06 April 2012

TODAY you will be with me in paradise

Today I presented a homily at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas. The text was the second word of Jesus from the cross: "Today you will be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43) This is a great Tre Ore (three hour) service divided into 20 minute segments of which I was the speaker at the second segment. Pastor David Rothscke at Salem Lutheran does a great job of organizing this service for the community.

Here is a video of my homily this morning mightily enhanced by the artwork of my friend, +Gari Hatch, a great artist. I appreciate Gari letting me use his artwork in this way. I hope you enjoy it and I hope you have a meaningful Good Friday.

Jon B.

The Betrayal of the Christ:
Judas, Peter, God, and You

Sculpted Textural Painting:

11" x 14" in 17.5" x 21.5" mat and frame under glass, 
Acrylic on wood & fabric imbedded in sculpted plaster

The painting above by my friend +Gari Hatch conveys a feeling of the betrayal of Jesus that happened on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Here is Gari's poem that accompanies this painting:

They Formed a Crown
At night along the fence line row,
below the moon the thorn vine grows.
 The quills aglow, the slender spikes,
its nettle way claims the dike.
It guards the rail, it circles the post,
a prick, a pierce, the blood, it boast.
Upon His head, they formed a crown,
a jagged ring as His head bowed down.
A symbol of the Savior’s pain,
His willingness to bear the stain.

Holy Thursday and Good Friday are days when we remember how Jesus was betrayed by Judas, Peter, the crowd, and even God. As Jesus said to his disciples: "You too will desert me." And so do we. We betray Jesus when we give in to our animal nature instead of our Godly nature, when we fail to recognize the Christ within others, and when we fail to honor the Christ within us. Our goal is not to connect to a remote sky god somewhere in heaven but to connect to the Christ that is already within us.

Here is my sermon outline for last night's Maundy Thursday service.

Here is a video of the sermon I preached at St. John's Presbyterian Church in Houston, Texas on Maundy Thursday, April 5, 2012. 

May you have a blessed holy week. May you rediscover the Christ that is within you.

Jon B.

03 April 2012

An April Fools Day Dilemma:
Two Kings, Two Kingdoms, One Choice

Gari Hatch, "Between the Stems" 03-24-2006 (Archival Collection)

I preached this sermon from Mark 11:1-11 on Palm Sunday, April 1, 2012, at St. John's Presbyterian Church in Houston, Texas. The sound quality is not good on this video. While I work to improve that, you may prefer to listen to this better audio recording when you click on the orange play button.

Here is my one page of sermon notes before I added the last two stories about Jesus descending into hell.

Below is a copy of the sermon text from Mark 11:1-11. This is the copy I used in my lectionary study group.

Below is a sermon illustration about the level of love that makes a positive impression upon God.

The story above as well as another illustration in this sermon is taken from this excellent book that I highly recommend. Click the image of the book below for more information or to purchase. If you purchase the book through this link, I will receive a small percentage of the purchase,
and you will receive a powerful and potentially life changing book.

Here are some keywords from this sermon: King Herod, Caesarea Maritima, Jerusalem, temple, Christ, Jesus, Satan, hell, universal salvation, cross, donkey, April Fool's Day, Caspas, St. Anthony, vision, spirituality, love, salvation, vision.

Thanks for your time in considering my work last week in regard to this sermon. May God bless you as  you continue to seek God's will and God's way in your life. In all things, look to the Christ within you, the hope of glory, for answers and direction.

Let us continue searching for the April Fool's Day joke in all of the absurdities of life, my friend.

Jon Burnham