This Sunday is Palm Sunday---the beginning of Holy Week.
It's also one of those Sundays when you can't ignore the church calendar and just preach whatever you want. I am sure that some people do just that, but they probably aren't Presbyterian, and I am sure that the liturgical rhythm of the Church is not first and foremost in their mind.
And they probably have had no trouble at all working on their sermon this week.
I'm not one to blindly follow tradition, but there are some things that you just don't do---and you can't just ignore the story of Jesus' Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
But this leads to a bit of a quandary... In the short time I have been doing this whole preaching thing I have gone through the Palm Sunday story a few times. After a while you sort of wonder if your congregation has heard your Palm Sunday riff a few too many times.
That sermon needs to get preached, though. While we celebrate the cheers and palm waving …
There's something about this night that brings us together---even those of us for whom church is not part of or regularly scheduled programming.
I have a soft spot in my heart for the non-Church-y people who find their way to church on Christmas Eve. There were a lot of years when I wasn't really the church going type, you see. In fact, not only was church not part of my regularly scheduled programming, I had pretty much cancelled it from my life altogether. But when Christmas Eve would come around again, as it seems to do each year, I'd discover myself sitting in a pew, showered, shaved and wearing somewhat respectable church clothes.
I think the reason why I showed up was because there was part of me that wanted to believe everything that everyone around me was singing and praying. I wanted to believe in the story of Hope that the various pastors I …
This week we're launching a brand new sermon series--a study in the New Testament book of James entitled "Different"---a series exploring what it truly means to live like a Christian.
There are all kinds of people who claim to have a corner on the market when it comes to the marks of what it means to be Christian, and typically the people who feel this way are not shy about telling you all the ways you aren't living like a Christain.
The point of this series is not to leave all of us feeling less-than because we aren't living the kinds of lives we ought to live. The fact of the matter is, none of us live the lives we ought to live---we're all in the same boat here.
The point of this series is to lift up the ways that we can step into the kind of abundant life that Jesus declared he wanted for all of us, and for us to truly live like Christians, people who belong to Jesus.
Today we're going to be learning that one of the marks of the well-led Christian…