God is high above every situation and circumstance that seeks to rob you of joy, peace and fulfillment. God sees you and knows just what is necessary to complete you. God understands you more than anyone you will ever know. He knows you better than you know yourself. Seek His will for your life daily.

Ask the Lord to order your steps. Trust Him to supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory. Know that He can and will work all things together for your good.

Remember that El Roi sees you and loves you with an everlasting love.

Post a comment or send me an email at

Until next week,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Shepastor:"Should We Lean In?"

But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, "Let us go up at once and occupy the land for we are well able to overcome it." Then the men who had gone up with him said, "We are not able to go up against this people for they are stronger than we." So they brought to the Israelites an unfavorable report of the land that they had spied out, saying, "The land that we have gone through as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people that we saw in it are of great size. There we saw the Nephilim (the Anakites come from the Nephilim); and to ourselves we seemed like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them. Numbers 13: 30-33,NRVS

What happens when we see ourselves as "grasshoppers?" The text suggests that as we see ourselves, so others will see us. Even if God and all of the angels in heaven tell us that we can do, that we can over take, that we can become, that we can possess... If we don't embrace, believe and pursue the promise, we will end up wandering in the wilderness and lose our opportunity to enter our promised land.

Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg tackles this issue from a secular perspective in her new book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead.. Sandberg asserts that women have made little or no progress in gaining CEO level positions, although scores of women have become college educated. She asserts further that historic socialization has cultivated internal oppressive behaviors within the women themselves that serve to keep them down. In other words, women have internalized messages that keep them from striving to be all that they could be.

Statistics reveal that the more men rise to the proverbial "top," the more they are revered, respected and liked. Conversely, the more women rise or gain positions of leadership and authority, the less they are liked by both women and men. While men are described as "strong, decisive, and a visionary," women with the same skill set are often labeled, "bossy, selfish, glory seeking and a 'B'". As a result, women both in the secular and the sacred realms are less likely to "lean in." For a whole slew of reasons, women convince themselves to "make do," accept less and strive to be liked rather than to lead. For clergy women, the stained glass ceiling is no less formidable.

In Beyond the Stained Glass Ceiling: Equipping and Encouraging Female Pastors ( ) the issues of "What Stands in Our Way?" Is fleshed out (see chapter 3). Low expectations, the power of perception and denial and bad theology all are factors that persist beneath the surface of our reluctance to "lean in." Are you moving as God leads or are you stuck in the wilderness, bound by the grasshopper syndrome?

May you find the courage and the strength to be all that God has ordained you to be before the foundation of the world, whether other women and men applaud your pursuits or not.

Post a comment or send me an email at

Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance
Pastor Chris

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Shepastor: "The Human Side of Jesus"

Jesus Prays for Himself

1After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

“Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

John 17: 1-5

Although many, if not most Christians espouse a belief that Jesus was both "fully human and fully divine," as He walked the face of the earth, some find it difficult to connect with the "human" side of Jesus. As we journey through this Lenten season, I'd like to challenge the fears that keep us from experiencing the comfort available to us as we embrace an understanding of Jesus' true ability to relate to our human condition.

Some Christians fear looking at, talking about or even imagining the human side of Jesus because they somehow feel such musings may diminish his divinity. But nothing could be further from the truth. "With His stripes, we are healed!" (Isaiah 53:5)

In our text for today, the human side of Jesus was beat up, bruised, rejected, doubted, falsely accused, disrespected, cast down and out. He was about to face dissertion by his closest companions, the disciples. His closest earthly ministry brother, Peter was about to deny he ever knew him. One in his inner circle, Judas, was plotting to betray him with a kiss. The crowds were gone. Those who claimed to know God were devising plans to destroy him. Unbelievable humiliation, extreme physical pain and the momentary separation from His heavenly Father (as He took on our sins) was looming.

It is in this context that Jesus utters the words, "And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began..." In our common vernacular, "Father, tell them who I am. Father, they have no idea who I am. Father, show them my identity even before the foundaton of the world..."

The bruised Jesus, the rejected Jesus, the betrayed Jesus, the disrespected and humiliated Jesus, the "human Jesus," in this prayer, shows us his vulnerable side, his pain, his longing for the Father to reveal not only to His disciples, but to the rest of the world, His true identity.

In ministry, as we strive to walk upright, to carry the Gospel, to love unconditionally, to glorify the Father, we too will have times when we want to cry, "Lord, tell them who I am!" Those with false humility may cry, "Shame on you! You should not care if they don't know who you are. It does not matter. All that matters is that they know Jesus."

But for those who know how to "keep it real," it is comforting to know that our big brother Jesus, loved us enough to show us His human side - the need to cry out in agony when His dignity was denied, His voice was muted, His human rites were stripped, His gifts were ignored, and His true identity was invisible.

If we find ourselves experiencing any of those emotions during the ministry journey, may we find comfort in knowing that Jesus can relate to our pain because of His human side. May we understand that it is ok to utter the prayer, "Lord, show them who I am that you may be glorified in me."

Post a comment or send me an email at

Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris