Pastoral Reflections

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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Remembering Wycliffe

Pastoral Reflections When we think of the Reformation, quite often we immediately recall big names like Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, and John Calvin. These were people who saw Reformation’s maturity in the 1500’s. This week marks the anniversary of John Wycliffe’s trial, akin to Luther’s, in which he stood firm against the unbiblical practices of

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Eucharist – Behind the Name

Pastoral Reflections “Why the name, Eucharist?” someone asked, recently, in our conversation. At the Lord’s Table, what we do is appropriately known by various names – Communion, the Lord’s Supper, the Last Supper, etc. We also call it the Eucharist, especially in more Sacramental traditions. Is there a significance that name? Eucharist derives from a

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Hunger

Pastoral Reflections A news item caught my eye last week. It was a story from Cuba. People gathered to see the first church building to be officially opened in Cuba in about sixty years. A Roman Catholic Church in the city of Sandino. There were tears. There were cheers. Apparently, a couple of dogs even

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