Monday, December 25, 2006

merry christmas from the byrds

merry christmas from the byrds

music is "utah" by the predictors

snow screen saver on my ibook

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

me and austin on the roof





the other monday i cleaned the gutters and then austin came up on the roof to help me hang the last of our Christmas lights. we now have colored lights on the roof, white lights in the bushes and along the walk, two white snowflakes hanging on either side of the door and a white light christmas tree out in the yard.



Tuesday, December 19, 2006

visit to the national christmas tree

here we are at the national christmas tree across the river in washington dc.
its located on the elipse in front of the white house.
we went on saturday the 9th

Friday, December 15, 2006

hebrews: the job of a priest

06 Hebrews

Hebrews 4.14 – 5.10

What was the job of the high priest in ancient Israel? Essentially he had two jobs. First he represented the people of Israel to the LORD. When the people had a concern or needed guidance they asked the high priest to consult the LORD on their behalf. The high priest stood between men and God. He stood before the LORD and represented the people. A prophet on the other hand represents the LORD to the people. The priest takes our message to the LORD and brings His answer back but a prophet brings us the message of the LORD and takes back our response.

The second job of the high priest was to offer gifts and sacrifices for sin. It was his job to make the yearly sin offering for the people. He was the only one who could go into the holy of holies and stand before the Mercy Seat on the Arch of the Covenant. Before he could make the offering of sin on behalf of the people he had to first make and offering for his own sin. His own sin made him unworthy to offer the sacrifice for sin. So he had to have a sacrifice for himself and then for the people. He did all this in the temple in Jerusalem and before that in the Tabernacle both were pale reflections of the True Temple.

The Lord Jesus Christ is our Great High Priest. His job is similar to the original high priest but with some significant changes.

First our Great High Priest has gone through the heavens. As the Great High Priest his does not go to a temple or tabernacle made with human hands out of the stuff of this world. Instead He goes to the True Temple to perform his priestly duties.

Our Great High Priest also make and offering for sin. Jesus Christ offers himself as that offering for sin. He doesn’t need to offer a sacrifice for his own sin because he was sinless. He was tempted in all the ways the human high priest were. He was tempted in all the ways we are today. Yet he was and is without sin. In spite of the fact that He is sinless because he faced temptation like us He is able to sympathize with our struggle against temptation. With Jesus as our Great High Priest a door has been opened for all the people of God to approach the throne seeking grace and mercy. No long is it just the high priest who enters the throne asking for grace and mercy on our behalf. Now we walk in ourselves with confidence.

Finally like the human high priest our Great High Priest represents us to the LORD. In these last days the Son being our representative has given us direct access to the Father. The Son, Father and Holy Spirit are one. Access to one is access to them all.

Neither of these high priest claimed the job for themselves instead they were appointed or called by the LORD. They are high priest because the LORD wants them too. Jesus is our Great High Priest by the desire of the LORD.

Hold on tight to the faith we profess. Jesus is our Great High Priests goes to the True Heavenly Temple. He offers a sacrifice for our forgiveness alone because He is without sin. Our Great High Priest sympathizes with us as we struggle with sin, because he has been tempted in every way. As our representative before the LORD he has opened the door for us to approach the throne of the LORD with confidence seeking grace and mercy.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

10 years and sad news

me and lisa with our 10 year anniversary cake
this weeks marks my 10th year as the youth minister at the church of Christ in falls church. Back in 1996 i had no idea that i would be here this long but God has blessed me and my family here.

---

sad news
on a sad note a homeless man that has been a regular at our food pantry was found dead on monday morning. a worker went to the laudry room at and apartment complex and found him there. the worker thought he was sleeping there and called the police. the police found that he was daed. they believe it was a murder.

we called him dave, his name was david r. feliz, and he was a lost soul who had made some really bad choices in his life, with drugs, alcohol and in his relationships. as far as i know he has no family in the area and was completely alone. from time to time he would disapear and then reapear clean shaven and clean from the time he spent in jail for some petty offense.
here are two stories about dave

String of Murders in Fairfax County (he is the first story in this clip)
String of 3 Slayings Startles Authorities (his story is near the bottom of the page)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

the promise of rest

The Promise of Rest
Hebrews 3.7 – 4.13
Long ago the LORD promised the His people Rest. They were promised a true Sabbath Rest in the Promised Land. At the time they were slaves in Egypt toiling away with no rest. Slaves who were toiling away with no mercy. They had no hope. Then the LORD brought up a man to lead them out of slavery. With His mighty arm the LORD crushed the most powerful nation in the world at the time. With His mighty arm the LORD led His people out of slavery into the desert on their way to Rest. They were on their way to the True Rest the LORD had promised they would find in the Promise Land. At Mount Sinai His people agreed to the Covenant that would insure that they received rest. Shortly after this they arrived on the border and what should have one of the most glorious moments in human history is squandered. Spies, sent to explore the Promised Land, discovered it would be impossible to take. The LORD’s people hardened their hearts and rebelled against the LORD and rejected the Promised Land. In His anger the LORD sent them into the desert to wander until all those who had hardened their hearts were dead. He swore an oath that they would never enter the promised Sabbath Rest.

After witnessing the LORD’s mighty power crush the gods and power of Egypt. After walking thru the sea on dry land. After they received mercy for stumbling away with the golden calf. After accepting the promise of rest and the covenant with the LORD. They forget and squander it all. They would never enter the Promised Land. Instead they died out in the desert wandering with no rest and no land of their own.

What a bleak and depressing story! The LORD saved them from slavery and promised rest only to have them turn it down. They had a promise, more than that they had a covenant with the LORD and they walked away from it. But, the Promise of Sabbath rest is still out there (Hebrews 4.1). The Promise for True Sabbath Rest is for us. There is a promise to us as the LORD’s people thru the blood of His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.

The author of Hebrews reminds the readers that the Promise of rest is still out their and that this promise is now to us! But we must not be like those whom the LORD rescued from Egypt. We must not harden out hearts. We must not rebel. We must not be sinful. We must no have unbelieving hearts. If we do we will lose out on the promised Sabbath Rest the LORD has promised. (Hebrews 3.7 – 19)

We need to hold on tight. We need to have believing and faithful heart. We need to be obedient to the LORD. We need to walk in His ways. If the first Israelites lost out on the earthly rest that would have been found in the Promised Land what makes us think that if we are disobedient, hard hearted or unfaithful we will not lose our promised Sabbath Rest? The mercy of the LORD opened the way for us to this promise thru the blood of His Son. We need to hold on tight to that mercy and not lose hold of it. We don’t save ourselves but we can let go of our salvation if we have unbelieving, unfaithful and sinful hearts/lives.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

mike cope sings the classics



mike cope is the preacher at the highland church of Christ in abilens texas and a blogs at preachermike.com. if you aren't a member of "the church" this might not be as funny to you as it is to me but no matter what name is on your church's building this is very funny!

Monday, November 27, 2006

04 Hebrews 3.1 - .6

What is your focus? Where do you find your identity? These are vital questions for you and me as one of God’s people. Do you find your identity in what you do at work? Are you focused on your family? Do you have to have he latest and greatest technological gadget? Are focused on being the center of attention? What ever our focus is becomes our god. Is our god the true living God or a false dead idol?

If your focus is on the stuff of this world, your job/work, your family, technological gadgets, being the center of attention then you are focusing on stuff that will vanish in the end. You are storing up treasures here and not in heave. Your fate will be the same as the treasures you are collecting. By fix our thoughts on Jesus we will share in the heavenly calling!

Does this sound familiar? It should because it is not my advice but what the author of Hebrews tells the readers after talking about the incarnation of Jesus. The Son of God became flesh and blood like us and because of that we need to focus on Him. By fixing our thoughts on Jesus we become holy brothers and sisters and share in the heavenly calling. (Hebrews 3.1) We become the house of God! (3.6) Jesus and Moses were servants in this house. Both of them were good servants. The difference is that Moses is just a servant while Jesus is the Son and heir of the house. He is the faithful Son over God’s house and we are the house. (Hebrews 3.2 - .6)

We are only the house is we hold onto the courage and hope we boast about! (Hebrews 3.6) The courage and hope we boast about is the Good News of Jesus! The hope and courage is that the Son of God became flesh and blood to save us. The hope and courage we have is that we have a heavenly calling, a heavenly destination. As God’s House we will live eternally with the Father, thanks to the Son for making us holy and thanks to the Spirit that gives us the strength to live as one of God’s people.

A few weeks ago during our 3rd-6th grade class on Wednesday night I had the students write on a card something they treasured. Next we went to another room to act out our parables for the night. While we were in the other room I sent someone to the other room to rip up the cards! When we came back and found their cards ripped up they students were not happy but they will never forget that our earthly treasures no matter how special will be destroyed. The only thing that is permanent in our world is God. Our continued focus on Jesus the Apostle and High Priest will assure us that we will share in our heavenly calling.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

now i am having a happy thanksgiving

georgia beat tech so i am having a happy thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

03 Hebrews: He Became Flesh and Blood

03 Hebrews: He Became Flesh and Blood

Hebrews 2.5 - .18


One of the great wonders of the universe is the incarnation of Jesus. The Son of God became flesh. He lived as one of us. He smelled like us. He had to go to the bathroom like us. He was hungry like us. He could get sunburned like us. He was tired like us. He was for a moment trapped and confined by the limits of time and space. Before the Son became flesh and blood like us he was everywhere all the time. He had none of our weaknesses such as hunger, smells, bathroom breaks, being tired or having to wait in line. The Son gave up all that when he came down and put on flesh and blood like us. This is not just a wonder it is also a mystery!


The author of Hebrews picks up on the incarnation. At the beginning of the second chapter he writes about the future world being subject not to angels but to the SON. (Hebrews 2.5) The Father has put everything under the Son but at the present we cannot completely see His lordship. (Hebrews 2.5-9) We live in the overlap between the kingdom of this world and the Kingdom of God. The Son, Jesus was made lower than angels for a short time (Hebrews 2.9) to suffer and bring glory to himself and to his brothers. (Hebrews 10.10 – 13) We are the ones for whom the Son made holy thru his suffering and the holy one (Jesus) and the ones who were made holy (us) are brothers!


Then author writes:

Since the children have flesh and blood, Jesus too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

(Hebrews 2.14 - .18)


We can see that Jesus became, flesh and blood like us in order to destroy the fear of death and the one who had the power of death. God’s people, Jesus’ brothers have nothing to fear from death. We should not fear death. If your life is threatened you have nothing to fear because Jesus defeated the Devil. By becoming flesh and blood like us, Jesus also becomes our high priest. A high priest who is merciful and faithful that stands between the Father and us. As a high priest he makes atonement for our sins as his people. He also suffered temptation so he can help us when we are tempted.


That is an amazing and wonderful truth! Jesus became real flesh and blood. He didn’t appear to be flesh and blood. His spirit didn’t inhabit someone else’s body. The physical form the first disciples and apostles saw and touched, the physical resurrected body was or is the true flesh and blood of the Son of God. Now that is a true mystery!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

hebrews part two

Recently I began what will be a yearlong series on the Book of Hebrews. This book is not a letter but instead is more than likely a sermon. We will explore this sermon together and see how wonderful and awesome Jesus is and the message that he brought.


The author of Hebrews begins (1.1-.3) by telling the reader about God’s indirect communication thru prophets and other ways to the direct communication thru the Son. He then goes on to describe the Son ending in verse 4 with the Son being over the angels. Why this initial focus on angels? Angels are the spiritual messengers of God. God uses angels to speak to prophets such as Moses, Isaiah and others. They seem to be the first ones after sin entered the world to bring God’s message to humanity. They are important and powerful spiritual beings but do not compare to the Son.


The relationship between the Son, God and angels is described in the next 10 verses of chapter 1. (1) The Son’s name is greater than the names of angels (Hebrews 1.4). Don’t think of this as his first or last name. Instead this is referring to his “title” or position. His title is “the Son” while, as we will see the angles are servants. The relationship between Jesus and God is a father son relationship. No angels, has ever been called the son! (Hebrews 1.5 & .6) (2) Angels show their inferiority to the Son by worshiping him and show him the respect that he deserves (Hebrews 1.6). (3) Angels the Son’s Servants and ((Hebrews 1.7) 4) he is their master (Hebrews 1.8 & .9). (5) Unlike the Son who is eternal and has always been, angles are created being and part of creation. (Hebrews 1.10 - .12) (6) The Son sits are the right hand of the Father and rests until his enemies are made his footstool. (Hebrews 1.13) The author sums all this up in verse 14 by describing angels as ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation. If you turn this verse around you discover that angels are sent by their master and are to serve and minister to God’s people. They are not all powerful beings who decide when and where they will go but are the LORD’s servants.


The reason for the comparison becomes obvious at the beginning of chapter 2. (Hebrew 2.1 - .4) It begins with a warning not to drift away but pay careful attention to the message we have heard from the Son. The message the angels brought was binding and people were punished for violating it. Now the message comes straight from the Son! If the servant’s message was binding how much more so is the SON’s message? What is the message the Son brings? It is the message of a great salvation. The LORD himself first announced it. It then was confirmed to the readers by eyewitnesses who had heard the message from the Lord. It was also confirmed and testified to by signs, wonders and miraculous signs from God. Finally gifts from the Holy Spirit confirm the message.


Just like the original readers we too need to be careful and not drift away from the great salvation that was announced by the Son. The message of this great salvation is the SON himself. We need to not drift away. This is the image of a ship drifting away because now one was paying attention. We need to pay attention to the message we have heard and we need to hold on tight to this wonderful message of salvation we have heard!

hebrews begins

Last week I began what will be a yearlong series on the Book of Hebrews. This book is not a letter but instead is more than likely a sermon. We will explore this sermon together and see how wonderful and awesome Jesus is and the message that he brought.


The author of Hebrews begins (1.1-.3) by telling the reader about God’s indirect communication thru prophets and other ways to the direct communication thru the Son. He then goes on to describe the Son ending in verse 4 with the Son being over the angels. Why this initial focus on angels? Angels are the spiritual messengers of God. God uses angels to speak to prophets such as Moses, Isaiah and others. They seem to be the first ones after sin entered the world to bring God’s message to humanity. They are important and powerful spiritual beings but do not compare to the Son.


The relationship between the Son, God and angels is described in the next 10 verses of chapter 1. (1) The Son’s name is greater than the names of angels (Hebrews 1.4). Don’t think of this as his first or last name. Instead this is referring to his “title” or position. His title is “the Son” while, as we will see the angles are servants. The relationship between Jesus and God is a father son relationship. No angels, has ever been called the son! (Hebrews 1.5 & .6) (2) Angels show their inferiority to the Son by worshiping him and show him the respect that he deserves (Hebrews 1.6). (3) Angels the Son’s Servants and ((Hebrews 1.7) 4) he is their master (Hebrews 1.8 & .9). (5) Unlike the Son who is eternal and has always been, angles are created being and part of creation. (Hebrews 1.10 - .12) (6) The Son sits are the right hand of the Father and rests until his enemies are made his footstool. (Hebrews 1.13) The author sums all this up in verse 14 by describing angels as ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation. If you turn this verse around you discover that angels are sent by their master and are to serve and minister to God’s people. They are not all powerful beings who decide when and where they will go but are the LORD’s servants.


The reason for the comparison becomes obvious at the beginning of chapter 2. (Hebrew 2.1 - .4) It begins with a warning not to drift away but pay careful attention to the message we have heard from the Son. The message the angels brought was binding and people were punished for violating it. Now the message comes straight from the Son! If the servant’s message was binding how much more so is the SON’s message? What is the message the Son brings? It is the message of a great salvation. The LORD himself first announced it. It then was confirmed to the readers by eyewitnesses who had heard the message from the Lord. It was also confirmed and testified to by signs, wonders and miraculous signs from God. Finally gifts from the Holy Spirit confirm the message.


Just like the original readers we too need to be careful and not drift away from the great salvation that was announced by the Son. The message of this great salvation is the SON himself. We need to not drift away. This is the image of a ship drifting away because now one was paying attention. We need to pay attention to the message we have heard and we need to hold on tight to this wonderful message of salvation we have heard!

Monday, November 06, 2006

she's back

my as of yet unnamed ibook is back up and running and the screen looks great!

this morning i get to post the church's podcast and work on a project for the mid-atlantic fellowship.

Friday, November 03, 2006

guiness bar & prayer

my ibook is at the shop for the second day. the cable that connects to the screen is broken and needs to be replaced. mega bummer. i have cloned the hard drive using carbon copy cloner so i have been booting my old imac dv at home and my old imac dv+ at the church building as my lap top. osx 10.3.9 runs pretty well from a firewire drive at 400 and 450 mghz on 512 or 192 megs of ram. itunes 7 doesn't work but everything else seems to run fine.

i should have it back by tuesday!

a prayer for healing

LORD,
listen to me
hear me my God
i am broken
i am injured
repair my brokeness
heal my injuries

make me whole once more
thru you Son's power restore me.

-amen-

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

hebrews begins

i am going to start a series of post based on the letter of hebrews. these are adapted from an ongoing series of bulletin articles i am writing this year. hope you enjoy them.

Hebrews Part One (1.1-3)


The book of Hebrews begins with this simple statement:

“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…” (Hebrews 1.1 & .2) This simple statement reveals an incredible and awesome truth. The truth is this that God speaks directly to us thru His Son. He no longer uses a third party to speak to us like prophets or donkeys or angels instead it is direct communication from the Son. The long period of the absence of God’s direct communication is over. This simple statement also reveals that we are in the “last days.” The end is now closer than it was. The time of this world is coming to an end and in this end time God speaks directly to us.


If the Son our direct link to God, who is the Son? The author of Hebrews describes the Son in this opening in 7 ways. First, (1) the Son has been appointed the heir of all things. He is the Lord of the universe and this world is his. (Hebrews 1.2) Not only is the Universe his but (2) the Son is also the one thru whom the God made the universe. (Hebrews 1.2) The Father some how used the Son as the instrument of creation. (3) The author goes on to describe the Son as the radiance of God’s glory. (Hebrews 1:3) (4) The Son is also the exact representation of God’s being. (Hebrews 1:3) If you want to know what God is like you look at the Son. (5) The word of the Son sustains all things. (Hebrews 1.3) All things were created thru the Son, all things are the Son’s and the Son’s keeps all things going. (6) This world is broken and dirtied by sin and the Son became the provider of purifications of those sins. (Hebrews 1.3) (7) After providing purification the Son sat down at the right hand of the Majesty of Heaven and rested. (Hebrews 1.3) The author of Hebrews lays a foundation for the greatness of Christ, which he will expound upon as the book continues.


This first section reminds of the awesome greatness of our LORD Jesus Christ. I feel that sometimes we get comfortable with Jesus. We think we know who he is and we don’t think much of that. It is no big deal when people use his name in vain. He is just Jesus. The author of Hebrews writes to remind his readers of the awesome greatness of Jesus. He is not to be taken for granted. In fact how could you take the Son for granted, how could you get comfortable with the Son when you stop and look at who he is! This opening shows us a Son, it shows us a Jesus far beyond any flannel graph character, far beyond any portrayal in a movie and far beyond anything in our imaginations.


When I stopped and thought about these first three verses they blew my mind away at the picture of Jesus I saw. I hope you take the time to reread them and meditated on what they mean and allow you r perception of our LORD Jesus Christ to be expanded.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

dent

whoever dent is he has been tagging the area around my church's building, (Church of Christ in Falls Church) along with this truck he has hit some bridges and other structures.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

a prayer for guidance

LORD,
i am unsure of where
to go.
my directions are
unclear.
i do not know the
way.

open my eyes,
so i may see where
i am going.
take my hand
so that you may
guide my way.
speak in my ears
so i may hear
your directions.

i ask for your guidance
in your Son's
Name
amen

Saturday, October 07, 2006

community: safety, danger and Jesus

on september 24th i preached about the community of God's people. it is both the safest place in the world and the most dangerous. community is very important to Jesus too. after you listen to it tell me what you think.

click here to listen or download


i used a short video clip title me|church it is an igniter video click here to watch it

Sarah's Show

sarah's show is posted on sparky philms


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

i preached the worst sermon

last sunday night i preached what i titled "the worst sermon" but a better name was suggested to me by friend jim "it's about the worst sermon."

it centers around the worst of all sinners and what he or she seeks when they become one of God's people.

click here to listen

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

me at my theater


last week i was at the richmond work camp with my teens and on thursday night we went to the byrd theater!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

why i am a proud acu alumni!

recently soulforce's equality ride stopped at acu. this is a bus of lesbia, gay and bisexaul college students protesting religious based vilonce against lesbians, gays and bisexuals. the other "christian" colleges and universities they visited gave them the cold shoulder and their bus was vandalized at some places.

acu's reception was different. they invited them on campus and had discussion forums withe the equity riders and acu students. the riders were invited to chapel and worshiped at the univeristy church's sunday night communion service.

acu policy on the sinfulness of the homosexaul lifestyle and sexual practices have not changed but they showed the riders love instead of the hate they had been recieving else where. for more info chech out these websites

http://www.acu.edu

the optimists

soulforce's report on thier visit to acu


preachermike.com

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Last Meal of Jesus

The Last Meal
His Words not Ours!
Mark 16.14-20

In what is sometimes called the long ending of Mark we find our last meal. Jesus appears to the 11 remaining apostles and takes them to task for still having a hard time believing the reports of his resurrection.(Mark 16.14) They like us are stubborn and lack faith. In spite of their stubbornness and lack of faith Jesus has a job for them to do. He tells them that they are to go into all the world and preach the Good News to all creation. (Mark 16.15) They are to go everywhere and tell everyone the Message of Jesus. People who believe this message and are baptized will find salvation. (Mark 16.16) There are also signs which confirm the message and the salvation. (Mark 16.17 & .18) We see all of the signs mentioned here (ecept for drinking poison) in the story of the early church we find in Acts. The believers will drive out demons in Jesus name (Acts 8.6-.8,16.16 & 19.12), speak in tongues (Acts 2.3, 10.46 & 19.6), pick up snakes with no harm (Acts 28.4 & .5) and heal people (Acts 3.1, 5.12 & .15-.17, 8.6-.8, 9.34, 14.8-10 & 28.7-.9)

After sending the Apostles out Jesus is taken into heave and sits at the Right Hand of God. (Mark 16.19) The Right Hand of God is a place of power, rest, authority and salvation. In the Song of Moses after the Israelites have crossed the Red Sea he tells us that the right hand of the Lord is majestic in power and shattered the enemy. Psalm 118.15 & .16 as well as Isaiah 62.8 describe the power of the right hand of God. The right hand of the Lord is described as bringing salvation in Psalm 20.6 and 98.1. Finally it is a place of rest Psalm 110.1 describes the Lord (Jesus) sitting at THE LORD's (The Father) right hand until his enemies are made the Lord's footstool. Jesus gets to rest while the enemies are his footstool by the Father. This passage is also quoted in Matthew 22:43-45, Mark 12:35-37,Luke 20.42-.44, Acts 2:34-36 and Hebrews 1:12-14 to describe Jesus Christ our Lord.

The story ends with the disciples going everywhere and preaching and the Lord works with them. Jesus confirms his word by the signs that accompanied it.(Mark 16.20) It is not the word of the disciples or of other men that they preach but is it the Lord's Word! This is the same Message we take with us as well. When we share the Good News of Jesus it is not our words but it is his word. He works with us to confirm what we are saying. We are not left alone in this world to do the Lord's work but he is working with us. Imagine that the Lord is working with you to confirm His word. It is not our power. It is not our word. Instead it is the Lord's power and the Lord's word!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Meals of Jesus: Come and Eat

Meals of Jesus: Come and Eat
John 21.1-.25
This sermon was delivered on the evening of November 27th 2005, there is a video clip of of John 21.1-.25 from the movie The Gospel of John.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Meals of Jesus: Resurrection, Witnessing and Waiting

The Meals of Jesus: Resurrection, Witnessing and Waiting
Luke 24.36-.49
Acts 1.3-.5

    Luke is in a hurry to end his Gospel account so he wraps things up fast leaving us with just one meal after the resurrection.  This meal takes place immediately after Cleopas and his traveling companion return from Emmaus.  They had traveled all day with a stranger who turned out in the end to actually be the resurrected LORD Jesus Christ.  Cleopas and his friend leave Emmaus immediately and return to Jerusalem.  They find the 11 Apostles to share what had just happened to them.  As they are all talking the LORD Jesus Christ appears in their midst. (Luke 24.13 - .36)
    The 11 and those with them are troubled, full doubt, full of joy and amazed!  Can this really be Jesus returned or it is a ghost?  Jesus makes a very strong point to show them that he is not a ghost or an illusion but that he is an actual physical person.  To do this he has them touch him and see his wounded hands and feet (Luke 24.39).  Then he eats some fish in their presence (Luke 24.41).  He is not a ghost.  He is not an illusion.  This is not a body double or a pretender.  This is not a counterfeit resurrection or tall tale but the real thing!  Jesus is physically resurrected.  The raised body is the same body that died.  It bears the scars of the death he went thru!
    After they touched him.  After they saw his hands and feet.  After they watched him eat.  He reminds them that he had been telling about this the whole time (Luke 24.44).   He tells them that all this was to fulfill what was written about him in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms (Luke 24.44).  The suffering, death and resurrection of the Christ/Messiah was not something new but part of god's the plan the entire time.
    At the end of this visit Jesus does something interesting.  First, He opens their mind so the can understand the Scriptures (Luke 24.45).  Then he tells them that they be witnesses and will go preach repentance and forgiveness (Luke 24.46 & .47).  Finally he tells them to wait (Luke 24.48).  Instead of sending them out immediately to bear witness they are to wait till they are clothed with power from on high (Luke 24.49).  They are waiting for the Holy Spirit.  They can not be witnesses without God's power.  They cannot preach without God's power.  They must wait for the Holy Spirit to come and give them the power, courage and strength they need to be witnesses.
    We are witnesses of Jesus too.  Each of us has read the gospels, or been in a class about one of them, or had listened to Mike preach out of Matthew.  Thru all this we become witnesses too.  We also have a commission to preach but we need the Holy Spirit to give us the strength courage and power to be witnesses.  We are witnesses to the life, death and resurrection of our LORD Jesus Christ!


--
gmail
from
josh byrd
youth minister
@ the church of Christ in falls church, va.

zoom in all the way!

if you zoom in all the way on google moon you discover what the moon is really made of just click the link and see http://moon.google.com/

--
gmail
from
josh byrd
youth minister
@ the church of Christ in falls church, va.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


the angel tyler

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

skipped meal: unclean hands

The Heart of the Matter.
Mark 7.1-.23

The Sunday Morning of Power House (back at the beginning of november) I was sitting in the auditorium of the Fairfax Church of Christ worshiping when Bruce Black got up to preach. His sermon was on being clean and holy as one of God's people. As the text was read I realized that I had missed a meal. I am not talking about breakfast but about one of the Meals of Jesus I have been writing about. So today I am going to explore a missed meal.

The story begins with some Pharisees and Teachers of the Law come down from Jerusalem and are gathered around Jesus. They notice that Jesus disciples are eating with unclean hands. Not that they didn't wash the dirt of their hands but that their hands were not ceremonially clean. Concerned about this they go to Jesus and ask him two questions. First they ask him why his disciples eat with unclean hands? Secondly they ask him why they don't keep the traditions of the elders.

Jesus turns to them and instead of answering the questions they ask he goes to the issue under the questions. Their concern for ceremonial cleaness and traditions is a sympton of the fact that the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law have set aside the commands of God for the traditions of men. He says “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!”

He confronts them about their hypocrisy of worrying about the disciples keeping a tradition of men. While they ignore God's direct command for children to honor their parents. In doing so he tells them that they are nullifying the word of God by their traditions.

All churches have traditions. They are the forms in which the commands and teachings of the LORD and his son Jesus Christ give us. The traditions are not the commands but the forms we give them in our churches. For instance, it is our tradition to serve the LORD's Supper on trays with men carrying them down the aisle to everyone. Other churches have people come up to a central table and take the elements for themselves. While other churches have you go to a station and have the LORD's Supper their. Which of these is commanded by God? None of them and all of them at the same time. The forms are not commanded but the act of taking the LORD's Supper is commanded.

Each of us has our own traditions based on the commands and teachings of our God and his Son Jesus Christ. For instance we are commanded to be holy but how do we live that holiness out? Somethings are taught to us but somethings we have to figure out for ourselves. So have creat our own form and tradition. So some of us abstain from seeing rated r movies, some don't read romance novels, some of us only listen to Christian musice and some of us don't watch any tv. Are these specifically commanded for us to do? No, but they are forms we use to be holy.

One of the things Jesus is teaching us in this passage is that we need to keep perspective. The commands of God are paramount over the traditions we use as a church and as individuals.

Monday, January 30, 2006

sparkyphilms!

if you are looking for my video blog it has moved. i am going to use this blog to do "traditional" blogging and use the other site as my vlog.

so if you want to see my vlog got to sparkyphilms.blogspot.com and check out my first vlog of 2006

Sunday, January 15, 2006

(Quick note these articles were adapted from the weekly article I write for my church's bulletin.)

The Meals of Jesus
Passover Supper with the Disciples Part Two
Matthew 26.1 - .30
Mark 14.12 - .26
Luke 22.1 - .38
John 13 – 17
1 Corinthians 10.14-.22
I Corinthians 11.17 - .34

Yesterday we explored what we traditionally call the Last Supper. Jesus takes elements from the Passover Meal and makes them new. He takes the symbol unleavened bread and makes it represent his body broken for us. He takes the wine and changes it to represent his blood poured out for us to seal the new covenant. As I mentioned then this is a meal that we still eat today. Instead of calling it the Last Supper, we call it Eucharist, or Communion or the LORD's Supper. You are either about to participate in this meal or you already have depending on when you read the Family Life on Sunday. The big question is why did Jesus want us to keep eating this meal? Here are three of the reasons I see for his desire for us to eat it.

One reason is remembrance. On the night Jesus was betrayed he began the meal and we are to eat it to remember his life, crucifixion and resurrection (Luke 22.19 & 1 Corinthians 11.24-.25). He tell us to eat the bread and drink the vine to remember because we are forgetful. We forget things all the time. Where we put our keys, what our anniversary date is and even what our phone number is. We need a reminder so we have daytimes and palm pilots to help us remember. Jesus institutes the Lord's Supper to remind us what he did for us and what we need to do for him because of it. Every time we eat Communion together we proclaim the LORD' s death and his returning (1 Corinthians 11.26).

Another reason is anticipation. The night the meal started Jesus tells those present that he had anticipated eating the Passover meal that night with them and that he will not eat it again until the Kingdom of God comes (Matthew 26.29, Mark 14.25 and Luke 22.14-.16). He wants to eat it again not just with the small group gathered that night but with all of his people. We are also anticipating eating it with him in what some call the great Messianic Banquet. Some day off in the future we will all sit down with our LORD and he will break the bread and hand it to us. He will pass the cup and we will drink it with him a new in the Father's Kingdom.

The next reason is participation. When we eat the bread and drink from the cup we participate in the body and blood of Jesus (1 Corinthians 10.14-.17). In eating the bread we participate in the life, death and resurrection of our Lord's body. When we drink from the cup we participate in the blood that was poured out for us. In addition to participating in the LORD's life we also become one as a community. From the one loaf we all become on body and that body is the church (1 Corinthians 10.17). When we eat the bread and drink from the cup we remember the life death and resurrection of our LORD. When we eat and drink, we are anticipating and proclaiming the coming of our LORD. When we eat and drink we are participating in the life, death and resurrection of our LORD.

This article and the last one about the LORD's Supper are incomplete explorations
of this meal. These are my reflections and thoughts compressed into a one page format. So if I missed something important it is because I don't have the space in this format.

Friday, January 13, 2006

The Meals of Jesus
Passover Supper with the Disciples Part One
Matthew 26.1 - .30
Mark 14.12 - .26
Luke 22.1 - .38
John 13 – 17
I Corinthians 11.17 - .34

Everything that happens today, right now, changes everything that will happen in the future. The choices we make this moment change and shape our future in dramatic and minute ways. Some events and choices are more life altering than others. For instance the shirt you are wearing is a choice that will have less impact on your life than the wife you choose. In the meals of Jesus this is also true. All of his meals impact us but today's meal is huge! In fact we are still eating this meal. No other meal impacts the future of our world as the Passover Meal he eats with is disciples on the night he was betrayed. We traditionally call this the “Last Supper” but I don't think that is a good name for this meal. Following this meal Jesus eats at least 4 more times with his disciples.

This meal begins with Jesus showing his disciples that he is in control of what is happening. He sends Peter and John into town to find to make preparation for the passover. (Luke 22.8) He sends then with specific instructions on how to find the room for the passover meal. They are to look for a man carrying a water jug and follow him.

They find things just as he said. (Matthew 26.18 & .19, Mark 14.13 - .15 and Luke 22.10-.12) The Lord has provided the place for the meal. When they all arrive in the upper room and begin to eat Jesus sets the mode with a terrible announcement that one of them will betray him. They all begin to question who this might be and to deny that it is them. (Matthew 26.20 - . 25, Mark 14.17 - .21 and Luke 22.21 - 23) This betrayal is key to understanding this meal. When Paul rebukes the Corinthian church for the way it celebrates the Lord's Supper he describes it as the meal Jesus ate the night he was betrayed. (1 Corinthians 11.23)

At the beginning of this Passover meal Jesus takes the unleavened bread they were to eat to remind them of their forefather's hasty escape from Egypt and changes the meaning. Now it is his body! He tells them to take and eat the bread that is his body
which is for you. Jesus body is no longer for himself but now it is for all of us. (Matthew 26.26, Mark 14.22, Luke 22.19 and 1 Corinthians 11.24) The betrayal will lead to his body being offered as a sacrifice.

Then towards the end of the traditional passover meal he take the cup of wine and changes it too. Now it represents his blood of the new covenant which is going to be poured for us. The blood is the life of the body. The blood is sacred. The Old Covenant between the Israelites and the Lord was cemented thru the sacrifice of lambs, goats and bulls. Now this New Covenant we live under is brought about by the blood sacrifice of God's only and unique Son. (Matthew 26.27 - .29, Mark 14.23 - .25, Luke 22.17 - .18 & .20 - .22 and 1 Corinthians 11.25)

The betrayal that happens much later that night is another history changing event. Those who had been looking for away to stop Jesus had their opportunity to put him on trial and kill him. They failed! His arrest, trial and crucifiction were all part of his plan to save us all by creating a New Covenant between humanity and the LORD. Jesus was in control the entire time. He provided the place for the meal and now he provides the sacrifice for the Covenant that brings forgiveness and salvation to all.
This is just a short examination of this meal. We will look at it again next week to examine why it is a meal that we still eat. This is the only meal of Jesus that we actually take part in.