a glimpse toward Sunday 1.17.14


It has been a week of early morning breakfast appointments.   The levels of restaurants ranged from low health inspection scores to medium priced menus to mmm… they have some fiiiine coffee.   It’s interesting how our conditioned minds can rate a plethora of restaurant choices.  Some are labeled as evil because you’re sure the kitchen staff employs the notorious 20-second rule if your steak stumbles to a greasy floor.  Other eateries we stomach because they don’t threaten our skinny wallets.  Then there are establishments whose quality of service and food are soooo good, the price is of little concern. 

Evil.  Medium.  Good.  Traffic can be assessed as such.  Wine.  A kiss.  Professors have fallen easily into these three categories.  People.  Sermons!  We are incredibly capable people at spotting evil, good, and anything in between. 

On Sunday, we’re taking an intimate and somewhat disturbing look at the cross.  Mark 15:21-32 forces us to do so.  We’re in the thick of the passion of Jesus as our EPIC series is coming to grand conclusions.   

Why do you think the cross was so horrific… bloody?  Was it because our level of evil was so incredibly disgusting?  It doesn’t seem like the crucifixion unfolded as it did because we are all “medium.”  Is there any possible way the cross was necessary because we are so “good?” 

The Bible has a prevailing thread of the tension between evil and good.  Both can be problematic.  Stories like the garden of Eden and the Prodigal Son contain stirring tension between evil and good.  The cross, as we’ll find out, is necessary for both. 

Some will come to CCC this Sunday fully aware of the effects of sin, darkness, and evil.  Some will be desperate for light.  Some will need a breath of life from Jesus, who alone can remove the scars of sin and death.  There will also be those who come in very “good.”  Life is good.  The job is good.  Their worship will be good.  They will, potentially, walk out of church feeling “good.”   

The cross was brutally necessary for both evil and “good,” as we will see.  The gospel is GREAT news of Jesus being necessary and sufficient for the ravages of both evil and “good.” 

Will you bring someone with you who swims in either darkness or their own sufficient “good?”   The later may be harder to convince to come.  Which category would you place yourself in?   The cross is powerfully adequate for all.  It’s for you and me, too.   

See you on Sunday.  It’s gonna be chilly outside, but the warmth of Jesus’ unbelievable grace for both evil and good folks should draw us to our gathering place called Cumberland.  Can’t wait to see you.  Can’t wait to teach.  See you at either 9 or 11 a.m. 



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