We've seen a lot of unbelievable things on our Lenten Road Trip, but none are so amazing as the empty tomb. In fact, can it be believed? Isn't something like this too good to be true? Surely Mark was embellishing, or writing a legend, or speaking metaphorically... this can't be true, can it? This is the challenge of Easter. When we confront the truth of the resurrection, we realize that though our road trip is at an end, and though Mark's gospel is at an end, our lives are just beginning!
The most dangerous time to travel is at night - in the darkness. Significantly more fatalities occur in the dark than in the light. All the gospel writers agree, that the events surrounding Jesus' arrest, trial, and death all occur in the darkness. Even when Jesus died, in the middle of the day, darkness fell. Why? What is the significance of the darkness that day Jesus died?
Today we explore that darkness, and we discover that even when human hearts were darkest, even when Jesus himself was abandoned into darkness - a glimmer of light begins to shine.
Finally: we arrive at our destination! But, when Jesus arrived at Jerusalem's temple, things weren't all that we had hoped for. The temple, which was supposed to be a house of prayer for all nations, looked more like the trading floor of the TSX! So, Jesus' turns over tables and chases people out, leaving us with an important lesson to remember: Jesus is more interested in spirituality than he in appearances of religious busyness.
Is our church a "house of prayer", or is it just a place of religious activity, events, and transactions? And are we "people of prayer", or just busy people, trying to earn favour with God by all of our religious actions and duties? Join us today as we explore these topics and more.
If Jesus must die to save us, then isn't Christianity just another one of those bloodthirsty, primitive, religions where angry God's demand human sacrifices in order to make peace? If that is true, then it is no wonder why people would walk away shaking their heads. But today we learn that Jesus' sacrifice is not required to appease and angry God, but rather Jesus' own love for humankind compels him to offer himself as the sacrifice in our place. All life-changing love involves sacrifice. The Toll on the road to peace with God is expensive: so expensive, we could never pay it. Yet Jesus, in love, pays it for us. No this is not the story of an angry God demanding a sacrifice from us, it is the story of a loving God willingly sacrificing himself for us. The two stories couldn't be more different.
Week Four of our Journey to the Cross has us encountering the power of Jesus as seen in the story of the calming of the storm.
Today our Road Trip takes us up a mountain: the Mount of Transfiguration, where Jesus shone with glory before his disciples. An amazing sight, and a wonderful side trip on our journey to the cross... but what does it mean? Are we just supposed to be impressed? Or, is there more going on here?
Today we discover that in order to find out what this event means, we have to go back: back to another time, and up another mountain, Mount Sinai. When we compare and contrast the ancient story of Moses and Mount Sinai, with the Story of Jesus and Mount of Transfiguration the true meaning of this event becomes clear.
When most people go on a road trip, they don't want to end up in the wilderness. In fact, if you end up in the wilderness, chances are, you're lost. Not so with God! Time and time again, God chooses the wilderness (of all places) when something special is going to happen. Today, our Lenten Road Trip takes its first detour into the desert where Jesus is baptized by John in the Jordan River. What we might not expect, is that at this baptism moment, we come face to face with the Triune God, and are given a glorious vision of who God is, and what ultimate reality is all about.
Video: Into the Jordan
Canon Robert Hurkmans was the priest at St. James and St. Brendan from 2006 to 2018.