Putting an end to the Funeral Gospel.

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Putting an end to the Funeral Gospel.

Several years ago I attended a funeral for a dear friend who lived and ministered in our community for decades.

And, though this friend had a full life, he still – for so many – died at too young an age.  As such, his death was an untimely and terrible reality to face for dozens, even hundreds, of family and friends.

As is often the case for funerals such as this, the church was packed.

Well into the service, a pastor took the pulpit and gave a moving message on the love of God and the hope we have in Him.

He told heart-tugging stories, one after the other, of people of faith who have gone before us and whom we are certainly hoping to see again.

He strung together soul-stirring phrase after phrase until the crescendo of the entire service, when he convincingly said, “Don’t you want to know this Jesus?”

Followed by a pulsating, “If you want to see this person again, then make a decision today!  Right here, right where you are, repent of your sins and believe in Jesus as your personal savior.”

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Posted in Community, Discipleship, Formation, Funeral, Funeral Gospel, Gospel | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Tragic End of the Transactional Gospel

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The Tragic End of the Transactional Gospel

Recently, most churches in America celebrated Easter, or Resurrection Sunday.

The “Big-Day” within the Christian calendar.

The day of all days, so to speak.

Or, as one pastor-friend of mine used to say, “Easter is to Christians what Super Bowl Sunday is to football players.”

More than a Day, Easter is a Season!

Easter, however, is designed to be celebrated and experienced as a Season, not just a day.

It’s actually a season of 50 days during which we bump into the resurrected Messiah and find ourselves transformed by experiencing His presence in our daily world.

It’s a shame that, for so many, Easter is only a day.

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An Unusual “Fast” at an Unusual Time!

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An Unusual “Fast” at an Unusual Time!

Lent is, traditionally speaking, the season of the church calendar year during which many Christians fast.

While I often fast during the Lenten season, it’s rare that I commit to a fast during the season of Easter.  In fact, I love the rhythm of the church calendar: we fast during the 40 days of Lent and then Feast for 50 days during Easter season.  The feast is always longer than the fast.

Yes, I love that.

A few weeks ago, during the middle of the Lenten season, I sensed the Lord inviting me to launch a new fast on Easter Sunday.  A fast to carry me through the fifty days of Easter season.

After much prayer and reflection, I decided that I would begin this new fast.

And, after a week of this new fast, I realize that it’s going to be harder than I thought and it’s more important than I initially suspected.

Fasting: Revealing What I Love

Why?

Because for this Easter-Season fast I am giving up two cherished human (and American) experiences:

  1. Convenience, and
  2. Expediency

Yes, those are the two experiences I am trying to surrender and failing miserably at doing so!

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