Pastoral Reflections

A People Called: The Story of Church from Ephesians (week 2)

Pastoral Reflections God’s Actions (I) This past Sunday we began our series on the Book of Ephesians. Paul’s prayer of thanksgiving (1:3-14) sets the stage for what he will seek to guide us into understanding through this letter. It is a prayer of thanksgiving, literally. One in which Paul recounts God’s story; His actions from

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A People Called: The Story of Church from Ephesians (week 1)

Pastoral Reflections Each New Testament letter that was addressed to a church is unique. So much of that uniqueness is shaped by the specific contexts of that church. First and Second Corinthians were written to address specific situations within the Corinthian church of the time. So was Philippians. But, it is this very point that

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The Ascension

Pastoral Reflections Today, in liturgy, is Ascension Day. For forty days we have walked with the risen Savior. The ascension of Christ is an event that can sometimes go unnoticed. I suspect that this is partly because it occurs of a Thursday – the fortieth day from Resurrection Sunday. However, it is a pivotal event

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Holocaust Remembrance

Pastoral Reflections This month, May, is Holocaust Remembrance Month. May 2 was specifically set aside as Holocaust Remembrance Day in the United States. It is a time when we remember one of the most frightening horrors of human history. The Jewish race faced the threat of eradication. As a nation, Israel remembers this day each

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A Senseless Death?

Pastoral Reflections Recently, I cried at the death of a man whom I had never met. He was the father of three young daughters who, in essence, died as a result of excessive amounts of alcohol and drugs. Adopted at age 12 he strived to fit in with his new Christian, middle-class family. He used

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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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In Between

Pastoral Reflections The call and response, “He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!” echoes in our ears from Easter Sunday. From now until Pentecost, we are in a season of celebration of our Risen Lord. Not much is said in the Gospels about the events following the resurrection. The writers focus on the fact that

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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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