The Hunger to Leave a Legacy [Hungry for God]

As we enter into Holy Week and bring the climax to our Lenten journey, I concluded our series, “Hungry for God,” this past weekend at Eastbrook Church.

This weekend I explored the hunger to leave a legacy. Because this was Palm Sunday, I intertwined the exploration of legacy with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. This would definitely not be my normal manner of approaching the topic of legacy, but I went for it and you can explore it with me through the message video and sermon outline below. You can follow the entire series at our web-site, through the Eastbrook app, or through our audio podcast.

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Malcolm Guite, Palm Sunday

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Save us, we pray, O Lord!
    Lord, we pray, give us success!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

    We bless you from the house of the Lord.
The Lord is God,
    and he has made his light to shine upon us.
(Psalm 118:25-27)

“The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the king of Israel!'”
(John 12:12-13).

Malcolm Guite, who is an outstanding poet and literary critic, wrote this sonnet as part of a series of poems on Holy Week. You can read more from Guite on this poem and Palm Sunday, as well as hear him read the poem, here.

Now to the gate of my Jerusalem,

The seething holy city of my heart,

The saviour comes. But will I welcome him?

Oh crowds of easy feelings make a start;

They raise their hands, get caught up in the singing,

And think the battle won. Too soon they’ll find

The challenge, the reversal he is bringing

Changes their tune. I know what lies behind

The surface flourish that so quickly fades;

Self-interest, and fearful guardedness,

The hardness of the heart, its barricades,

And at the core, the dreadful emptiness

Of a perverted temple. Jesus  come

Break my resistance and make me your home.

Redemption in the Darkness (discussion questions)

Featured Image -- 6321Here are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Redemption in the Darkness,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This is the sixth and final part of our series, “Finding God in the Darkness,” from the book of Job. This week we looked at Job 42:7-17.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Have you ever experienced something being taken away but later restored? What happened and what did you feel afterwards?
  2. This weekend we conclude our series, “Finding God in the Darkness,” by looking at Job 42:7-17. Whether you are on your own or with a small group, begin your study in prayer, and then read that portion of Job aloud.
  3. As the book of Job draws to a conclusion, God brings restoration to Job from his great losses. However, it is not a simplistic restoration. The first section of this restoration involves Job’s three friends Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. What is God’s accusation against them in verse 7 and what is God’s plan for restoration for them in verse 8?
  4. Battered, bruised and covered with boils, Job is approached by his friends with humility and repentance. What do you think is significant about Job’s prayer as it depicts Job’s relationship with God and his relationship with his friends?
  5. The next phase of Job’s restoration is more personal, covering his relationships, his material possessions, his children, and his years. What catches your attention from these different restorative works of God in verses 10-17?
  6. There are various different views on God’s restoration of Job’s life. Some see it as actually reinforcing the retribution principle of Job’s friends (that those who suffer have done wrong and those who have wealth have done right). Some see it as reflecting Job’s reward for praying for his friends. Others see it as simply God’s gracious gift in Job’s life. How do you view this restoration?
  7. Job has often been seen as a ‘type’ of Christ; that is, a biblical character who pictures forth what Jesus would be like and do. How do you think this is true?
  8. What is one specific thing that God is speaking to you through this specific study, but also through this series on Job? If you are with a small group, discuss that with one another and then take extended time to pray about what you share. If you are studying on your own, write it down, pray about it, and share this with someone during the next few days.

King Coming

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This weekend, I concluded our series, “King Coming,” at Eastbrook Church with a message entitled, “King Coming.” Because of my change of plans with the message last week (see “A Response to the Connecticut Tragedy“), I brought together a look at Jesus’ triumphal approach to Jerusalem (Mark 11:1-11) and Jesus’ three declarations of what He would face in Jerusalem (Mark 8:31-339:30-3210:32-34).

The central point of my message was that Jesus is the promised king who will give everything so that we can receive everything God has for us.

You can listen to the message at the Eastbrook web-site here. You can also follow the RSS feed for Eastbrook sermons or follower Eastbrook Church on Twitter or Facebook.

The outline for the message is included below:Read More »

Jesus Acclaimed (discussion questions)

The following discussion questions accompany my message this past weekend at Eastbrook Church entitled “Jesus Acclaimed” from John 12:12-19.

Discussion Questions

  1. This week we continue our journey with Jesus to the Cross. What is one thing you or your family will do this year to celebrate Jesus’ death and resurrection?
  2. The word ‘Hosanna’ literally means ‘save!’ or ‘help – please!’ By Jesus’ time it was often used as a word of acclamation or praise to kings. From what we read in 12:9-11 and 12:17-18, why do you think the crowd is new crying out to Jesus as their king?Read More »

Jesus Acclaimed

We continued our series “The Passion” this past weekend at Eastbrook Church by looking at Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem from John 12:12-19. The focus of my message was Jesus as the King of the Nations that we need even in our world today.

You can listen to my message online at the Eastbrook web-site here. You can also subscribe to the Eastbrook podcast here or follow Eastbrook Church on Twitter.

Here is a slightly revised outline from the bulletin:

Jesus the King

  • More than a teacher
  • More than a prophet
  • Jewish backgrounds (1 Samuel 8; Deuteronomy 18:14-20)
  • He accepts what He previously resisted (John 6:14-15)

King Jesus and the Crowd (John 12:12-13)

  • The crowd’s deepest desire: a nationalistic ruler to reestablish Israel
  • Jesus’ clear intention: the King of a new type of kingdom
  • A deep divergence of goals
  • How Jesus is enthroned by the crowd (John 11:50; 12:3, 7, 13; 19:2, 5, 14, 15)

King Jesus and the Nations (John 12:14-15)

  • His new kingdom for all the nations
  • Zechariah 9:9-13 “He will proclaim peace to the nations…”
  • Jesus and the nations in John’s gospel:
    • The Samaritans’ declaration: “this man really is the Savior of the World” (John 4:42)
    • John’s comment on the High Priest’s wisdom (11:52)
    • “the whole has gone after him” (12:19)
    • The Greeks who want to see Jesus marks ‘the hour’ (12:20-23)
    • “when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself” (12:32)
    • Jesus and the nations in Revelation 7:9-10

Responding to King Jesus

  • The crowd went out to Him but turned against Him (12:12-13)
  • The disciples went with Him and later understood (12:16)
  • The Pharisees denounced Him and plotted against Him (12:19)

If Jesus is the King of the Nations, then…

  • His mission is a global mission
  • We must live as subjects of the King
  • Everywhere we go should become and outpost for the Kingdom
  • He is worthy to be worshiped