Maundy Thursday

Today is Maundy Thursday. The term “maundy” comes from the Latin word “command.” On this night, we remember Jesus’ new command:

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” – John 13:34

At a Maundy Thursday service a few years ago, these words hit me with power and conviction. This Scripture has been my life verse since then. I do not always live this Scripture, but it is my standard of spirituality.

On Maundy Thursday, we recognize that Jesus established Holy Communion as our way to remember and connect with Him. We also remember that Jesus washed His disciple’s feet on this day, so we should also serve each other.

The observance of Maundy Thursday is important preparation for Good Friday and the Easter celebration.

Remembering Don George and Lynn Hancock

On Thursday, I went to Dallas for Pastor J. Don George‘s funeral. It was a hard but beautiful day. I saw old friends, many that I did not even have the chance for a conversation. I am blessed to be part of the company of pastors who descend from Pastor George’s ministry.

This picture is a treasure to me. Pastor George and Jaroy Carpenter are anointing me with oil before a mission trip in 1990. Behind us is Calvary’s long-time worship leader Lynn Hancock, extending his hand in prayer towards us. Lynn also passed away just a few weeks ago. He was such a good friend to my family and me in my formative years. I learned how to worship in Lynn’s ministry.

I am sad Pastor George and Lynn Hancock have passed away, but I know I will see them again.

The Three Streams Chart

We had such a powerful worship experience last night. We took that evening to lean into the “Spirit stream” and found refreshing in the Lord.

Last Sunday, I started our vision series CIL Forward and shared our identity as a Three Streams church. Here is the chart that we shared during the sermon about the Biblical-basis for a Three Streams identity. Pastor Dan Scott introduced this chart to me a few years ago, and it has been a great way to put in words how God has formed us.

Advent: An invitation to connect with Jesus

You may have been like me, not growing up around the concept of Advent.  Advent designates a period before Christmas when Christians prepare for the celebration of Jesus’ birth. If you choose to follow the traditional church calendar like we often do at CIL, Advent started on December 1 and culminates on Christmas Eve. 

This organization of times extends our holiday. Advent prepares us for Christmas, which is celebrated for 12 days by the church, beginning on December 25. Christmas is a time of joy, wonder, awe, and feasting!

So, lean in with the rest of the world-wide church into this heavenly focus. This time is an invitation to connect with Jesus.  At whatever point you want to acknowledge Advent, I think it will be good for your soul.

One way you may benefit from Advent is some additional Bible reading that revolves around Advent themes. Attached is a plan provided by CIL that you may find helpful.  

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“Day of Atonement” Service this Wednesday

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Many years ago, I discovered what respect and appreciation Christians should have towards the Jewish faith. Christianity sprung from Judaism, yet we live out our faith oblivious to that reality.

This irony explains my enthusiasm that Pastor Chris Muti will lead us in a Day of Atonement prayer time on Wednesday, October 9 (12 pm) at CIL.

Yom Kippur is a way to remember our heritage and to glorify Jesus Christ.

I’ll be there, and I hope you will join us!

What is Eastertide?

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Do you wish that Easter wasn’t over? Good news! It is not.
 
When observing the church calendar, Easter starts on Resurrection Sunday and is celebrated for several weeks. This season is also known as Eastertide. It is 50 days of celebration until Pentecost Sunday.
 
If you are interested in learning more about this, take a listen to this informative and enjoyable podcast from Renovare with Nathan Foster interviewing Dr. Lacy Borgo.
 
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The picture is of a stain-glass named Women at the Tomb (circa 1150) in Chartres Cathedral (Chartres, France)

Grieving for Notre-Dame

Iconic buildings do matter.   They are the culmination of culture, history, story, faith, and love.  They are a connecting point for a disjointed society.

Human beings reflect the image of God in many ways, including our creativity and skill in building beautiful structures.  

A centuries-old building lost in an evening brings a sadness we cannot quite reconcile, so we grieve for the Notre-Dame Cathedral.