This weekend at Eastbrook Church we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus and began a new series, “The Kingdom Life,” which corresponds with our Lenten journey to the Cross. This first message in the series is entitled “A King and His Kingdom” and looks at Luke’s resurrection narrative from Luke 24:1-12.
You can follow the entire series at our web-site, through the Eastbrook app, or through our audio podcast.
Also, you are welcome to join in with the daily reading plan for this series.
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After the dark of death
After the loss of life
After the gift seemed broken and discarded
After the pulsing pain
After the weary final gasp
After the heavy heave of stone over tomb
The light breaks forth
The Son shines like day
The victory resounds and heaven cheers
The surging joy
The rising hope
The empty space now filled with life
our risen King
light of the world
we worship You
we praise Your matchless Name.
[This is part of a series of prayers for Sunday worship preparation that begins here.]
This weekend we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and also begin a new series at Eastbrook Church entitled “The Kingdom Life.” In this part of our journey we explore what is happening in the resurrection and what it means for our life. We ask questions like: what sort of King is this?; what sort of Kingdom did He bring?; where are we and what is happening in this Kingdom Life?
Join us for this eight-week series which continues our journey through the Gospel of Luke. You may also want to explore the previous parts of this journey:
I wrote three short poems as part of our Crossroads devotional for Lent at Eastbrook Church. I include them below. You can access the entire Crossroads devotional here.
“With loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. So Pilate decided to grant their demand.” (Luke 23:23-24)
“Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ When he said this, he breathed his last.” (Luke 23:46)
No law can withstand human demands.
No governor forestalls foregone conclusions.
We stand amidst the crowd, shouting
for the death of our God to satisfy
our thirst. With no words for the crowd
and no words for Pilate, Jesus submits
meekly to the grinding gears. No tears
now from the King who is not of this world.
No harsh rebuke of a holy and awesome God.
No one leaps to His aid. No angels descend
from the skies. No one stops what has now
been set into motion. The cold, cruel world
reaches out for destruction, but still,
even still, there is divine intention.
Hidden – within and without – from our eye,
God is working, transforming our reality.
* * *
Without fanfare, the King of Glory is pinned
with gory force upon the beams of wood.
The people watch with voiceless stares.
The sneering rulers speak their fears.
The soldiers mock with maiming force.
Overhead the notice speaks sharp
truth: this is the King of the Jews.
With no apparent human heroism,
His snapping skeleton – a bloody body –
hangs heavy as God’s heart becomes a wound
opened wide with welcome for all who wash
their weary selves within its messy flow.
Still now He hangs at God’s cross purposes
as holiness and grace collide with fire.
The vulture views the spectacle and waits,
as all earth’s air is drained out of God’s lungs.
* * *
In the clamoring cacophony
echoing around the execution,
unseen divine intimacy unveils
to human eyes and ears.
His heaving body, suffocating
with evil, wheezes out a prayer:
pleading, surrendering, commending.
The drama of humanity’s weakness
and God’s strength transfixed at
the crossroads, takes a hard
turn into unexpected avenues
as Messiah gasps, shudders and dies.
Darkness descends and everyone
gapes in stunned silence:
‘What have we done?
What has He done?’
This year our Good Friday service was structured around the three last words that Jesus speaks from the Cross in the Gospel of Luke:
- “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
- “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
- “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)
Within that structure, I brought three short messages reflecting on those final words. I am including the full text of my messages below.
First of all, we enter into the words of Jesus as His words and prayers from the Cross. In this way, our journey with the Cross takes us deeper into His life and the meaning of the Cross.
Second of all, we enter into the Jesus’ words from the Cross to shape our own life with God, and specifically our life of prayer. In this second way, our journey with the Cross changes us, leading us to become more like Jesus’s life.
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
Forgive them. Who is it that Jesus is talking about? Think through the list of characters:Read More »