Sunday, April 17, 2011

April 17, 2011 - Palm Sunday, "Save Us, We Pray"

Matthew 21:1-11

There’s always so much to learn!
If it isn’t one thing, it’s another.
On the job, at home, in school, and even in church, there’s always so much to learn!

Just the other day, one of our members said to me, as she reflected on health issues and a change in living status, “There are lots of adjustments to be made.”

I like that.
A gentle way of putting it.
Life is all about adjustments!

We get married, and we spend years trying to figure out one another … and then we have children, and spend years trying to figure out how to raise them, love them, guide them, guard them.

We take a job and spend years trying to figure out how to do our best, how survive in tough economic times, how to make something of ourselves, and leave a legacy for our families.

We gather together in our church, and we spend years trying to figure out how to love one another, honor and share the gifts God gives to us, and what does it mean to be the church of Jesus Christ?

And always the hard times … illness lays us low … death takes a loved one … the job is lost … a child chooses badly and brings sorrow to the family … misunderstanding divides friend-from-friend … time marches on, and we didn’t have a chance to say what was needed, or do a kindly deed.

There’s always so much to learn.

Which reminds me:
Little Susie asked her teacher: “Would you punish me for something I didn't do?”
Her teacher replied: “Of course not.”
With a sigh of relief, little Susie said: “Good, because I didn't do my homework.”

There’s always so much to learn.

No wonder we cry out sometimes, “LORD, save me. I need your help. This is more than I can handle.”

And Jesus comes our way.
To save us.

When the people cried out, Hosanna, which means “save us,” they were right. They needed some serious help.

Who doesn’t need some serious help now and then?

I heard the LORD speak, two times in my life … as clear as a bell.
Would anyone else have heard it?
I think not!
But I heard the voice of the LORD.

The first instance was in my second year of seminary … I can see our tiny little place, a second-floor apartment, and there I am, sitting at my desk, reading the New Testament, I’m pretty sure it was one of the Gospels.
As I was reading, I said to myself, “I’m not sure I believe any of this.”
And right then and there, clear as a bell, the LORD said, “That’s all right Tom. I still love you.”

I’ve never forgotten that moment.
It’s an anchor in my life.
It’s the heart of the gospel.
Whatever any of us happen to think at any point in time, God doesn’t change one bit!
There are days when we’re really faithful … and days when we’re not … there are times when we believe with all that we are … and other times when we don’ … there are times when we love God, seriously love God, with all our heart, soul, strength and mind, and then there are times, when our love is like a drop of water on a hot July sidewalk in Dallas, Texas.

God is the one who remains constant.
I had to learn that, then and there.
A young seminarian.
If I was going to preach the gospel, I had to understand grace … I mean real grace.
I had to understand - God’s love for us is unchanging …  James says of God: the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.[1]

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.[2]

Thanks be to God: it’s not our belief in God that brings about the gospel; it’s the gospel that brings about our faith.
And that never changes.
God is always the source of faith.
Like water flowing from a hose.
It’s not the hose.
It’s not even the water.
It’s the snow in the mountains – that’s where the water comes from.
High up in the mountains.
And that’s where our faith comes from.
High up in the heavens.
From the heart of God.
And God is steady.
God is sure.

Faith struggles sometimes.
Darkness frightens us.
Faith limps along.
But, The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want … yea, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of death, I fear no evil, for thou art with me!

The second time I heard the LORD speak was a time of great travail, sorrow and hurt … I felt that all was lost, and sitting in my car in a restaurant parking lot – I had dropped off my family, and I had parked the car.
There I sat, with all the world falling down around me, and I said to the LORD, “Save me!”
And I heard the LORD again, clear as a bell, “I will.”

I think of the shortest prayer in the Bible.
Three words, spoken in a moment of desperation.
Anyone know it?

Peter walking on the waves.
Good for him.
He got outta the boat and did it.
He really did it.
He wanted to be like his Rabbi.
“If my Rabbi can walk on the water, so can I.”
And when the LORD invited Peter to get outta the boat, that’s what Peter did.
And for a few glorious moments, Peter walked on the water.
And then the moment overwhelmed him.
Wind and waves frightened him.
Peter began to sink.
He cries out to the LORD.
The shortest prayer in the Bible.
Three words:
LORD, save me.

As quick as the blink of an eye, Jesus is there.
Hand outstretched.
And Peter is saved.

Save us, LORD.
Hosanna in the highest.

The highest, indeed!
The people know that salvation comes from on high.
From the throne of God.
The River of Life in the Book of Revelation.
And Psalm 46:
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God.

Salvation comes from God.
And it comes with certainty.
For God is at work in all things for good.

The people who welcomed Jesus that day had high hopes.
Is he the Messiah?
Is he the answer?
Will he save us?

Jesus rides a donkey.
A symbol of humble power.
This is how kings came into the holy city.
Not on a prancing warhorse decked out in polished silver and well-oiled leather.
Not with legions of soldiers in battledress.
None of that!
Just on a donkey.
A beast of burden.
Because the real king takes up the burdens of the people.
A ruler, true and good, lightens the load.
Jesus himself becomes the burden-bearer for us all.
He carries on his shoulders the sins of the world.

Jesus comes our way to forgive our sins … when the nails are driven into his flesh … hideous forged nails of iron hammered through sinew and bone … a brutal business done by professionals who know how to hurt a man, how to kill their victims slowly.
And what does Jesus say?
Father, forgive them.

Why does Jesus say that?
Did a soldier say to him, Oh, I’m sorry, LORD … I don’t really mean this?
Did one of the religious authorities say to him, O LORD my God, I’m truly sorry? Please forgive me.

We learn from Jesus one of the toughest lessons of life.
And one of the most important.
Raw forgiveness.
Forgiveness that comes from the deeps of love.
Like a volcano, hot and fierce, burning away the junk and trash of our lives.

Jesus knows we’re not very good at confessing our sins, though we do it most every Sunday.
Jesus knows how hard it is for us to see the log in our own eye.

So Jesus doesn’t wait for us to ask.
Jesus doesn’t wait for us to get it figured out.
Jesus doesn’t wait for us to come to him.
Jesus doesn’t wait for an apology!

Jesus says:
Father, forgive them.
And with grace all the more, Jesus excuses everyone - those who condemn him … those who kill him … those who abandon him - he says, They don’t know what they’re doing.

The love of God understands better than we understand ourselves.
Most of the time, we haven’t a clue.
We think we’re right, when we’re mistaken.
We see the splinter in our neighbor’s eye and overlook the log in our eye.
We judge others.
And exonerate ourselves.

They all thought they were doing what was right.
Soldiers obeyed orders.
Judges condemned a troublemaker.
Pilate preserved law and order.
And everyone seemed to agree – it’s a good thing to take this man to the cross.
But they didn’t know what they were doing.

For all of us, this gives us pause.
When we think we’re right about something, and tempted to get carried away, it’s good to remember the Jesus story.
The next time, we’re convinced that someone else is wrong, and we don’t want to listen to them, it’s good to remember the Jesus story.
When we’re afraid and getting edgy, and we’re tempted to say harsh things, it’s good to remember the Jesus story.
When we believe that forgiveness isn’t possible, unless someone apologizes first to us, it’s good to remember the Jesus story.
When we think all is dark and all is lost, it’s good to remember the Jesus story.

LORD save us.
Save us, we pray.

And the LORD comes to our assistance.

The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.[3]

So a blessed and powerful Palm Sunday.
When Jesus comes to us on a donkey.
Don’t be fooled by his humility.
Don’t look for another.
He’s the real deal.
He’s the way.
He’s the truth.
He’s the way.

Donkey and all.

To God be the glory.

Amen and Amen!

[1] James 1:27.
[2] Hebrews 13:8.
[3] Psalm 46:7.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

April 10, 2011 - "Never Too Late"

John 1:1-45

Good Morning Calvary on the Boulevard … I’m glad to be here, and I know that you are, too.

A man was getting a haircut prior to a trip to Rome. He mentioned the trip to his barber who responded, "Rome? Why would anyone want to go there? It's crowded and dirty and full of Italians. You're crazy to go to Rome.
So, how are you getting there?" "We're taking Alitalia," was the reply. "We got a great rate!" "Alitalia?" exclaimed the barber. "That's a terrible airline. Their planes are old, their flight attendants are ugly, and they're always late.
So, where are you staying in Rome?" "We'll be at the downtown International Marriott." "That dump? That's the worst hotel in the city. The rooms are small, the service is surly and they're overpriced.
So, whatcha doing when you get there?" "We're going to go to see the Vatican and we hope to see the Pope." "That's rich," laughed the barber. "You and a million other people trying to see him. He'll look the size of an ant. Boy, good luck on this lousy trip of yours. You're going to need it."
A month later, the man came in again for his regular haircut. The barber asked him about his trip to Rome." It was wonderful," explained the man, "not only were we on time in one of Alitalia's brand new planes, but it was overbooked and they bumped us up to first class. The food and wine were wonderful, and we had a beautiful 28-year old flight attendant who waited on us hand and foot. And the hotel-it was great! They'd just finished a $25 million remodeling job and now it's the finest hotel in the city. They, too, were overbooked, so they apologized and gave us the presidential suite at no extra charge!"
"Well," muttered the barber, "I know you didn't get to see the pope."
"Actually, we were quite lucky, for as we toured the Vatican, a Swiss Guard tapped me on the shoulder and explained that the pope likes to personally meet some of the visitors, and if we’d be so kind as to step into his private room and wait, the pope would personally greet us.
Sure enough, five minutes later the pope walked through the door and shook my hand! I knelt down as he spoke a few words to me."
"Really?" asked the Barber. "What'd he say?"
He said, "Where'd you get the lousy haircut?

I bet that barber’s been giving lousy haircuts for a long time.
But it’s not too late to get another barber!

It’s never too late, for anyone or anything.
Because God is at work in all things, for good.

Our story this morning is a strange story, indeed.

Jesus, please come!
Lazarus is ill.
And you love him.
And we need you now.

Jesus says, Don’t worry about it.
This illness doesn’t lead to death.
And besides, there’s great purpose here.
Take it easy!

So, Jesus dawdles for a few more days.

Ever feel as if God is dawdling?
We ask God for help.
And nothing happens.
“Where’s God?” we ask.
“I need you now, God.”
“I can’t wait God … please, please, help me now!”

And God dawdles.
God takes God’s good time.
No hurry at all.

After a few days of dawdling, Jesus says, Lazarus has fallen asleep.

Well, that’s okay.
He’s probably tired.
Jesus says, No, he’s not just tired. He’s dead!

“What do you mean, ‘He’s dead!’?”
“You said it wouldn’t end this way.”
“And we believed you.”
“We put our trust in you.”
“And now he’s dead.”

Let’s go there, says Jesus.
Where there’s death, I want to bring life.
Where there’s darkness, I want to bring light.
Where there’s sorrow, I want to bring joy.

The disciples are uneasy.
“Yeah? there’s danger there, ya’ know!
“Don’t you know, they’re out to kill you? They don’t like you. They don’t want you to preach any more. They’re ready to hurt you, hurt you real bad.”

But that’s where we have to go, says Jesus.
Into the storm.
Into the darkness.
And besides, my friend Lazarus is dead.

We can see the disciples standing there.
Looking at Jesus, scratching their heads.
Looking at one another.
We see the shrug of their shoulders.
We hear a deep sigh of resignation.

Thomas says:
 “Okay, guys, let’s go with him.”
“If we die with him, well then, okay.”
“We’re not going to leave him now.”

And off they go.

When they get to Jerusalem, just two miles from Bethany, Jesus learns that Lazarus has already been in the tomb four days.
Word comes to Martha that Jesus has arrived, and Martha, being Martha, doesn’t wait … she puts on her hat and gloves and gets her purse, and storms off to find Jesus … because she’s gonna give him a good scolding.
“LORD, where were you when we needed you?”
“My brother wouldn’t be dead if you gotten here on time?”
“What were you doing?”
“Why didn’t you come when I needed you?”
Ever feel like scolding God?

Jesus says to her, It’ll be all right Martha. Your brother will rise again.

Jesus speaks tenderly to her.
Does she believe him?
She believes as best she can.

That’s true for all of us.
We believe as best we can.
We believe and then we can’t believe.
We trust, and then we don’t trust.
We know that God is at work in all things, and then we wonder where God is.
Oh, how we love God sometimes, and then sometimes, we just wanna give God a good scolding!

Martha goes back home.
Tells Mary about it.
So, Mary puts on her hat and gloves and grabs her purse, and out she goes, to meet the Teacher.

Now Mary has a few things on her mind, too.
But first she kneels.
And then she speaks:
“If you’d been here, LORD, my brother would not have died.”

Mary says the same thing that Martha said.
But there’s a difference.
Mary kneels.
The posture of humility … and learning.
To be at the feet of Jesus is the posture of a student.

In Luke’s Gospel, you remember, when Martha is fussing about in the kitchen, Mary sits at the feet of Jesus … Mary is a student of the Rabbi.
From him, she learns the words of life.
And we do, too!

They go to the tomb, and Jesus says, Take away the stone.

Martha, with her hat and gloves on and her purse ready, says, “LORD, ya’ know it’s gonna stink.”
Leave it to Martha … she speaks her mind, doesn’t she?
And that’s why she’s always missing the point.
She’s quick to speak, and slow to learn.
She’s fussy and edgy and bossy.

“LORD, ya’ know it’s gonna stink.”

Jesus says to her, Did I not tell that if you believed you’d see the glory of God?

And with that, Jesus turns to the tomb.
Leave Martha to Martha.
Jesus has work to do.
Someone to raise from the dead!

Jesus looks upward and offers a prayer of thanksgiving, and does some theology … he knows that his Father in heaven always hears … but he’s got to do something now for the sake of the people …

So he shouts, with a loud voice, Lazarus, come out!”

Loud enough to wake the dead?
And we have to ask, “Who are the dead?”
That day, by the tomb, who was really dead?

There’s a lot more to this death business than we might think.
Lots of people end up in the grave before they die.
All kinds of graves into which we voluntarily walk, and then lay down.
“Here, bury me with my junk.”
Crummy thoughts.
Petty grievances and impatience.
An unforgiving spirit.
A grudge-holding heart.
A world-view too little and ideas too small.
Fear and jealousy.
Envy and irritation.
A quick tongue and a lazy brain.
Cowardice and bullying.
“Stinkin’ thinkin’” as Zig Ziglar puts it.

The junk of life.
The stuff that buries us.
The graves we dig for ourselves before we die.
And, yup, it all stinks.
That day, a whole lot of people were dead and buried.
That day, the stench of death hung heavy in the air, and it wasn’t just Lazarus.
We all need to be raised from the dead!

That day, when Lazarus came forth from the tomb, others decided to stay in the tombs, with dead thoughts and lifeless behavior … “No one’s gonna change my mind. Ah uh, I like my tomb, I’ve gotten used to the stink, and, ya’ know what, I kinda like my own stink!”

But no one is beyond the reach of God.
God changed the heart of Saul and Saul becomes Paul the Apostle.
God takes a few fishermen and turns them into disciples.
God takes a frightened group in the upper room and fills them with the Holy Spirit and go out and change the world.

It’s never too late.
It’s never too late for love.

I’ve had people ask me, “Shall I call my brother? The last time we talked, it ended a badly for both us. What shall I do?”
I always ask, “Do you love your brother?”
“Of course I love him.”
“Well, then, call him.”

And then I add, “Love might not help RIGHT NOW, but love won’t make it any worse.”
Love never makes anything worse.
But love given away might be the breakthrough everyone needs.
The breakthrough to get out of the grave … to blow away the stench of death, so that life can happen again.

Take the initiative.
Don’t wait for someone else to make the first move.
Don’t wait for them to apologize, or the write the letter.
God didn’t wait for us.
Thank God.

If it’s on our heart, let’s do something about it.
Make that call … write that letter … send that email, and if you gotta swallow some pride, but a little gospel-salt on it … it’ll go down just fine.

It’s never too late to say, “I’m sorry.”
We all mess up.
We’ve all been hurt by someone … and we’ve all returned the favor, haven’t we?
Like James says, this little tongue of mine is a fire.[1]
And we’ve burned our bridges and we’ve burned one another with this silly little tongue of ours.
And how do you put the fire out?
But with a bucket of clean water.
To simply say, “I’m sorry.”

Maybe you’re thinking right now, “Pastor, what if someone dies, and we never said to them, ‘I’m sorry’?”
“Is it too late?”

It’s never to late to say, “I’m sorry.”
If we didn’t say it when we had a chance, we can say it now.
We can say it in our heart.
And get it off our chest.
“LORD, I’m sorry! I’m sorry that I hurt my friend, my mother or my brother. Give them my love, I pray, and tell them I’m sorry!”
And God will do that.
God will pass it on.
To your brother or sister.
To your Mom or Dad.
It’s never too late douse the flames of regret that burn in our heart.
It’s never too late to say, “I’m sorry!”
It’s never too late to choose life.
To walk out of the tomb.
Because Jesus calls us out of death into life.

Paul the Apostle says it well:
It is God who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do no exist.[2]
God says to the dry bones, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.[3]

Whatever it is, dear friends, Lazarus in the tomb, or Ezekiel’s Valley of Dry Bones, it’s never too late for God, and it’s never too late for us.

It’s never too late.
It’s never too late.
Thank God Almighty, it’s never too late!

Amen and Amen!

[1] James 3:6.
[2] Romans 4:17.
[3] Ezekiel 37:5.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

April 3, 2001 - "PLaying with Mud"

John 9:1-41

Good Morning Calvary! And God’s peace to you in these Lenten weeks.

My name is Thomas Paul Eggebeen – just like eggs and beans; “egg-a-bean” - it’s a Dutch name, and means, “bent” or “broken leg” – but you can call me Tom, or Pastor Tom, or Rev. or Dr., or whatever seems right and good to you … high-falutin’ holiness would be okay, too.

Donna and I are pleased to be with you, and we look forward to spending some of our life with you.

Today, I celebrate with you the Gospel … the gospel proclaimed by Jesus:
God is in our midst.
I am your God, and you are my people!
I am with you always.
I will never leave you or forsake you.

That’s about as basic as it gets.
God loves what God has made, and God’s love is at work in all things for good.
No matter what or where … God is at work.
Morning, noon and night … God is at work.
In season and out of season … God is at work.
When life is good and when it isn’t … God is at work.
When things makes sense and when everything’s up in the air … God is at work.
When the sun is bright and the night is dark … God is at work.
When we can see and when we can’t … God is at work!

You’ll often hear me say: “We’re all in this together.”
With Christ in our hearts, we hang on to each other.
We laugh together.
We cry together.
We fall together … and we rise together.

The LORD is our shepherd … not just some of the time, but all the time.
Leading us, guiding us, getting us there … not just some of the time, but all the time.
The LORD is our host spreading a marvelous table before us, even when enemies are present … not just some of the time, but all the time.
Because God is good … all the time … and all the time … God is good!

Not even death can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our LORD.[1]
In this life, and in the life to come, in body and in soul, in life and in death, we belong to a faithful savior,[2] and we belong to one another in the fellowship of faith, the company of believers.
In the church of Jesus Christ.
Even as Christ hangs on to us, we hang on to one another.

When he calls Peter and Andrew, James and John to leave their nets and follow him.

When he carries the cross to Calvary …
When they lay him in the tomb.
When God rolls the stone away on the first Easter Morn.
When the Holy Spirit comes on Pentecost Day with the sound of a mighty rushing wind and tongues of flame for everyone!

The church of Jesus Christ:
The church of our mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers.
The church of our children and their children.
The church, yesterday, today and tomorrow.
The church of Jesus Christ.
Your church and my church.
The church around the world in a myriad of cultures and climes, and ten thousand different tongues …

What a joy to be the church of Jesus Christ.
What a privilege.
And what a task.

I look forward to learning more about Christ with you … and getting to know you:
How you love one another.
The hymns you sing and the music you love.
Your joys and your sorrows.
And your stories:
Everyone has a story.
Where we were born and who reared us … our teachers and our pastors, the good times and the bad times …
Everyone has a story … how we like our eggs, and whether or not we like pistachio ice cream or plain-Jane vanilla  …
And why are stories important?
Because they’re our stories.
And God is in our stories.
From top to bottom.
From side to side, and all around the town.
God is in our stories.

When we tell our stories, we’re talking about God.
The God who created us in our mother’s womb.
The God who loves us and brings us to Christ.
The God who bestows gifts to us that we might bless the world.
So, come on by … I want to hear your story.
I love to listen … my door is always open.

For the months ahead, I can’t think of a better story to guide us than the healing of the blind man.
It’s a big story.
41 verses … and we could be here all day, like a miner panning for gold … sift and shake and something shiny catches our eye … it’s the gold of God’s love.
Anyone wanna spend all day here?

Okay, then, let me highlight a few things that can guide us in the next six months.
The gold in the story.

The first gold is the unexpected healing.
Jesus sees the man, and Jesus heals him.
No one asks for the healing.
No one plans on it.
It just happens.
Grace, we rightly say … amazing grace.

Grace comes to us that way.
Before we ask for it, before we know anything about it …
If Jesus waits for us to ask, it would always be too late.

God see us first.
God loves us first.
God makes the first move … always.
John says it well, In this is love, not that we loved God, but that God loved us and sent his Son.[3]
God proves God’s love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.[4]

God always finds us.

Which reminds me:
A man called a friend’s home one day, and a little voice answered very softly:
May I speak to your daddy please.
The little voice whispered,
I'm afraid he's not at home just now
Well may I speak to your mother then please.
I'm afraid she's not at home either.
Well is there anyone else there?
There's a policeman.
Could I speak to him please?
No, I'm sorry he's rather busy.
Is there anyone else?
There's a great big fireman
My goodness it's very strange that your mummy and daddy are out and there is a policeman and a fireman at your house - what is going on?
The whispered voice replied with a little giggle -
Hee hee, they're all looking for me!

Even when we hide from God, God finds us.
That’s the gospel, the good news.
The love of God, first in all things.

People sometimes tell me that they wish they had more faith … a stronger, bigger, better, faith … as if that made any difference to God.
If God were to rely on our faith, nothing would happen.
It’s only because of God’s faithfulness to God’s own promise – to make all things new … that things happen.
God’s promises and God’s covenant are center stage.
Not you; not me; not even the quality of our faith.
It’s God who does the heavy lifting.
God has all the faith this world needs.
God has all the faith you and I need.

Our faith?
How big is it?
Mustard seed size, says Jesus.
And that’s big enough to move a mountain,[5] says Jesus.
Because God is in our faith.
And it’s God who moves the mountain.

We don’t need to fret about our faith.
It’s not worth the time, and it’s not what counts.
Even someone as illustrious as the Apostle Paul says: If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.[6]

So let us set our sights, instead, on God’s faithfulness.
And one truly amazing thing about God – God can be very, very, small.
Small enough to fit into Bethlehem’s cradle.
Small enough to be held by Mary.
Small enough to be a little boy in Nazareth.
Small enough to fit into your heart and mine.
Small enough to fit into our faith, the size of a mustard seed.

The second gold piece of our story – folks were arguing about things that don’t count.
They were trying to figure out why the man was blind – Well, he must have done something wrong, or maybe his parents are to blame.
Jesus doesn’t waste any time with such things …
There no place for blame in the heart of God.
Who’s at fault and who did what makes no difference.
Because - every situation is an occasion for good.

Jesus goes to work …
There’s a need to be met.
Eyes to be opened.
A life to be changed.

There’s urgency here  … love can’t wait … mercy is always in a hurry …
We must work while we can, says Jesus … while the sun shines, because there will come a night when no one can work.

Don’t put off for tomorrow what can be done today!
Is there someone we need to talk to?
A letter that needs to be written?
A visit that needs to be made?
Forgiveness offered?
Forgiveness sought?
Do it now.
Do it today.
Don’t wait.

Jesus spits into the dirt.
Makes some mud.
Smears it on the man’s eyes.
Tells him to go and wash.

What’s going on here?
Why the mud?

A delightful image of creation?
Genesis, chapter 2?
God likes to play in the dirt.
God takes a scoop of dirt and fashions a little creature from it, and then blows into its face the breath of life, and the little creature begins to live, made from the dirt of the earth and breath of God.

Jesus brings to us a new creation …
Everyone is a new creation in Christ,[7] says Paul the Apostle.
And it’s not just the eyes that Jesus heals.
It’s our heart, and what we believe.
Our mind, and how we think
Our relationships, and the care we have for one another.

The touch of Christ changes everything.

Dear Calvary on the Boulevard:
It’s a privilege to be here today.
To know Christ.
The God who loves us before the foundation of the world was laid.[8]
The God who comes to us with mercy and kindness.
And a little mud for our eyes … and some water in which to wash.
And when we open our eyes, it’s Christ we see.
And the church standing with him throughout the ages.
The Church Universal … and our church right here.
Calvary Presbyterian Church.
Calvary on the Boulevard.
Ready to love, ready to work, eager to make our world a better place.

Are you with me on this?
I know that you are!

Amen and Amen!

[1] Romans 8:38-39.
[2] Heidelberg Catechism, Q/A #1.
[3] 1 John 4:16.
[4] Romans 5:8.
[5] Matthew 17:20.
[6] 2 Corinthians 11:30.
[7] 2 Corinthians 5:17.
[8] Ephesians 1:4.