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Easter

How the Cross Fixes Us

Every morning since Ash Wednesday, I’ve driven up to the church and looked at the cross sitting in the front yard. Some mornings, I’ve stopped to post the obligatory “draped cross” image to Instagram. Most mornings I’ve just glanced at our cross as I’ve driven by to make sure it doesn’t need fixing – or, […] Read More

In the immediate as well as broader canonical contexts of the Quran, if it were not for the extensive exegetical tradition of Islam, verse 157 of SÅ«rat Ä€l-Ê¿ImrÄn (SÅ«ra 4) would be understood simply as another piece of polemic against the Jews who, in verse 155, were being accused of breaking their covenant with God […] Read More

My father worked for the Bible Society in Lebanon for most of his life, serving as its general secretary for more than 25 years. Growing up, several of my summers were spent in the distribution of biblical literature and in organizing viewings of the Jesus Film in Christian, Muslim and Druze villages. As the various […] Read More

Luke’s rather long portrayal of the first part of Good Friday starts early in the morning at a gathering of the Sanhedrin. This “supreme court” of Judaism is where the religious leaders solidified their position that Jesus was a dangerous man who needed to be done away with (Luke 22:66-71). They take him to Pontius […] Read More

Foot washing will be a part of many Maundy Thursday services tomorrow. The act is intimate and can be uncomfortable to participants. At the Last Supper, the act as performed by Jesus was both practical and the perfect object lesson for humility. The actual act of foot washing became transformational for a longtime friend of […] Read More

I visited a congregation in New York’s Adirondack Mountains recently for a conversation about pastoral transition. As I got out of my car, I looked around at the old graveyard surrounding the church building and snapped a quick photo with my iPhone. Something about the near twilight time stirred something within me. Of course, a […] Read More

I bought Easter candy for my students. It was a mistake. Although the students made a valiant effort to eat as much as possible, they left a few Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs (a particular weakness of mine) in the candy basket. Needless to say, they didn’t last long. Reese’s Eggs are just one of many […] Read More

We buried the Alleluia on Feb. 14. It was strange to do this on Valentine’s Day, but we made it work. On this first Sunday of Lent, several children came down the center aisle carrying a banner that had one word on it: Alleluia. They went to the chancel area, folded the banner and placed […] Read More

Lent began this week in the life of the church. It is a time of preparation and penitence, a time for deep reflection in the depth of winter’s cold. Although it is not a common practice in many Baptist churches, Lent can still hold powerful inspiration for a vibrant faith. Lent has fallen by the […] Read More

The Easter greeting – “Christ is Risen!” – is said not only on Easter Sunday but also throughout the whole Easter season in Ukraine. It is used as a greeting of one Christian to another meeting in the street or elsewhere. The answering response – “He is risen, indeed!” – seems to bring the reality […] Read More