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What Are You Doing Here?

And the word of the Lord came to him: "What are you doing here, Elijah?" (I Kings 19:9b and 13b). A few weeks after saying my life-transforming "Yes" to Jesus, I sat in a church service where I Kings 19:3-18 was being preached. Although that was forty-plus years ago, I can still hear that pastor's reading of "What are you doing here, Elijah?" He put strong emphasis on the...

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Sheltering Places, Confined Spaces

Elijah traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.There he went into a cave and spent the night (1 Kings 19:8-9). God does some of his best work in confined spaces. Jonah inside a great fish. Paul writing much of our New Testament from prison, and John, the Book of Revelation from a penal island in the Aegean Sea. Bunyan's Pilgrim's P...

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Sit-With Saturday

So Joseph brought some linen cloth, took the body down,wrapped it in the linen and placed it in a tomb (Mark 15:46). What is today, this day that you are reading these words? Well, it's Saturday, April 11, 2020 a weekend day, Day Number Whatever in our virus-changed world maybe your birthday, or anniversary just another day the day after Good Friday, the day before E...

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New Normal to New Creation

Mark 16:1-8 Take time with the story; take time in it. Notice: Mark tells the story of the Resurrection through the lens of three women. They have been "minor characters," not even mentioned by Mark until the very end of chapter 15: these women witness the crucifixion and watch as Jesus' body is entombed nearby (15:40, 47). It has been just a week since what seemed to b...

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Did You Notice?

Mark 16:1-8 As you work your way through Mark 11-15 and arrive at this week's passage, Mark 16:1-8, the sermon text for Easter Sunday, here are some things to notice. First, notice Mark's very strange ending. The final word in Mark's Gospel is afraid! You'll probably have some footnotes in your Bible that explain that we're not sure if this is how Mark intended to conclu...

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The Day Reality Was Revised

... they were on their way to the tomb... "Don't be alarmed, "he (the young man dressed in a white robe) said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here... But go, tell his disciples..." Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb.They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid (Mark 16:2, 6a, 8...

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Service Reimagined

"As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robesitting on the right side, and they were alarmed."Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene,who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him,ju...

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What Happens on the Way

When the Sabbath was over very early on the first day of the week,just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb (Mark 16:1-2) We'll be reading this week's Connect Devotionals in the days immediately after Palm Sunday. However, they focus on the sermon text for next Sunday, Easter Sunday. So we're doing a bit of time-bending here, providing tomorrow's news (or n...

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Not My Feet?

"No, said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet" (John 13:8). Oh, Peter: you got it partly right. It is of course inappropriate that the one you call "Lord" should be washing your feet! (We note that Peter is happy to advise Jesus, but not leap to his feet and switch places with him.) (And, noting how this story unfolds, Jesus would not have let Peter switch places.) It...

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Be a Part, Do Your Part

If I don't wash you, you can't be part of what I'm doing...So, if I, the Master and Teacher,washed your feet, you must now wash each other's feet." (John 13:8) As I parent I hear myself saying, "Just watch me. I can explain, but just watch for a minute and you'll get it." Likewise, as a daughter, I find myself doing things just as my mom did them -- because I saw her do i...

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