Category Archives: Faith

Roll On!

Roll On!

Jakson prayed on Easter Sunday. He looked his very Easter Sunday best, pink pants, long sleeve blue shirt, hair slicked back, fresh out of the deep theological experience of 6-year-old kids church. The whole family was gathered. We held hands in anticipation of deviled eggs (What! On Easter), chicken casserole, and sweet potato pie. Josh, my son, called on Jakson, the youngest, to pray. It was masterful.

“Thank You God for sending Your Son Jesus into the world to die for our sins. Thank You Jesus for hanging on the Cross. And…thank you Jesus for rolling on that tombstone. AMEN” Great prayers should leave you hanging with the intellectual mysteries they invoke. Jakson’s was a great prayer. Rolling on that tombstone. What are the spiritual insights hidden in this theological metaphor? What eternal truths lie waiting to be unpacked as we wrestle with the profound imagery of Jesus, like a Paul Bunyan logger, walking on a spinning log in the river, as we see Jesus standing on a barrel shaped tombstone and rolling it back and forth through the Garden of Gethsemane.

Now I don’t recall that story in the Gospels but I am certainly not contradicting my grandson. It seems to me that rolling on the tombstone would very much be Jesus’s way. He played with children. He laughed with His disciples around the fire. He even did some tricky things with them like asking which woman touched Him when the crowd was packed in one day. Or saying to the lame guy by the pool of Bethesda that had not walked in 38 years, “Just pick up your bed and walk.” I am sure that God is a God of joy and much of what Jesus did, He did with a smile on His face. Although He was from the Northern part of the Kingdom, I bet he still said to His followers from time to time, “Hey, Ya’ll watch this.” Imagine the chuckle He had when big mouth Peter said, “Hey, I want to walk on the water,” and Jesus says, “Well, come on.”

John Ortberg says, In The Life You’ve Always Wanted, “Joy is God’s basic character. Joy is his eternal destiny. God is the happiest being in the universe…As products of God’s creation, creatures made in his image, we are to reflect God’s fierce joy in life” Fierce Joy! We are to reflect that. Oh, tough stuff will come today. I am pretty sure you will encounter rejection, disappointment, a sudden change of plans because of unforeseen circumstances. The fact is that almost every day holds some kind of trial or tragedy. And no one would blame you for pulling the covers back over your head, growling at the dog, and just trying to sleep your troubles away. Or what if you stopped at the package store early and got a little liquid courage to help you endure the hardship. My coping method of choice is to invite myself to a pity party of one and sit in my mad mood chair thinking how unfair my life is.

I’m doing something different today. James says, “Consider it ALL joy, my brethren…” (James 1:2). This morning I am taking my cues from Jakson. I’m going to hop right up and roll on that tombstone. This problem is not going to get me down, I’ll roll right over it. That person criticizing me has no power, “Zoom.” Rolling right by. We might be on to something here. Let’s start a club, TRFJ, Tombstone Rollers For Jesus. I’ll order the leather jackets…Roll on!

Mike

Bread

Bread

Reading today: Psalm 65, John 6:15-40 Remember Richard Rohr. He says, “All language about God is necessarily symbolic and figurative. Actually all language is metaphorical. Words are never the thing itself; they can only point toward the thing, which is exactly why “The Word became flesh” (John 1:14). As James Finley, a CAC core faculty… Continue Reading

The Calling of Reconciliation

The Calling of Reconciliation

The Calling of Reconciliation Psalm 53, John 1:35-51 On Tuesday Josh and Jennifer were explaining Lent to Jon-Mical and Jakson. They were telling the boys how some people traditionally give something up for the 40 days from Ash Wednesday to Easter to honor the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the cross. Jon-Mical, who… Continue Reading

40 Days of Reconciliation

40 Days of Reconciliation

Good morning! Here we go for 40 Days of Reconciliation during Lent. I am anticipating God working in and around me as I focus intentionally on Him. My challenge is that during Lent, from now to Easter we give something up, take something on, read the scripture daily, and pray daily. (I recommend praying three… Continue Reading

Living Out Pentecost

Living Out Pentecost

On July 8th, 1741 in Enfield, Connecticut, almost 35 years before the Declaration of Independence, an early American preacher by the name of Jonathan Edwards stepped into the pulpit. He took his text from Deuteronomy and began to preach. The title of his message was Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. It was… Continue Reading