Progressive Christian Lent Course 2015

How do you account for / explain the different versions of the same event? To what extent does it matter in your understanding and experience of Jesus that the details that describe such a fundamental event in his life are not an agreed Gospel record across Mark, Matthew and Luke? Why did John ignore all the details of the baptism of Jesus?

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We need a cross to sign the truth

From the Boundless Life collection

We need a cross to sign the truth
That pain is part of life,
For joys and sorrows intertwine
And growth evolves through strife.

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Weep Not for Me

From the Boundless Life collection

“Weep not, weep not for me*
Daughters of Israel’s womb;
Weep for yourselves”, said Christ
“Not for my cross or tomb”.

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In the darkness of my spirit

From the Boundless Life collection

In the darkness of my spirit
When my blindness masks my sight
I will dance! dance! dance!
I will sing! sing! sing!
Of the coming of the light.

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The Soul of the Psalms: from ashes to alleluias

Structured for Lent, but practical for any time of the year, this new resource examines the lament psalms for their connections to contemporary experiences. The introduction acquaints the reader with Dr. Walter Brueggemann’s analysis of the psalms into the categories of orientation, disorientation, and reorientation. A contemporary psalm/poem for each entry discerns the emotional tenor of the psalms and makes it relevant for the challenges of contemporary life and relationships.

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Ryan Bell’s Year Without God

I thought I’d pretty well covered the territory in a “musing” I wrote a few years ago called “The Varieties of God”, a listing of the many alternatives along the spectrum between traditional theism and atheism. But Ryan Bell has added a new one: provisional atheism. Godlessness for the time being. He’s gone public with this status, and I intend to follow his “Year Without God” blog to see how it goes for him.

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Scapegoats and Lightning Rods (Matthew 27:27-44)

The image of a scapegoat recalls a ritual performed by ancient Israel on their holiest day of the year—Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement. A goat was chosen by means of casting lots. Actually there were two goats chosen, one was killed as a sin offering to make atonement for the holy place, the other was allowed to live to make atonement for the sins of the people.

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Good Friday Words

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” The quintessential cry of despair, when all hope is lost.

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Good Friday?

That Friday, oh so long ago,
Why do we call it ‘Good’?
It tells a wretched tale of woe,
Of thorns and cross of wood.

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Crucifixion

A poem by Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966)

“Weep not for Me, Mother, 

in the grave I have life.”

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Ride On

Ride on: ride on in majesty;
The palms affirm with certainty
Their claim – you are Messiah King.
The crowds join in and loudly sing.

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Hosanna in the Highest

The shocking thing about the story of Jesus is that it turns common wisdom on its head.

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