Lent

The True Temple & The True Sacrifice

The Gospel reading for the third Sunday in Lent this year (John 2:13-22) was enclosed by two verses (13 and 23) each of which mentions Jerusalem, the city where God chose to place His Name and habitation, and the Passover, the festival which, above all others, speaks of the Lamb of God. In John chapter […]

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Streams in the Desert

Mark 1:11-13 11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 12 And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness. 13 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered […]

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Herbertian Lessons for Lent

I live in an area where Mardi Gras is in full swing, and I can remember from my upbringing that Fat Tuesday was a last ditch effort at debauchery before the pseudo-spiritual practice of “giving something up for Lent” really began. In my youth I would give up some kind of chocolate or candy, something […]

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God In the Dock

Idolatry has deprived Israel of her senses. This was one of the early messages to Isaiah (Isaiah 6). Yahweh sent him out to a people who had been deprived of their senses because of their commitment to idols. They become like the idols they serve. They still have eyes, but they can’t see. They still […]

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School of Suffering

As evangelicals, we’re convinced that Christ’s work is finished, complete, and utterly sufficient. For many evangelicals, this is the gospel: Nothing can take away from Christ’s work, and surely nothing can be added to it by my works or my penance, by self-denial or sacraments or sacrifice. Nothing is lacking in the afflictions of Christ. […]

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The Good Friday Paradise Party

I grew up in the 1950s. This was before the “Sixties” and the democratization, informalization, and general cheapening of the church and her worship. Ministers were Father Donovan, Pastor Eckhart, Reverend MacPherson, Mister (Episcopal) Parker, and Brother Smith. Liturgical speech was high language, sounding kind of like the King James Bible and the Book of […]

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To Ash or Not To Ash

Today is Ash Wednesday, and as many Christians of the Protestant formerly “low church” persuasion are reacquiring some of the good and ancient practices of the church, one question in particular comes to the front: to ash or not to ash? That is, while many of us are finding great spiritual value in keeping Lent, […]

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40+ Reasons To Observe Lent

A murder of tweets. To observe Lent rightly, we have to be persuaded that we already stand in God’s favor. Ash Wednesday reminds us to number our days. It helps us gain a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12). We keep Easter to manifest and deepen our prior share in resurrection. We observe Lent to manifest and […]

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Keep the Fast, Keep the Feast

Over the centuries, Christians have fasted for many reasons. Sometimes, the reasons have been good. The apostles and their churches fasted and prayed before selecting elders or ordaining missionaries.  Christians have fasted in mourning for their sins. They have fasted and prayed to combat demons and to plead with God for relief from disaster. Often […]

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God Gone Silent

Sound is an indicator of life and energy. “Sound signals the present use of power, since sound must be in active production to exist at all.” Things don’t have to be alive to make themselves visible, and “a primitive hunter can see, feel, smell, and taste an elephant when the animal is quite dead.” Sound […]

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