Friday, April 30, 2010

Catalyst Recap: Jim Belcher (April 21, Lab 2)

Deep Church by Jim Belcher was the Leadership Journal Book of the Year (along with Dallas Willard’s Knowing Christ Today) so his was the session I was most determined to see. It was titled “Deep Culture” and was more about culture than the contents of Deep Church – the traditional/emergent church issue. Belcher was arguing against a false dichotomy in terms of responding to culture – assimilation (lose distinction) and tribalism (withdraw from culture).

There’s a third way: seeking the good of the city (Jeremiah 29.1, 4-7). We are resident aliens (study Daniel on how to do it well). We need to pray for the city and seek its peace. Belcher referred to the Hebrew word for peace, shalom, and described it as peace with God, selves, others, and culture & creation. Instead of walking through all the Q&A, I’ll put relevant materials where they’re, well, relevant. One way we demonstrate shalom to those around us is by seeking to bring peace in our workplaces.

What does this look like? Some corporate coaches that Belcher knows/works with (I don’t remember for sure) focus on healing relationships, ending backbiting, etc… in an organization and it’s a wonder how much that does. They don’t necessarily preach the gospel, but they bring shalom into the workplace using the language of common grace. It can open doors for more explicit sharing, but the focus is on doing good. City planning shalom includes community gathering places where relational shalom can develop within a city. Sometimes shalom is just bringing beauty to a city, a place, a people. An example is the OC Rescue Mission. It is a beautiful facility that inspires people to get back on their feet.

There are two roles for the believer in this. The first is the institutional church. We gather for sacraments, worship, etc… and this body must be distinct. The second role is the ‘organic’ church where the church goes into the world as salt and light on Monday. We need to train people to be secret agents of influence in the world – to bring shalom and equip them to do it well. This means training our children and our college students doing extra work to integrate their faith with what they’re learning.

After this time of study I’m interested in teaching a series at our church along these lines and finding some people or getting some cohorts together for people to unpack how to bring shalom into their workplaces.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hump Day History: St. Augustine’s City of God (with some Christopher Hall on hermeneutics! – can it get any more exciting?!)

I lied last time when I said we’d get back to Book XXI. It’s been long enough since I’ve read the book that Books XXI and XXII are no longer fresh so we’ll hop around as appropriate. I mentioned last Wednesday that I’m reading a book on patristic exegesis a few days ago. The book starts with a wonderful challenge on why we should read the fathers and it served as a fine rebuke for the critique of Augustine’s hermeneutics I was eventually planning. (I know; who am I to critique Augustine? I know, I know.) I thought now would be a good time to walk through the process and learn from both Augustine and Hall.

Augustine’s City of God was a challenging read so I wouldn’t say I had my critical reading spectacles on. I was mostly mining for helpful insight and get a feel for him as a thinker since he’s one of the most formative in Christian history. But there are some times where I wonder what he’s doing. He spends forever and a day wrestling with genealogies and timelines. I guess it was a major apologetic issue at the time, but he argues that time may have been measured differently in times past than it is today (XV.14). I suppose that isn’t impossible, but it seems like doing some significant gymnastics to prove a point while there may be some significant reckoning to be done later. He gets creative with his prophetic interpretations at times (XVII.8) and his desire to make biblical characters more noble than they might have been (XVI.25, 37). This, in addition to things I’d heard about his allegorical tendencies in Bible school makes me roll my eyes and be quick to dismiss some of the great saint’s intepretations. Not so fast, says, Hall.

Hall doesn’t argue (in his Introduction) that Augustine is infallible, but he does remind us of what a great tool the early church fathers are for us today. Just like they have their cultural blinders and quirks, we have our own. Given that they are so close to the source (time-wise) and they are in the stream of orthodoxy, we should give weight to their interpretations and use them as good resources to help us get out of our own cultural lenses. We are quick to point out others’ errors and remain willingly blind to our own. Reading the church fathers gives us the challenge of a broadened perspective coupled with the assurance that they bulk of their teaching is within the stream of orthodoxy.

I always thought those Ancient Christian Commentaries on Scripture were a waste of money. I haven’t bought one yet, but Hall has me thinking it might be worth snagging one for the next book I teach through.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Catalyst Recap: Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson (April 21, Lab 1)

I was blessed to go to the Catalyst West Coast Conference last week (April 21-23). It was a great event and it was great going with a handful of staff and lay leaders – as well as catching up with old friends. Over the next few ‘open days’ (that is, not Monday, Wednesday, or Sunday) I’ll give some recap and some thoughts that were helpful/challenging to me. Consider it my public review of what God taught me at Catalyst.

Catalyst Labs are the ‘day before’ sessions with different church leaders. The first I went to was “In the City, In the Suburbs” with Darren Whithead and John Tyson. It wasn’t at all what I expected so I was initially disappointed, but it gave some great things to think about and I ended up being really pleased by the end of their time with us.

I could probably spend multiple posts on each speaker, but I’d get bored after awhile and never finish. So the format will be bullet thoughts from each speaker(s) that I found thought-provoking.

· Whitehead is one of the teaching pastors at Willow Creek (mega-megachurch) and Tyson leads smaller parish communities in Manhattan, but they are best of friends and they encourage leaders to build friendships with those in different ministry contexts so your thinking can be challenged and sharpened and you can learn from one another.
· Every culture is telling a story. The American story is framed by Disney. We assume everything will turn out fine and we’re the center of the story. Disney re-worked some tragic tales about character and turned them into happy endings based on the American Dream.
· Worldviews are crafted from various angles/media/practices/values and there’s no way to overcome them in one hour. We need to take spiritual formation seriously.
· Challenging question: What would your life look like if you got everything you wanted? (Tough answer: Probably like many others – and they aren’t Christians). We sell the gospel asking, “What if you die?” We need to ask them, “What if you live?”
· How do we fight culture? Preach against American consumerism, unpack the biblical story, small groups that are built on practices, not just thinking, round table discussion groups to talk about how to influence culture, take Sabbath seriously.
· Almost unrelated, but perhaps the thing I found most fascinating is that there are 5 lessons that every culture has taught men except our own. I think it is from the book Return to Adam, but I’m not sure. I need to do some searching. Here they are:
1. Life is hard.
2. You’re not that important (the tribe is more important).
3. Life is not about yourself.
4. You are not in control.
5. You’re going to die (legacy).
Some great thought to dwell on when all is said and done. The two things I’d most like to follow up on with these guys is finding that book on men and finding out how Tyson does small groups. They are the ones that are more ‘practice’ based than thinking based. I’m not sure I’ll be able to answer much in terms of questions, but I’m willing to try.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mission(al) Monday: Missional Renaissance, Shift from Church-Based to Kingdom-Based Leadership, Part 1

The last shift is a leadership shift that includes moving from church-based leadership to more of an AD 30 Leadership. The style is apostolic, though the term freaks some people out. The idea is that leadership needs to shift from building the church to mobilizing people as missionaries. This may mean being a missionary yourself (like Paul) or helping the church be outwardly-focused (like Peter). Here are some transitions in the leader’s self-perception that needs to happen…

From Church Job to Kingdom Assignment
Somehow the passionate expansionist ideals of the early church were crushed by the burden of church hierarchy and institutionalism. Leaders in the missional movement are reengaging the world, not necessarily through the church, but by recognizing the importance of influencing those outside the church. This can be pastors who have an element of their jobs where they serve outside the church or believers who use their influence to minister to their employees and co-workers in practical ways. It doesn’t fill the pews, but it connects people to Jesus.

From Institutional Representative to Viral Agent
Oftentimes current church leaders are promoting this or that event that you need to be at, focusing on what is happening inside the church. Kingdom leaders are doing everything they can to get themselves and leaders into the community making a difference in the lives of those outside the church – most effectively if it is within people’s daily routines. Sometimes the institution and the community can come together perfectly. Example: one church took their VBS to a day care center. Most kids participated where they wouldn’t have before and the tie between day care and church was strengthened, including connecting day care workers with church prayer partners.

From Director to Producer
In the movie business, directors have their hands on the details of the film-making. Producers have a big picture and make it happen. In churches, clergy think they need to be in the middle of everything sometimes. It’s better if they don’t. Rather, they release people to do ministry all over the place, in different venues – their own venues. Instead of getting people to star in church movies, they’re empowered to make their own.

From Reliving the Past (the Historian) to Rearranging the Future (the Journalist)
The memorable quote (after visiting an empty Swiss church on a church holiday): “A faith built on dead people doesn’t thrive.” We need to honor the past and teach the Scriptures, but all our heroes can’t be dead. We need missional leaders who experience God on the frontiers and then take people along to experience him there as well.

We’ll cover the rest of this chapter next week as well as some Frequently Asked Questions on how this works for the leaders who are going to need to undergo change.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Book Club Friday on Hiatus

Due to busyness, we're laying off the book club for awhile. If you can't live without it, let me know and we'll fire it back up, but it's taking a break for now.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mission(al) Monday: Missional Renaissance, Shift from Program Development to People Development – Keeping Score

(NOTE: I know it isn't Monday, but I can't copy & paste my posts on my new computer so this post couldn't make it out on Monday. However, my old computer is still in my office so I can make it work ... at least for today:)

The shift from program development to people development makes enough sense, but it is more difficult to figure out how to keep score with such a paradigm shift. We’re used to counting how many are in services or going to church activities or church-centered growth opportunities or staff committed to managing programs. The new scorecard should include relationships people are cultivating, people released into service, personal life development, life-centered growth, and staff engaged in coaching people for their personal development. The shift needs to reveal real changes in people and real staff hours spent in helping people move forward, not just program management. Let’s see what it might look like…

We don’t pray enough or expectantly and with our eyes open to see what God is doing. The new scorecard may include…
· The number of people growing in their prayer lives.
· Amount of prayer – individual and corporate – in public gatherings.
· Work team/Committee meetings with key component of prayer linked to the mission of God.
· Time spent in prayer in staff meetings.
· Number of people serving as prayer partners for community leaders and staff.
· Prayer meetings – inside the church and in the community.

We need to coach people and help them develop life skills, self-awareness, resource management, and personal growth. This might be ‘scored’ like this…
· Number of people with improved marriages, friendships, family life over time.
· Number of people engaged in financial planning and increased giving to Kingdom causes.
· Number of people receiving coaching or being mentored or just increasing friendships.
· Number of people identifying strengths, developing, and living a plan.

This also affects leadership. Leaders need to be involved in these things for themselves and serving others so they can happen.

Most of the ‘scores’ so far deal with time spent investing in personal development, but there are some creative ways to measure this.
· Amount of time spent debriefing people serving the community.
· Amount of time in leadership meetings figuring out how to develop people.
· Percentage of time in corporate gatherings celebrating faith stories.
· Progress on simplifying the church calendar to leave more time for personal development.

Money reflects values. Some benchmarks to consider…
· Reducing corporate debt to free money up for investing in people.
· Amount of seed money in microeconomic development.
· Number of financial planning courses and the number of people participating.
· Number of people reporting personal debt retirement.
· Number of people increasing their generosity through charitable giving.
· Amount of giving by constituents.
· Number of messages on financial issues (not just giving).

Facilities can do more than just provide places to support ministry programming. Some ways it might be more people development-oriented…
· Percentage of facility used during the week by people for personal growth (exercise classes, tutoring, skill seminars, etc…)
· Number of external or additional venues the church is creating for ministry, such as coffee shops or prayer booths.
· Number of schools or community organizations using church facilities for their activities.
· Space devoted to conversation-friendly areas.

Technology used to support ministry. Now it delivers it. If it is being used to develop people, you’ll count the …
· Number of personal growth and online learning opportunities on your website … and how many people are using them.
· Number of life change stories on your website.
· Number of people being trained in technology usage.

One church of several hundred congregants interviewed was seeking to be a people-developing church. So they interviewed anyone who wanted to be interviewed wherever they wanted to be interviewed. Their interview had five questions and then they built ministry and people around their findings. The five questions (read McNeal for their rationale – this post is already too long!)
1. What do you enjoy doing?
2. Where do you see God at work right now?
3. What would you like to see God do in your life over the next six to twelve months? How can we help?
4. How would you like to serve other people? How can we help?
5. How can we pray for you?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hump Day History: John Chrysostom & the Bible

I just started Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers by Christopher Hall. I got the book for free and, since most of the fathers he speaks of are guys I’ve already read about as I read through Schaff’s church histories, I thought, “Now or never” in terms of reading and being even slightly interested in Hall’s slim volume.

The other day I found a nice ‘quotable’ that can encourage us, coming out of the Lenten/Easter season to keep going (or start anew) our commitment to reading the Scriptures.

“…get a copy of the New Testament, the Apostle’s epistles, the Acts, the Gospels, for your constant teachers. If you encounter grief, dive into them as into a chest of medicines; take from them comfort for your trouble, whether it be loss, or death, or bereavement over the loss of relations. Don’t simply dive into them. Swim in them. Keep them constantly in your mind. The cause of all evils is the failure to know the Scriptures well” (p. 96).

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mission(al) Monday: Missional Renaissance, Shift from Program Development to People Development – Keeping Score

I can't seem to copy and paste from my Word file to blogger here. I'll get this up ASAP.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday Services

We're back on Exodus at our place - click on the media tab in the left margin. Check out one of my friends up in Washington state if you're not currently attending anywhere.

What has God been teaching you lately through your Sunday services.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Book Club (Nerd Club) Friday: Church Unique, Chapters 9-10

For our most recent post in this series, go here. They should be every Friday previous to the one just linked as well.

It's been a few weeks since we've covered Church Unique, but we're back at it. I'm not sure if my partners are still with me, but we'll roll it out this week and see where we stand. This week we'll cover chapter 9, "Discover Your Kingdom Concept," which led to some great discussions in staff meeting a few months ago. I'm looking forward to looking deeper into and seeing some of the principles behind our specifics. I hope to get into it in the next day or two, but feel free to comment and set the table in the meantime.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hump Day History: St. Augustine’s City of God

Since we’re just a few days out of Easter, I thought I would get out of Book XXI, which is about judgment, and hop ahead to the final book, Book XXII to look at eternity. (We’ll get back to Book XXI next Wednesday). While heaven is happier to think about than hell, we’ll dwell on a bittersweet thought of Augustine’s today. Specifically, we’ll forget our sins in heaven so far as we will forget them experientially. But we will remember them intellectually. Here’s why…

“But their intellectual knowledge, which shall be great, shall keep them acquainted not only with their own past woes, but with the eternal sufferings of the lost. For if they were not to know that they had been miserable, how could they, as the Psalmist says, for ever sing the mercies of God? Certainly that city shall have no greater joy than the celebration of the grace of Christ, who redeemed us by His blood” (p. 866).

Our sins bring us great pain and we shall be delivered of them one day in full, but not to such a degree that we forget the great debt paid at the cross by Jesus. I don’t know how this works, but it rings true. He will wipe away every tear (Rev. 22), but we will still look upon the Lamb that was slain.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Good start!

Good win for the M's - wish I could have seen it!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Mission(al) Monday: Missional Renaissance, Shift from Program Development to People Development (Part 2)

Go here for Part 1 of this post. Let’s continue on…

From Delivering to Debriefing
Pastors often think once they’ve delivered the goods, the information, they’re done. Or maybe the program ‘does its thing,’ but that isn’t enough we need to let people process what they’re learning and living. It may mean giving time in service to share what God is doing in their life with their neighbors or it could be having people share how they’ll apply a Sunday message with the people sitting around them. It’s a move from mental assent to the Word or an event to actually processing how it changes us.

From Didactic to Behavioral
This is the next step from debriefing – training people to live their faith, not just get the facts down. It isn’t a delivery system we’re looking at. It’s helping people live their faith. This can happen with a bunch of faith coaches to help people grow in a customized way.

From Curriculum-Centered to Life-Centered
Instead of pulling people out of life to go through curriculum, enter into their lives and walk with them through their challenges. The example is a woman with quintuplets. A woman wanted to get her out of the house an hour per week to mentor her. Instead, she was challenged to fold diapers with her and talk about life. That’s life-centered.

From Growing into Service to Growing Through Service
Don’t worry about getting people ready to serve by ‘growing’ them. Get them serving as soon as they’re interested and watch them grow through that process!

From Compartmentalization to Integration
Instead of recognizing giftedness that MUST be used in the church, help people recognize that they are gifted by God to serve the world wherever they find themselves in their work, neighborhood, etc… It is the church being a who rather than a place. The church should be integrated into society as Jesus’ Body is serving all over the place.

From Age Segregation to Age Integration
Program-driven churches have ‘generational silos’ where a family can go all Sunday without interacting. Of course there’s a draw to being with people your own age, but if we’re to develop people, we need the range of human experience and to build relationships across generations. One baby step is a youth leader who sends a summary of his messages to parents with discussion questions so they can follow up. Discipleship isn’t the church’s job. It’s the family’s. We equip.

Final Thoughts
This is about relationships. And, coupled with the shift to service, it means not just transforming people in our congregation, but those we serve. So, instead of just giving food to the poor, we figure out how to move them forward and help them develop as people to be who God has called them to be.

We’ll look at how we might ‘Change the Scorecard’ on moving from programs to people-development next week.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Walking With Jesus During Passion Week: He is Risen!

Resurrection Witnesses
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise." 8 And they remembered his words, 9 and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, 11 but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened. – Luke 24:1-12
Jesus’ Resurrection AppearancesJohn 20-21

Friday, April 2, 2010

Walking With Jesus During Passion Week: Good Friday

Betrayal and Arrest

While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great
crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the
people. 48 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, "The one I will kiss
is the man; seize him." 49 And he came up to Jesus at once and said, "Greetings,
Rabbi!" And he kissed him. 50 Jesus said to him, "Friend, do what you came to
do." Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. 51 And behold,
one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and
struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to
him, "Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish
by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at
once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then should the
Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?" 55 At that hour Jesus said to the
crowds, "Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture
me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. 56 But
all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be
fulfilled." Then all the disciples left him and fled. – Matthew 26:47-56

Jewish Trial

First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people. 15 Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the court of the high priest, 16 but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in. 17 The servant girl at the door said to Peter, "You also are not one of this man's disciples, are you?" He said, "I am not." 18 Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself. 19 The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20 Jesus answered him, "I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. 21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said." 22 When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, "Is that how you answer the high priest?" 23 Jesus answered him, "If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?" 24 Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. – John 18:13-24


And they led Jesus to the high priest. And all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together. 54 And Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he was sitting with the guards and warming himself at the fire. 55 Now the chief priests and the whole Council were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none. 56 For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. 57 And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, 58 "We heard him say, 'I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.'" 59 Yet even about this their testimony did not agree. 60 And the high priest
stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, "Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?" 61 But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" 62 And Jesus said, "I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven." 63 And the high priest tore his garments and said, "What further witnesses do we need? 64 You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?" And they all condemned him as deserving death. 65 And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, "Prophesy!" And the guards received him with blows. – Mark 14:53-65


And as soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole Council. And they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate. – Mark 15:1
Roman Trial (three phases)
And Pilate asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" And he answered him, "You have said so." 3 And the chief priests accused him of many things. 4 And Pilate again asked him, "Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you." 5 But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed. – Mark 15:2-5
Crucifixion (approx. 9:00am-3:00pm)

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor's headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. 28 And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" 30 And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. 31 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him. 32 As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. 33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), 34 they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. 35 And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. 36 Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. 37 And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews." 38 Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. 39 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, "You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross." 41 So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, 42 "He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, 'I am the Son of God.'" 44 And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way. 45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" that is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" 47 And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, "This man is calling Elijah." 48 And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, "Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him." 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. 51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, "Truly this was the Son of God!" – Matthew 27:27-54

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Walking With Jesus During Passion Week: Maundy Thursday

Preparations for Passover

Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?" 18 He said, "Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, 'The Teacher says, My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.'" 19 And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover. – Matthew 26:17-19
Passover Meal and Last Supper

When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. 21 And as they were eating, he said, "Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me." 22 And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, "Is it I, Lord?" 23 He answered, "He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born." 25 Judas, who would betray him, answered, "Is it I, Rabbi?" He said to him, "You have said so." – Matthew 26:20-25
Upper Room DiscoursesJohn 13-17

Prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane

Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, "Sit here, while I go over there and pray." 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me." 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will." 40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, "So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." 42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, "My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done." 43 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, "Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand." – Matthew 26:36-46