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Video Series: What I’m Thinking

Each week, Pastor Eric Anderson shares just a minute or two of his thoughts on the upcoming week. But the most important part of “What I’m Thinking” is what you’re thinking. Please share your ideas in the comments, and see how they become part of Pastor Eric’s thinking, too!

What I’m Thinking: True Love

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In the First Letter of John, we hear this striking directive: “Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” We have neighbors who will need our truth and action.

Here’s a transcript:

This coming Sunday is Good Shepherd Sunday on the Church calendar. The Gospel reading is from John, and we know it as the “I am the good shepherd” passage.

But I must confess that I’m more drawn actually to the reading from First John – the First Letter of John – this week. That very famous declaration, admonition, on John’s part: “Little children, let us love one another, not in word or in speech, but in truth and in action.” 

And this is very much on my heart and in my mind and in my thoughts this week, because of this weekend’s storms that have so dreadfully affected people on Kaua’i and on O’ahu, and I know that our love is going to be tested in the coming weeks and months and possibly even years. As people need help to recover from the devastation they have suffered, we will be called upon to provide at least some of that help.

For now, it’s up to those first and second responders, but as they seek to rebuild their lives, their homes, their businesses, their families, they will need the help of their neighbors: loving in truth and in action.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear about what you’re thinking. Leave your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you.

And a schedule note: Pastor Eric will be away for two weeks, and so the next edition of “What I’m Thinking” will be on May 14.

 

Categories: What I'm Thinking
Tags: #aloha, #Love, #video

What I’m Thinking: Puzzled Witnesses

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Jesus asked his friends to be witnesses to his resurrection – but it must be said, they didn’t understand it. Frankly, I find that a comfort.

Here’s a transcript:

Thank you to all those of you who let me know this past week that you enjoyed the song I shared in last week’s show. If you missed it, well, that’s the magic of YouTube. It’s still there, and you can go back and see it.

This week I’m thinking about Luke’s account of the Resurrection (Luke 24:36b-48): the startling appearance of Jesus to his disciples, and how reluctant they were – much as John tells us, in fact – to accept the good news that he had been raised.

It’s during that encounter with them that Jesus explains how the Scriptures predicted what he would do. And this would have been a set of Scriptures that they would have read but have never associated with the Messiah. Other Scriptures were the ones associated with the life, the work, and the victory of the Messiah, and it was a completely different set that Jesus used to interpret his own life, death, and resurrection.

So what I’m thinking about is how difficult it can be to think of ourselves as capable witnesses, as having a testimony, as having something to say, about something we do not understand. And yet that is exactly where Jesus’ closest friends were in the first hours after his resurrection.

They didn’t understand, and yet they were called upon to testify.

I think that comes as a great relief to us. There is a great deal that I do not understand and would love to understand about life, about faith, about God, about Jesus Christ, and frankly I don’t think I’ll ever know it, at least on this side of the veil.

But there are things I do know. I do know about the way that Christ touches my heart, about the way that Christ leads me through life.

And those are things to which I can testify, even if I do not understand.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear about what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below: I’d love to hear from you.

Categories: What I'm Thinking
Tags: #Resurrection, #video

What I’m Thinking: Jesus Christ is Risen!

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I’m still thinking about Easter. Actually, I’m not thinking. I’m singing.

Here’s the transcript (and the lyrics, which may not be the best part of the recording):

Well, I’m still thinking about Easter. This coming Sunday’s gospel lesson is the story of Thomas.

But I’m not really thinking about Easter. Truthfully, I’m singing about Easter, and that’s what I’d like to share with you today, and I hope it does your soul and heart good.

[Chorus]

Jesus Christ is risen!
Let the sorrow of yesterday fade.
Yes, Christ is risen!
And the Earth has been re-made.
All the pretensions of power,
All the coercion of fear,
All that greed and wealth have done
Have been cast aside this morning
With the rising of the sun.

They came at night with weapons
And all the power of those who rule.
They came and seized and beat him.
They crowned him with thorns so cruel.
Yet, laid in the grave,
God determined to save,
So the stone must roll aside.
Jesus emerged, the resurrected crucified!

[Chorus]

What is our need for weapons
When Jesus is at our side?
Why give our hearts to money
When it could not deprive Christ of life?
All the things we assume,
All that keeps us in gloom,
Roll away as did that stone!
Jesus emerged, and we are never alone!

[Chorus]

It looked like every morning
As the sun began to gleam
But it transformed every morning
With the touch of the first sunbeam.
By the power of One
Death’s sting is undone
And the stone can never close
To contain this wonder:
On Easter Christ arose!

[Chorus]

That’s what I’m thinking – or at least singing. I’m curious to hear about what you’re thinking. Leave your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you.

“Jesus Christ is Risen” is ©2018 by Eric Anderson.

Categories: What I'm Thinking
Tags: #Easter, #music, #video

What I’m Thinking: Holy Week

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I’m thinking about… Holy Week!

Because (and it’s not a coincidence): It’s Holy Week, when Jesus’ story becomes our story. Here’s a transcript:

I’m thinking about Holy Week: which is fair enough, because it is Holy Week.

I’m thinking about Thursday, and how we seek to echo that night of betrayal and desertion in the Tenebrae service: the service of the shadows. I’m thinking about Good Friday, and how we will spend time in silence in our sanctuary. Silence: Because there are no words to fully express our grief and our gratitude for Jesus’ gift to us upon the cross.

And I’m thinking about Mark’s account of Jesus’ resurrection. It’s brief, and it ends, oddly enough, with the women – the first eyewitnesses to Jesus’ resurrection – saying nothing to anyone because they were afraid.

Mark frequently left out the things that he believed everybody knew, but there are many things that we do not know about ourselves. Somehow, the story of those ancient women also becomes our story.

And I think it works differently within each one of us, but somehow we each become persuaded of the Resurrection, of the power of God over death, and of the relevance of Jesus’ life for our lives.

Somehow, it becomes our story, our life, our salvation.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you.

Happy Easter! Because that’s what I’m thinking.

Categories: What I'm Thinking
Tags: #Easter, #HolyWeek, #video

What I’m Thinking: Heights and Depths

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This coming Sunday, we’ll recall both the feverish exaltation of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and hear the full story of his crucifixion and death. We’ll scale the heights, and we’ll descend to the depths.

Here’s a transcript:

I’m thinking about heights and depths this week. This coming Sunday is Palm Sunday, and it is also Passion Sunday. It is a Sunday to recall the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem: the amazing celebrations that went on that day. The waving of the palm branches, the shouts of “Hosanna!” and “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!”

But it’s also a day of depths, because we will, in fact, read Mark’s full account of Jesus’ Passion: his arrest, his trial, his crucifixion, his death. And that, of course, is at the very depths of Jesus’ ministry on earth and the Christian faith.

Heights and depths – they are part of our lives; they are part of our faith. They are part of our lives because we go from depth to height and back to depth again. They are part of our faith because Jesus followed a very similar road to the ones that we take. Higher, perhaps, and deeper, perhaps.

It is why the Christian faith is so precious. Our Savior knows as well as you or I where we have been, how we have felt, the sorrows that we’ve known, and the joys at being freed from what oppresses us.

Heights and depths.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear what you’re thinking. So please leave me your thoughts in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you.

Categories: What I'm Thinking
Tags: #depths, #heights, #PalmSunday, #Passion, #video
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(The Rev. Sunia) Sunday 4:00 pm (Sanctuary)

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