Maundy Thursday

I often don’t blog because I don’t know what to write about.  I sometimes take a shot at a short story/essay – would that be fun for the blog?  Then, I decide a structure would free me: Monday – what I am reading, Wednesdays – the last movie I saw, Fridays – Family Sabbath keeping.

Then I don’t blog.

One of the most helpful differences this year has been a preaching team – a group of friends and relatives who read my partial manuscripts and tell me where I am brilliant (many places) and where I could potentially be slightly, just a bit more clear (few places).  I am exaggerating some, but they have been amazing.  Thanks if you are reading this and read those emails!

So, tonight I have been asked to speak at a college ministry and I thought I would include my notes in this blog.  If I sound crazy please comment quick so I get it before I preach systemic error or heresy to these unsuspecting students.

How the Resurrection of Jesus Mentors us

I.  Intro: The Resurrection as the most important event in human history, leading to the best evidential and existential explanation of life, life before, life after death, and life after life after death.

-Mentor as a noun

-Mentor as a verb

-We desperately need Jesus – not just for eternity, but now, today, to re-mentor us in the With-God life.

II.  Your Story

-The Four emotions and where we learned them; mad/sad/glad/scared.  Family, Friends, lovers, greater culture.  (Point: how we have been mentored)

-Ways we try to be God: Be everywhere, Know Everything, Know Everyone, Fix Everything.

-Idols – stuff we treat like God and it doesn’t deliver.

-As Christians we can go to the Psalms and find brutal honesty in the with-God life.  This encourages us that we are not crazy as we seek to be mentored by Jesus.

III.  Jesus enters our story

-Enters our good mentoring to label it as good, a blessing.  Enters our sinful mentoring to heal, judge, and offer wisdom for the future and right context for good things that were handled poorly, engaged in in the wrong ways or wrong times.

-Then we need this kind of mentoring again.  And again.  And again.

-The Gospel of Jesus has been called a Living Argument; the power is in the words.  How do we know that we know?  The Gospel gives us life and humbles it.  Or it humbles us and gives us life.

-When we approach the Psalms we see a lot of historical-personal discussion.  My life before, my life now, what I hope/expect in the future as a follower of Jesus.

IV.  Will we embrace the joy offered to us?  Eternally and daily?  Will we trust Jesus to write the rest of the story?

-Example: the Great Divorce links our CHOICE to trust Jesus with our choices.  Things, people, words, decisions, our eternal salvation – all involve God pursuing us, offering actual substantive joy.  Choosing Joy moving forward for them – prayer, a decision to trust Christ, corporate worship, private worship, accountability, community, evangelism, discipleship.

-Now, we return to family, friends, money, parents, kids, relationships and we ask Jesus to re-mentor us in the joyful life he offered.  Seeking regular healing from what we have known in the past and cannot shake.  With thanks for what He has shaken from us.  And, we preach this very whole Gospel to ourselves regularly (back to examples of engaging: community, etc.).

-The Psalms are so hopeful and expectant – never letting God off the hook for the promises of new life.  The picture is Jesus, but the language of the Psalms frees us to know we are not crazy as we attempt to be re-mentored, parented, loved by God in Christ.

V.  This is going to take awhile.

-Contrast fruits of the flesh (decisions) with fruit of the Spirit.  All at the same time, they grow over a long period of time – by God’s grace, through his grace, in his grace…

-Seasons of life and when it does not feel like we are choosing Joy.  Embracing this, and praying like a Psalmist.

-If the resurrection happened everything is different.  It re-mentors us in a stronger manner than anything we do or don’t do, know or don’t yet know.  That is the promise of the New Covenant – a new Heart.  A New life.  Newness, even when it does not feel new.  This is where the words have power.

When I preach my outlines look different, but this is what the majority of my outlines have looked like over the years when I speak to youth and at the couple of conferences I have been invited to.  I assume the difference is that in church the call is to preach a text carefully and faithfully, and when invited to a separate event they kind of want to know the Gospel in my words.  Seems like it shouldn’t be as different as it is…

Thoughts?  Discuss…

If you like Maundy Thursday and are looking for a great service one of my great friends Lowell Robert Griggs will be leading worship at Central Presbyterian Church tonight.  He has been THE Maundy Thursday guy up there for a long time now, so he has it down.  Whatever it is.

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