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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: Call My Name

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In a special edition of What I’m Thinking, Pastor Eric considers Mary Magdalene’s encounter with the risen Jesus and turns from thinking to singing.

Here’s a transcript:

This is a special edition of What I’m Thinking. Earlier this week, I was thinking about Jesus’ commandment to love, which we read at worship on Maundy Thursday. Today I’m thinking about Jesus’ resurrection, about Mary’s encounter with him outside the tomb (John 20:1-18).

But instead of thinking about it, I thought I’d sing.

A most blessed Easter to you.

Call My Name

by Eric Anderson

How did the sky appear
As she walked up to the hillside?
Did the storm of Friday linger
To blend with Mary’s tears?
Or did the heavens blaze with scarlet, rose, and gold
In defiance of her sorrow
And in tune with life?

When his figure appeared
How did she take him for the gardener?
How did she not know the voice
That asked her of her tears?
Oh, I can hardly blame her if her eyes were closed with sorrow!
But she knew the voice of Jesus
When he called her name

(Chorus)

Call my name, Jesus,
So I may see you.
Call my name, Jesus
So I might hear!
Call my name in the light,
In the night, in the rain.
Call my name, Jesus
Call my name.

You said that you’d be present
In the hungry and imprisoned.
You said that you’d be present
Among three of us or more.
So why do I go on with weeping at your absence?
Why do I shake with the sorrows
And struggles of the world? 

(Chorus)

Mary dried her tears
And became your first great witness
Mary dried her tears
For she had seen your life
Summon me, my Savior, so I follow in her footsteps
Let me recognize your voice:
Jesus, call my name.

(Last Chorus)

Call my name, Jesus,
So I may see you.
Call my name, Jesus,
So I might hear.
So I might in the night
In the light, in the rain
Care for your people
When you call my name.

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

“Call My Name” is ©2018 by Eric S. Anderson. Used by permission.

Categories: What I'm Thinking
Tags: #video

What I’m Thinking: Great Love

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Jesus commanded his friends to love one another as much as he had loved them. Curiously, they didn’t ask how much he loved them. They seemed to know.

Would that we could know as well!

Here’s a transcript:

It’s Holy Week at Church of the Holy Cross, and although I am thinking about Easter Sunday, first I’m thinking about Maundy Thursday; “maundy,” from the Latin word “mandatum.” It means “commandment.”

It refers to Jesus’ words in the thirteenth chapter of John’s Gospel (John 13:1-17, 31b-35): “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

I’ve often wondered what it was that kept that rather strange group of people together as they followed Jesus from Galilee to Judea and sometimes back again. The fishermen, the tax collector, the wanna-be rebels, the women: what was it that made them leave homes and families and stay with Jesus? I don’t think it was just the stories. I don’t think it was just the miracles.

I think it was the love: A love that the Gospel writers tried their best to put into words, but I love that I suspect was deeper and greater than words.

In Holy Week, we raise up the love of Jesus, a love so great that it went all the way to the cross. But I think it’s comforting to know, here in the thirteenth chapter of John, with the shadow of the cross still fuzzy and undefined, that Jesus’ followers already knew how greatly he loved them.

And may we, groping through these ancient words, also know how much Jesus, how much God, how much the Holy Spirit loves each one of us.

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: Lent, What I'm Thinking
Tags: #Lent, #MaundyThursday, #video

What I’m Thinking: Passion Sunday

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For the last few years at Church of the Holy Cross, we have observed Palm Sunday with a reading of the Passion narrative – the story of Jesus’ last day, beginning with the Last Supper and ending with his burial. This year we will read it from the Gospel of Luke.

Here’s a transcript:

The Lenten season is drawing to a close. Palm Sunday is this week, and just seven days later, it will be Easter Sunday.

On Palm Sunday for the last few years at Church of the Holy Cross, we have taken the opportunity to read the Passion narrative from beginning to end. This year it will come from Luke’s Gospel (Luke 22:14-23:56).

We read it to open our hearts. We rarely hear the entire story – from Jesus’ supper with the disciples, through the agony in the garden, his arrest, his trial, his crucifixion, his death, his burial – we rarely hear that all in one piece.

In the hearing, we hope that we can break open our hearts:

  • to the sorrow of what human beings did to the savior of the world,
  • to wonder at the profound and astonishing love of God exhibited in the passion of Jesus, and
  • in anticipation, knowing (as we always do the thing that Jesus’ closest friends did not know) that the last word would not be oppression or violence or death, that the last words would come from life, and love, and compassion.

We will hear the passion story to open our hearts to Jesus’ compassion.

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

Categories: What I'm Thinking
Tags: #compassion, #HolyWeek, #PalmSunday, #PassionSunday, #video

What I’m Thinking: Unfinished

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Both Paul and Jesus, oddly enough, told people that God wasn’t finished with them.

God isn’t finished with us, either. Here’s a transcript:

I’m thinking about two Scriptures today. First, I’m thinking about the third chapter of Paul’s to the church in Philippi (Philippians 3:4b-14). In it, he describes some of his background: How important he was, how central the faith was, and how much of a leader and a righteous person he had been.

That is, before he adopted the faith of the People of the Way. And all this, he said, he now regarded as lost for the gain of the faith in Jesus.

I’m also thinking about the twelfth chapter of John (John 12:1-8), where Mary comes in and breaks a jar full of ointment, anoints Jesus’ feet, and the scent of the perfume fills the house. People object, but Jesus says that she has anointed him for his burial.

There is, I think, a connecting strand between these two: the notion that things are unfinished, that there is something to be prepared, that there is more ahead, more to do.

For Paul it’s the continued adventure – the continued growth – of following this faith in Jesus that had come upon him almost unawares. And for Jesus, it’s the thought that, the reality that, the prophecy that, he will follow his course to crucifixion, death, and (as Easter people, we never forget) resurrection.

“She has anointed me for my burying,” he said. He didn’t mention, but we know, that he was anointed also for his rising.

God is not finished with us, whether we are as righteous (and self-righteous) as Paul had been, or whether we in fact as righteous, as unique, as Jesus was. God is not finished with us. There is always something more ahead.

There is always something more of grace.

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: #growth, #video, #WhatImThinking

What I’m Thinking: A Story for All

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We usually think of the story of the Prodigal Son as being about, well, the prodigal son. It’s a statement of hope for all those who wonder if they will find a warm welcome when they return home. Yet there’s also a message for others as well: for those who might deny the welcome, and for those yearning for the reconciliation of loved ones.

Here’s a transcript:

I’m thinking about one of Jesus’ most famous parables: the story of the Prodigal Son. It’s in the 15th chapter of Luke’s Gospel (Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32).

You probably know the story.

A man had two sons. The younger one decided to go off and see the world, and he spent his inheritance doing it. Broke, impoverished, he goes home, intending to go to work for his father, who sees him coming, puts a good suit of clothes on him, puts a ring on his finger, and kills the fatted calf in order to celebrate.

The older brother hears about it and won’t even come to the house until the father goes out and says, “Everything that is mine is yours, but we had to celebrate and be glad, because your brother was lost and now he’s found. He was dead and now he lives.”

Sometimes I think of this as the story of the prodigal son; sometimes I think of this as the story of the older brother. That might be one of the powers of this particular story. It is for all of us in many ways.

It is for those of us who have been that prodigal: the one who has not lived up to expectations, the one who may in fact gone off into ways of living that were wasteful, even destructive, even harmful. In the story, even such a one finds welcome home.

It’s also the story, though, of the elder brother: those who have done the right thing, and those who find it difficult to welcome back those who have wandered off. Oh, yes, that’s a difficult thing: to be in the right, and to welcome home the one who has done wrong.

And this may also be for the parents of the world, caught between the children who wander and the children who remain, those who yearn to see their children come home again, and those who yearn to see their children reconciled.

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: #forgiveness, #video, Reconciliation
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