What Rome Meant in the Atonement

There are many impossible things to ponder during Holy Week (questions that remain a mystery; answers that exceed our capacity to understand), but for me one question rises above all others: Why did God choose the cross? I believe that the cross is at the center of our salvation. I also believe that it didn’t just work out that way; rather, God chose, even before the foundations of the earth, that he would redeem fallen humanity by dying for it on the cross. There are all sorts of impossible things in those last three sentences to ponder, but the one that makes no sense to me whatsoever is why would God choose the cross as his instrument of salvation. After all, there are thousands of ways to die; why choose one of the most painful, the most agonizing, the most horrific? Even if we focused only on the 3 most

Repeating Repentance

In Galaxy Quest (think the original Star Trek movies with better actors and a better plot), it was the Omega 13 Device, a device that, when activated, went back in time 13 seconds, enabling you to correct one mistake.   In Sherman and Mr. Peabody, it was the Way-Back Machine (travel through time to make things right). In note taking, it is the eraser. But it is in golf that we are given a proper name for these U-turns. We call them, mulligans. Interestingly, there are two stories for the origin of this term, both equally dubious.  The first revolves around a Canadian golfer in the 1920’s, aptly named David Bernard Mulligan. Apparently, Mulligan had a very jarring trip to his country club and was so rattled by the experience that when he hit his first shot, it went way out of bounds.  Without asking, Mulligan re-teed another ball and hit

An Atonement Worth Mentioning

The other day, our son and daughter dropped by with their new rescue dog, Layla. Now, Layla is adorable, but she is not so sure about other dogs.  When Ragna comes close, she growls and shows her teeth and acts like she is going to take a chunk out of Ragna’s ear.  Now, Ragna responds like a gentleman. He backs off and finds a safe spot where he can be alone. He also acts out his anxiety by chewing on things.  This time, he found a bag of Scrabble tiles and tossed them on the couch. But he only chewed on three of them. He chewed on the “R.” He chewed on the “Q.” And he chewed on the “L.” We figured he was trying to send a message; we are not just sure what it means. It could stand fo,r “Layla, Quit! Ragna.” Or it could be, “Layla quarrels

First Mission: Be Quick to Repent

This sermon is based on James 4:4-12. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: Imagine it’s 50 AD, and you are riding your camel. You’re headed up to Jerusalem from Galilee, and you’ve lost all your favorite Galilean radio stations. It’s a long ride without tunes, and so you flip the dial to see what you can find. Suddenly, a station comes in loud and clear. . . . “It’s 10 o’clock, and you’re listening to FM 108, ‘all James all the time—all wisdom all the time—all Messiah all the time.’ You might even say, ‘all Sermon on the Mount—all the time.’ And you’re not just listening to some Johnny-come-lately station either. We were the very first. On the air since the mid 40’s. We were there from the beginning to get you to where you want to go. So, sit back

Words of Repentance and Hope

While we often think of the minor prophets as only preaching judgment and doom, here we are reminded of the lengths to which God goes to show us his unrelenting love and grace as we turn to him in repentance. Based on Hosea 14:1-9.

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