Taken from Primer on Ash Wednesday by Rich Lusk:
What is the meaning of Lent? How can it help my Christian life?
Each season of the calendar focuses on a different part of the gospel narrative, and thus a different facet of the Christian life:
Advent – Christ’s promise
Christmas – Christ’s presence
Epiphany – Christ’s revelation
Lent – Christ’s suffering
Easter – Christ’s victory
Pentecost – Christ’s mission
Looked at this way, Lent is vital part of the story the calendar tells. To celebrate Easter without observing Lent is to want the crown without the cross, it’s to want the glory of the resurrection without the shame of Calvary. Do not make the mistake of making your own sufferings or self-denial the focus of Lent. Instead, keep the sufferings and death of Jesus central, remembering that our sufferings and death to self are corollaries of our union with the Savior who has already won our salvation. By observing the cycle of Lent and Easter, we are better prepared to live out the rhythm of the gospel, dying to sin and living the resurrection life of Christ (Romans 6:1ff).
Lent is only worth observing if we do so in light of coming Easter joy; but without proper observance of Lent, Easter celebrations are cheapened and depleted of their power. In our narcissistic, self-centered culture, Lent takes on special importance. You will know you have kept Lent rightly if you come to the end of it’s 40 day journey with a deeper faith in Christ crucified and a greater joy in the power of the risen Christ.
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Taken from: The Church Building as Sacred Place: Beauty, Transcendence, and the Eternal by Ducan G. Stroik.
"To create three-dimensional places of worship is fundamental to human nature. Sacred architecture is a means for us to articulate the meaning of life for ourselves, our communities, future generations . . . and to honor God, because, though He does not need our worship nor our temples of stone, He deserves them greatly. Our response to the cross is to return His love in our thoughts and deeds, by feeding the hungry and also by building churches. When we come in contact with the Almighty we stand on holy ground. Thanksgiving and worship cause us to set aside those places where God has made his presence known to his people: the holy mountain, the upper room, the tent in the wilderness, and the temple in the Holy City. While none of these places can contain the Deity, they offer witness to His benevolence and to His presence with us."
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Leron Shultz writes, “The Christian community experiences salvation as the transformation of knowing and being known in embodied or sacramental fellowship. Sacramentality is essential to corporate identity of those who are called into this life of faithful forgiving (see The Faces of Forgiveness).
Gordon Dalbey, in his article entitled Busted at Mass shares his experience attending Catholic Mass he writes:
"I can only tell you that something happens to me at a Catholic mass that doesn't happen when I take Communion at my church. I don't know what it is, but there's power here, and I've been drawn to it." Continue reading..
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Saturday, April 21, 2012
I had the great privilege of attending the Real Marriage conference this weekend with my wife (thanks Tim & Michelle). There was a firestorm on the blogosphere surrounding Mark & Grace Driscoll coming to speak at Liberty University (The University founded by the late Jerry Falwell) due to the “provocative” nature of their book, among other things.
I have to be honest and say that this conference was a blessing to my wife and I and will be an impetus for needed conversations between us.
While at the conference I was able to pick up a copy of Real Marriage, The Truth about Sex, Friendship and Life Together. Mark and Grace have set out to write a book that is, “ biblically faithful, emotionally hopeful, practically helpful, sociologically viable, ad personally vulnerable.” In looking through the book I would say that they have done just that. It is refreshing to have a couple in Christian leadership who speak honestly about their own struggles and triumphs for the edification of the body. Moreover, speak to those things that are happening in marriages that most pastors/churches are not speaking to at all.
It is rare to find people brave enough or wise enough to speak into the shame of others with an unwavering commitment to scripture and the gospel. It is hard to find someone speaking biblically, articulately, and humbly, to the confusion and brokenness of others. This weekend Mark and Grace exemplified these qualities.
I am thankful for not only this conference but Mark Driscoll’s bold engagement of some of, what I would say are the biggest issues facing modern culture – masculinity, pornography, and marriage, to name a few. I would assert that pastor Driscoll is doing this better than most. I am thankful for his ministry, I am thankful for the conference.