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Lo, I am with you always

There are 3 and 1/2 ascension storys. Why? Jesus says good bye to each person he met on this earth in a different way. Each group of people, each church, might need to hear something different.

Acts 1:6-9
Matthew 28:16
Ascension Day
Easter 6
“Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?” Jesus asked. “We can,” James and John answered.

Often times, preachers will preach sermons on how naive or selfish James and John were for asking for thrones next to Jesus in glory. But, I pray for myself and all of us here that we might have the courage of a James  or a John or a Mary Magdalene or a Mother Theresa. We often hear sermons on how frail and stupid the disciples were. Sure they weren't the quickest to catch on to Jesus' teaching. Still, everyone of those twelve, and many of the women with them, went up that road prepared to suffer and die.

Mark 10:32-40
Palm Sunday
Lent 6
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Here is the story. God emptied himself and was born into our world. One Friday, God made himself weak and vulnerable. He was betrayed, put on trial, mocked, beaten, made to carry his cross throughout all the streets of Jerusalem, he stumbles three times under its weight (imagine that, God being weak), and then arriving at the place of the skull, he is nailed to this cross. It is dropped into a hole. He is made to hang between heaven and earth. In agony for three hours. Then he dies. God’s envoy to this planet dies. This is the story.

1 Corinthians 1:18, 2:1-2
Lent 1
Good Friday