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Holy Week

During Holy Week, let’s come together as a Christian community and practice resurrection. As both Parisians and black Baptists continue to mourn the loss of their precious symbols, let us join with them to help rebuild. […] Read More

The cross of Jesus is not an isolated transaction that changes the divine relationship to humanity. Rather, as I noted yesterday, it seems to be a disclosure of the pattern of God’s relationship to the human family all along. Continuing the reflection on the pattern of the testimony, which is the covenant community’s expression of […] Read More

Good Friday was bad long before it was good, at least from outward appearances. God was being crucified by all that can go bad in the world: pride, jealousy, distrust, wound, self-interest, sin. It’s no accident the Gospels tell us that, as Jesus was dying, it grew dark in the middle of the day. Few […] Read More

The annual cycle of the church’s participation in the biblical drama keeps alive in our tradition the foundational experiences that make us who we are. In that drama, we are invited to graft our story onto that story, making it our own. Another implicit part of that invitation is to see the part of the […] 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

A sermon by Jim Somerville, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Richmond, Va. March 16, 2014 Palm Sunday Matthew 21:1-11 When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, […] Read More

It is a poignant brush stroke in Luke’s portrait of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem at the beginning of that crucial week that led from triumphal reception along the road to rejection and death at the hands of entrenched power. Jesus paused, looking at the city that represented the center of the covenant faith. He wept, […] Read More

(RNS) As Christians worldwide prepare to celebrate Easter, they will follow a familiar chronology: Jesus was crucified on Good Friday and rose from the dead on “the third day,” in the words of the ancient Nicene Creed. But if Jesus died at 3 p.m. Friday and vacated his tomb by dawn Sunday morning—about 40 hours […] Read More

As Easter approaches this year, Australian Christians and Australian churches will retell and reflect on the great gospel events–the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As we look back on the gospel story that, more than any other, gives meaning and purpose to all we do, it is important also to look to the […] Read More