Unbroken Bones

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Every year, as Easter draws near, I think about Will*, a student in my Sunday school group a few years back. One morning during Lent, we were revisiting Jesus’ arrest, suffering, and death.

We discussed the road to the cross and the method of crucifixion. We read about the inscription, the casting lots, and about how the soldiers didn’t break Jesus’ legs.

The kids, especially the boys, were curious about the details of crucifixion: How did they get the nails in? Since Jesus is God, did he feel it? Did he scream/fight back? Was blood pouring down the hill?

I guess I’m used to their weird curiosities and obsessions, so I marched through their questions like a pro, without flinching, until this one came from Will’s half-shouting voice: (more…)

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The Same 88 Keys

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My piano teacher ended every lesson the same way. After thirty minutes of my plunking on her Steinway, she would scoot me off the bench to watch her play some impressive, advanced piece. At the end of the last note, she’d look up at me, gesture to the keyboard, and say, “Now remember, you have these same 88 keys on your piano at home.”

She was trying to encourage me, but sometimes, especially after a rough lesson, it felt like an accusation: You have everything you need… so why aren’t you playing better? What’s wrong with you?

After four years of lessons, it was evident that I lacked many things, but mostly I needed a deeper desire and a different DNA. No matter how hard we tried, those 88 keys just weren’t enough. (more…)

When the Empty Tomb Seems Too Far Away

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I want to run.

I want to be like Peter, the disciple who ran for the tomb on the third day. The one who leaned in to the emptiness and believed.

“Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw…” (John 20: 1-5)

I read the story of the Resurrection and cheer Peter on. My soul runs with him, toward the hope that I know is there… because I know the story so well. Because I love happy endings and want one for Peter- who’s floundering faith reminds me so much of my own. Continue reading

The Rock of Ages

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The Law was etched into it, carving God’s people out of the world and into holiness. It was held high then smashed to the ground in a frustrated rage – because all fall short. A stone mirror reflecting a broken people.

They placed their offerings upon it. An altar without rest, and messy from endless efforts to cover their own sin. Spilling gallon upon gallon of the wrong kind of blood. A stone table for doing work their hands could never finish.  Continue reading

Why Does The Resurrection Matter?

Jonathan Dockery*, a young, hip artist, in his last semester at seminary, created this video for Easter. I have no words. It’s beautiful.

I pray it brings you the hope of the Restoration.

*Jonathan works as a graphic designer at Central Presbyterian Church and attends Covenant Theological Seminary.

Sockless Faith

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I sat in the tiny chair, held up the Picture Bible a little higher for effect, and spoke in my best Miss Pattycake voice…

“…then, Jesus wrapped a towel around His waist and washed their feet.

They stared at me like little robots. Clearly, they aren’t paying attention, I thought.  Continue reading