Church of the Holy Cross header image

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: Wait a Minute Moments

Published on Comments(0)

Faith – including the Christian religion – contains a number of beliefs that make one say, “Now, wait a minute.” In the resurrection of Jesus, and in the Beatitudes’ reversal of the world, we find just two of them.

Here’s a transcript:

I’m thinking about the, “Now, wait a minute,” moments of faith. Every religion has them, and Christianity has its share.

The Apostle Paul takes on one of them in the fifteenth chapter of First Corinthians (1 Corinthians 15:12-20). He’s speaking about the resurrection. It was bad enough that Jesus of Nazareth’s ministry ended in crucifixion. That’s a failure that is difficult to explain or account for. But then, claimed the Christians, Jesus rose again. And the number of people that we have known that have died and then been alive again, well, it’s a very, very small number indeed.

A challenge to believe, let alone base your faith upon.

Jesus himself did much the same thing, at least as Luke records it in the sixth chapter of his gospel (Luke 6:17-26). In the Sermon on the Plain, Jesus reversed the expectations of the world, claiming that it was the poor who were blessed by God, that it was those who weep that would find themselves comforted.

We call them the Beatitudes (particularly from Matthew’s version), but Jesus went on in Luke to talk about the reversal: that those who were filled would be those who would become hungry.

There are a lot of “Now, wait a minute” moments in the Christian faith – in any faith. The point of these “Now, wait a minute” moments is, in fact, to assert that the way things are is not what they can be, not what they should be.

In my opinion, “Now, wait a minute” moments ought to be there for those things where we accept casual, relentless, routine evil. Those are the moments where we should stop, and look, and say, “No. This must be, can be, should be, will be different.”

That will make death to life, that will make poverty to plenty, look like a casual miracle indeed.

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: #faith, #video, #WhatImThinking

What I’m Thinking: Not Strangers

Published on Comments(0)

Did Jesus know his disciples before he called them? It’s not impossible – and what might it mean for us if he did?

Here’s a transcript:

I’m thinking about Jesus’ summons to his first traveling disciples, as Luke describes it in the fifth chapter of his gospel (Luke 5:1-11).

In recent years I’ve been wondering if Jesus knew any of that close group before we hear about their call. It’s not that unlikely. Jesus lived in Capernaum, and it’s a small town. Everybody knew everybody.

Luke actually makes it clear that Jesus could well have known them, because he told the story of Jesus healing Simon Peter’s mother-in-law before he gets to this story about Jesus telling Simon, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.”

I find that notion somewhat comforting: that our summons from God, from Christ, from the Holy Spirit, does not come from someone who pops out of nowhere and disrupts our lives unexpectedly. But no: our summons from God, from Christ, from the Holy Spirit, comes from One who has known us intimately, closely, for some period of time.

Now our lives get just as disrupted: but they’re disrupted by One with a loving, knowing, and compassionate heart. One who knows very well that we are capable of being fishers for people, of being the kinds of leaders, the kinds of builders, the kinds of workers, the kinds of pray-ers, that we’re summoned to be.

Yes, Jesus walked up to Simon Peter on the beach and said, “Come with me and I will make you fish for people” – but when he did it, he knew what he was asking, and he knew the person of whom he was asking it.

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: #call, #discipleship, #video, #WhatImThinking, Purpose

What I’m Thinking: Confrontation

Published on Comments(0)

After Jesus spoke in the synagogue in Nazareth, the initial reaction sounded favorable: they were amazed at the gracious words he spoke. Jesus challenged them, though, that what they said was not what they thought. He would start with truth.

Here’s a transcript:

I’m thinking about the fourth chapter of Luke (Luke 4:21-30), the follow-up to last week’s story about Jesus reading from the Isaiah scroll and announcing that “these words had been fulfilled in their hearing.”

The people’s response was some amazement, amazement at the gracious words that came from his mouth. “Is not this the carpenter’s son?” they asked. That might have been perfectly benign.

Jesus, however, didn’t seem to think so. It sounds for all the world as if Jesus picked a fight, challenging them with the unspoken words, “Physician, heal yourself.” “Do here in Nazareth what you’ve done in Capernaum,” and of course the clincher: that “a prophet is not without honor except in his home town.”

Sometimes the people who know us best, I guess, may not know us at all.

But why did Jesus push it? Why did Jesus speak the things that they would not?

I don’t really know. But it does seem as if truth makes a difference. Honesty makes a difference. And in cases where we really need to come up with some new understanding of a relationship or a reality, a new understanding of a person and her or his or their place in the world, we need to start with honesty, with reality.

And not yet a “kind” silence tell our lies.

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.

Categories: What I'm Thinking
Tags: #truth

What I’m Thinking: Foundation for Ministry

Published on Comments(0)

Speaking in his home town synagogue, Jesus declared that prophecy was fulfilled in their hearing: release for the captives, healing for the suffering, good news for the poor. That’s the foundation of his ministry.

Here’s a transcript:

I think the Church of the Holy Cross is very blessed to have a special guest preacher this week. The Rev. Dr. David Vasquez-Levy, the President of Pacific School of Religion, is visiting Hawai’i, and he will be offering the message this coming Sunday. I’m really looking forward to that.

I’m also thinking about the fourth chapter of Luke (Luke 4:14-21): Jesus’ sermon in the synagogue in Nazareth. He read a Scripture (Isaiah 61:1-2a), then sat down and said that, “These words have been fulfilled in your hearing.”

And what did he read?

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

This is the foundation of Jesus’ ministry: Freedom. Release. Recovery. And good news to the ones who are most desperate.

This is the foundation: God’s blessing upon the people who thought that they were held separate from everything that God might bring.

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: #salvation, #video, #WhatImThinking

What I’m Thinking: Starting with Joy

Published on Comments(0)

According to John, the first sign Jesus performed that revealed who he was and what God intended for him was at the wedding at Cana: turning water into wine. He kept the celebration going. He began his ministry with joy.

Here’s a transcript:

I’m thinking about the wedding at Cana described in the second chapter of John’s Gospel (John 2:1-12). John calls it the first of Jesus’ “signs,” the first indication of who he was, and what God was about in Jesus’ life and ministry.

Jesus was attending a wedding, and at the feast, they ran out of wine. Jesus’ mother first invited, and later insisted that Jesus do something, and so he changed water into wine.

Now John didn’t have to tell this story. John tells fewer stories in his gospel than any of his contemporaries. He told this one: a story in which Jesus saw that a celebration continue.

John and Jesus both lived in harsh, challenging, difficult times. So do we. And it is well for us to remember that Jesus acted to increase joy.

Jesus always acts to increase joy.

So as we do our work to make a better world, let us recall that the One who walks and works with us increases our joy.

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: #video, #WhatImThinking
close window

Service Times & Directions

Sunday School Classes

Sunday 8:45 am

Sunday Worship Service

Sunday 10:00 am

Adult Bible Study

Monday 6:30 pm, Wednesday 9:00 am

IYPP
(International Young Adults Association)
Bible Study

Wednesday 7:30 pm

The Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga

(The Rev. Tevita) Sunday 1:00 pm Wednesday 7:00 pm (Sanctuary)

The United Church of Christ, Pohnpei - Hilo

(The Rev. Ichiro) Sunday 10:00 am (Bdg. of Faith)

The Samoan Church

(The Rev. Sunia) Sunday 4:00 pm (Sanctuary)

map
440 W. Lanikaula Street
Hilo, HI 96720
(808) 935-1283