becoming poor (4/4)

The people of Israel wanted a king.

To have a king was a sign of power.

To have a king was a sign that you had arrived as a nation.

To have a king meant that you were a people to be reckoned with.

The prophet Samuel warned the people – you don’t want a king. A king will take the best of your vineyards and fields and orchards through taxation. A king will take your daughters as his perfumers and bakers and cooks. A king will make your sons his soldiers and horsemen and commanders.  Let me warn you – you will rue the day that you asked for a king. Continue reading

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He Ascended

A sermon in my continuing series on the Apostles’ Creed.

 

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Departure scenes almost always feel heavy and sad, don’t they? You can easily picture it in your mind. A man and woman embrace at the airport, one obviously flying to some far-flung place. There are tears. There is sorrow on each face. There is one long last look over the shoulder as the departing person passes through the security gate. Departure terminals aren’t the most joyful places to spend time. The one who is left behind often goes with hunched shoulders out the door and into – well, it almost has to be rain, doesn’t it.

 

As we continue our series on the Apostles’ Creed today, another departure scene is set before our eyes. It is the departure of Jesus from his disciples and, indeed, from our world. The New Testament tells us that Jesus stayed with his disciples forty days after his resurrection – and then came his ascension to glory. In a sense, of course, we are getting ahead of ourselves since the church year sets aside May 21st of 2009 for the celebration of the Ascension. But since we are making our way through the Apostles’ Creed, we arrive at the Ascension a little earlier than usual.

 

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. He descended to the dead. On the third rose again, he ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father.

 

He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father.

 

He ascended.

  Continue reading