Below is a passion narrative given by Chris Dresp, and music accompaniment by Kollin Baer.
In the movie version of “The Wizard of Oz,” Dorothy comes to a fork in the yellow brick road and wonders aloud “Now which way do we go?” A voice responds, “Pardon me, that way is a very nice way.” “Who said that?” Dorothy asks and Toto begins barking at a pointing scarecrow. “Don’t be silly, Toto. Scarecrows don’t talk.” Whereupon the scarecrow points in the opposite direction and says “It’s pleasant down that way, too.”
We’ve all been there or somewhere close to it. We come to a fork in the road, not certain of which way to go, and receive conflicting advice (unsolicited and often from the same source) on directional possibilities. The company has downsized and you’ve been laid off. Now which way do we go? The kid has finally graduated college but can’t find a job and wants his old room back. Now which way do we go? The lab report is inconclusive and there are eight different options for treatment. Now which way do we go? It’s hard to pray and Sunday morning worship just doesn’t do much for me, but I should draw closer to God. Now which way do we go?
Perhaps that’s where the disciples were. Gathered in a room in Jerusalem, they are startled when Jesus washes their feet and distressed when he tells them that he is leaving them. “I’m going to get a room ready for you,” Jesus says, “and you know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas (whom I think would be better labeled Bold Thomas than Doubting Thomas because he is bold to say what the rest of us are thinking) says, “Lord, we don’t know where you’re going. Now which way do we go?” And Jesus, rather famously and frustratingly answers, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
It’s the last sentence that causes most people trouble (what does that mean “no one comes to the Father except through me?”) but I would argue that the sentence before might need a moment or two of conversation as well. What does Jesus mean that he is the way, not to mention truth and life? What way is that? Now which way do we go?
This Sunday, Palm/Passion Sunday, we’ll take a look at that passage (John 14:1-11) for a few moments, try to discern a bit about what it means for the direction of our lives, squint to see which way Jesus is pointing, and reflect on what it might mean to walk the Jesus Way. Then, we will hear again the story of the way Jesus takes – the Way of the Cross.
I hope you can make all the right turns at all of your intersections and forks in the road and make your way downtown Sunday to join us as we enter into Holy Week together. See you on the Way.
Grace and peace.
Jesus shows us God’s way
Today is Palm Sunday and we did this service a little different…we are following the “I AM” series and todays sermon is the “The Way, the Truth, and the Life”. What we are going to hear is the way of Jesus is the way of the cross. The truth of Jesus is the truth that we find in the cross. That while we are yet sinners Christ died for us.
This is more of a contemplative service. We are going to tell the story of Jesus, the entire passion story. Allow yourself to marvel and enjoy this sermon and stay in a contemplative nature as you hear the story of Jesus narrated by Chris Dresp.
ENCOUNTERING GOD THE GARDENER
I am not going to lie, I don’t know much of anything about farming or gardening. My Dad, father-in-law, and brother are all into gardening, but for whatever reason I could never get into it. Furthermore, I simply did not inherit a green thumb. It is a stretch for me to keep alive potted plants let alone consider actually growing fruits and vegetables. However, one of the things I have come to appreciate with farming/gardening is the patience and the reliance upon God that it requires. As a gardener, you can only do so much: clear the ground, improve the soil, pick the right plants/seeds. A farmer can get the conditions right for fruit and vegetables to be able to grow, but is reliant on sun, rain, and the weather for something to actually grow. A farmer can’t make something grow because God does all the growing.
This week, Jesus declares “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.” Jesus goes on to talk about this business of bearing fruit – that as disciples we are to bear fruit. However, it is Jesus that actually makes the fruit grow. All we are called to do is abide in Him. In worship this week, we will investigate this fruit bearing business as well as what it means to abide. I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we encounter God the gardener.
Rev. Colin Snider