Sermon: The Easter Difference

Sermon Text: Matthew 28:1-10 Sermon Excerpt Think about how the day begins.  The two Mary’s know that Jesus is dead.  The future they had been planning for themselves died with Jesus.  They were mourning.  In the midst of their grief they did the only thing they knew to do; they went where Jesus was. While all four Gospel writers include this story, only Matthew features special effects that would play well to a modern audience, especially on the big screen.  One contemporary paraphrase Read More …

Sermon: The Easter Difference

Text: Matthew 28:1-10 Sermon Excerpt Pam Driesell, a Presbyterian pastor, tells a story of her good friend Mary’s recent Easter experience.  To make sure her four-year old daughter Elena really understood what Easter is all about Mary tried talking to her about it. "Mommy, will the Easter bunny bring me purple jelly beans?" I am sure he will bring you jelly beans, Elena. But, remember, Easter isn't about the bunny. It's about Jesus. "But will they be purple?" Yes, honey, I am Read More …

Don’t Believe Easter, Live It

David Henson, a candidate for Holy Orders in the Episcopal Church who received his Master of Arts from Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley, CA), recently wrote what has become for me the most thought provoking post I have read this year on the topic of Easter.  He writes: Frankly, I don’t care if you believe Jesus was literally or metaphorically resurrected. And neither does Easter. I find it laughable we try to reduce the power of Easter to a proposition, as if the resurrection could be a Read More …

The 32%

As you celebrate Resurrection, consider that you are a part of the 32%.  According to a 2011 study by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, the percentage of the world's population that is Christian has not changed much in the last 100 years: 1910: 32%, and 2012: 35%. While the percentage remains stable, the number of Christians has increased dramatically during that period of time: 1910: 600 million, and 2010: 2.18 billion. So What? While the Read More …

From Death to Life – Mainline Decline

David Henson recently wrote a guest post on Bruce Reyes-Chow's site  suggesting that the best approach to the deathly ill group of denominations known as mainline Protestantism is realistic hope.  Henson does not propose a new way forward that will reverse the decades of decline.  Instead he suggests that those aware of death's nearness are more likely to act boldly and that for Christians and the mainline there is life beyond death.  He ends the article with these words: Because when we Read More …