Reclining With Jesus (Thoughts on Maundy Thursday)

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As we approach the middle of Holy Week, our attention shifts to the last supper. In this iconic scene, we observe the past meeting the present and a glimpse of the future.

On Maundy Thursday as it’s called, we reflect deeply on the pending sacrifice of Christ, the emotions of this night, and what it means to share this meal with Christ today.

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Everything and Nothing

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Used with permission: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/empty-office-1519291

In the gospels Jesus asked this simple, yet haunting question–“What good is it to gain the world, yet lose your soul?” In other words, what if you have it all, but you’re missing what matters most?

Is it possible to be incredibly full and yet painfully empty? Can someone have it all together, and yet, be utterly and irrevocably depleted? Jesus was entreating us to think about our lives and what we’re striving for. He was inviting us to consider what constitutes a meaningful life.

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Crafting Messages For Students

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One of the many joys I’ve had in working with young people over the years, is crafting messages for our weekly gatherings. The thrill of the blank page and capturing God’s message has, and continues to be, life giving for me.

Over the years, I’ve experimented with different teaching styles, but the focus has remained the same: Reading and exegeting the Scriptures, and formulating a message for a specific group of students.

I often dialogue with other youth leaders about the process of crafting messages and I’m always eager to learn how to improve in this area. Here are a few ideas I’m working through.

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My Lenten Journey

Used with permission http://www.freeimages.com/photo/road-1447895

Used with permission
http://www.freeimages.com/photo/road-1447895

I grew up going to a private Catholic school from first to eighth grade. This is where I first I heard about Lent. In fact, Lent was kind of a big deal during those early years. We celebrated Fat Tuesday with a school-wide carnival and talked openly about what we’d choose to give up for the season. I distinctly remember one of my teachers giving up coffee for Lent. She was noticeably grumpy for weeks.

Outside of my elementary school days, the practice of Lent wasn’t something I actively participated in. Sure, I knew when it happened and certainly thought about its significance, but I didn’t pursue it.

This year, though, I decided to embark on my own Lenten journey. It’s been a season of contemplation, joy, and focus.

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