Author: Donald Nwankwo

Not Without Hope

Pastoral Reflections The shooting at a Highlands Ranch school brought pain to our hearts this week. It was a reminder that evil and pain are real. For some of us, it was another layer on past school shootings from which many were still healing. The evil displayed is on two levels. First, it brought harm,

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Peace, Not Truce

Pastoral Reflections Making truce is a familiar concept. Truce is like a cease-fire – an agreement between two parties in conflict to stop fighting each other. Its interest is in the fighting, not necessarily the wellbeing of the overall relationship. One of the gifts of the resurrected Christ to His disciples was peace. Shalom in

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Pathways to Easter

Pastoral Reflections Midway into Holy Week, I think to myself, “Following the Church Seasons has a way of teaching us patience.” It trains us to slow down and get in step with the movements of the Gospel story. Just as the pathways of Advent led up to Christmas, so the pathways of Holy Week must

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The Power of His Humanity

Pastoral Reflections We may have forgotten most of it now, but it used to be a heated debate in the second century. How human was Jesus? Just how human was His humanity? This has long been answered, but sometimes, the question may still creep into our minds, especially when we long for a savior who

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Turning to Holy Week

Pastoral Reflections I have sometimes wondered what a classic “prosperity preacher” would do with a liturgy like the Holy Week. For four weeks we have walked the wilderness of Lent as our eyes turned, with our Savior’s, toward Jerusalem. We have one more week to go, then Holy Week. Holy Week brings the Lenten journey

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Lenten Meditations: What About Lent and Fasting?

Pastoral Reflections Observing a fast during Lent has been a longstanding tradition. One of the earliest references we have from historians on the subject is a letter by Irenaeus, an early church father who lived mostly in the 2nd century (about c. 130 – 202). There, he alluded to the practice of a pre-Easter fast

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Lenten Meditations: Turning Them Over

Pastoral Reflections Believe it or not, several years ago at Lent, I searched myself and decided the most sensible thing to give up for Lent was worry. And I tried. It may give you some context if I mentioned that this was the year following my college graduation; and I thought there was so much

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Lenten Meditations: Penitence as Spiritual Discipline

Pastoral Reflections We continue the Lenten journey, a season in which the Christian church is called to intentional spiritual disciplines. Characteristic practices of the season include self-examination, penitence, self-denial through pleasures given up, positive actions taken up such as alms-giving and regular times of prayer, and more. Lenten observances are beneficial for the Christian life.

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Unexpected Joy in Lent

Pastoral Reflections As it approached time for our abridged service last night, I had mixed feelings. There was a sense of sadness that this Ash Wednesday service, my first at TLC, would be so stripped down. The Ash Wednesday service is a powerful liturgy with handles that usher us into a humble and penitent Lent.

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Turning to Lent

Pastoral Reflections We have been journeying through Epiphany the last eight weeks. The season concludes next Sunday – well, technically, on Tuesday. We kicked off the journey with the Magi on Epiphany Day. The First Sunday after Epiphany Day had us at Christ’s baptism with the Father revealing Jesus’ identity as His Son. The last

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