Trinity 15: Life That is Really Life

September 25, 2022 – St Mary’s Turville & Hambleden

1 Timothy 6:6-19
Luke 16:19-31

It is probably something of an underestimation to comment that the impact of these past 2 weeks have brought up so much emotion; especially bereavement and grief for many people. This is on top of the normal ‘everyday’ grief that many people carry around. I hope that it was comforting to watch the State Funeral at Westminster and Committal Service in Windsor. I was reminded that many of the words used for The Queen are used across the Church of England day in day, week by week in funeral services all over the country. There has been a spate of deaths in the parishes recently too.

Both of the readings this morning speak of death among other important topics. Paul’s letter to Timothy begins with the stark reminder that we brought nothing into the world so that we can take nothing out. Paul then goes on to give instruction on how to live out the rest of our lives. We are urged to take hold of “the life that is really life’; beyond all the treasures and trappings of this life.

Luke’s Gospel reading does not make for the most comfortable reading in the best of times; let alone in a period of national mourning. We see in this reading there is a separation after death and not everyone ends up in the same place.
In this section of Luke there is an assortment of rather pointed parables designed to teach about stewardship of money, time and talents; the importance of forgiveness and faith, and the primacy of prayer in a disciple’s life. Time is short with Jesus; he knows this although the disciples don’t.

One of the examples is a rich man who held what seemed to be a godless view of wealth and righteousness. He has died and is being tormented in Hades. Hades in basic biblical terms is a subterranean underworld where souls of the dead went after death. Jesus is explaining that there is a chasm, a separation at the time of death between the wicked and the righteous dead.

Paul, in his letter to Timothy, warns that those who want to be rich will fall into temptation and will be trapped by senseless and harmful desires that ultimately plunge people into ruin and destruction. This is what appears to have happened here. The actor and comedian Jim Carrey said, “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer”.

Each of these readings, letter and parable, at their roots are about attitudes. Jesus was trying to teach that material possessions are a trust, on loan from God. They are to be used responsibly for the good of everyone. The Pharisees of Jesus’ day held the view of wealth as God’s blessing and poverty as God’s judgement. Maybe we feel this way too sometimes when we look at the culture and world around us.

How is our attitude to the Lazarus’ of our day? They are out there and not so far away.
-What goes through our heads:
-Is it their own fault?
-They have chosen to live like…?
-There are agencies to help?
-They should go and get a job?
-If I give money they will only spend it on drink or drugs?

It is clear that the rich man had ample opportunity to ‘do good’ to Lazarus as he sat in his front garden day in and day out. But he did not. The rich man comes to the end of his life and finds himself in a place of eternal punishment. Not because he did not help Lazarus but because he was lacking a relationship with God. This man’s love of money was the root of all kinds of evil. This is Paul again. The evil was selfishness.

At some point during the rich man’s torment he is able to lift his head and he sees Lazarus in a position of honour at Abraham’s side. A place that the rich man was no doubt used to occupying during his earthly life. What I am really interested in are the requests that the rich man makes of Abraham and the responses he is given. His first request shows that old habits die hard as he asks something for himself. Given his circumstances I don’t think that this is at all unreasonable!

We get a glimpse here of what it is to be judged by our own standards. The rich man was so shielded by his riches to the point where he could ignore Lazarus at the gate. He would have had servants to do the errands, he probably travelled in a carriage or on a horse, so he never noticed him. The rich man took no notice of Lazarus’ physical needs and now no notice is being taken of his.

The man’s second request shows greater awareness for others; as he is concerned for the eternal wellbeing of his five brothers. In Jesus’ time, tales of reversal of fortune in the next life were common. Jesus is not doing anything new here. However, in these tales, when someone asks to send a message back to people who are still alive on earth, permission is granted.

Jesus does not allow for that in this parable. This says something about the nature of death; it fixes our destiny and suggests there is no further opportunity for repentance. The response from Abraham to this second request is that ‘the brothers have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ The rich man knows that his brothers won’t listen to Moses and the prophets as they need a little more excitement or wow factor. Jesus suggests here that humanity is so sinful that it is unlikely even to listen to someone who returns from the dead in this manner.

What were the take home lessons then and now? There is an age to come and our attitudes and actions from this life will catch up with us. At the point of death there is no longer an opportunity to repent or make amends.

This leaves us in the present age! We must take seriously what Paul wrote to Timothy in the closing chapter of the letter: ‘There is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called. Do good, be rich in good works, generous, ready to share, storing up the treasure of a good foundation for the future. Take hold of life that is really life. ‘

What is life that is really life for us? We know that this life ends in death. The Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Revd John McDowell opened his sermon with the “For many of us in the United Kingdom, there were two people whose deaths we could never imagine. Our own and the Queen’s.” I suspect that many of us do not want to contemplate our own deaths. The alternative is to take hold of life, that is really life. Show generosity and love. Pursue righteousness, godliness and faith with endurance and gentleness. Not because it will save us from the torment of Hades but because God first loved us. Ultimately there is no fear in death when we place our trust in God.

Trinity 6: Ask, Seek, Knock


Genesis 18:20-32
Colossians 2:6-15
Luke 11:1-13

School is finally out for summer! Yeah for the teachers, parents and children! However, in church this is very much a teaching season as we look once again at the familiar gospel readings and parables of Jesus.

The set readings have had us spend the last three weeks in Luke 10; it started with Jesus sending out the 70 ahead of him to find labourers for the harvest. Next, Jesus tells the parable of the Good Samaritan and challenges us on who is actually our neighbour and how loving we truly are. Luke 10 ends with the story of Martha and Mary, the great lesson in the balancing of work and activity with the need to sit and listen at Jesus’ feet. These stories give examples of the activity and associated instructions needed to spread the kingdom and show the love of God.

The start of Luke 11 takes us deeper into spending time with God; as it starts with Jesus at prayer. There is obviously a quality about this prayer that attracts the disciples and makes them want to learn. They would have seen Jesus pray many times before. One of the disciples is brave enough to ask Jesus to teach them how to pray.

Jesus’ gracious response is to teach them a prayer which we should recognize as the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus teaches the disciples to talk to God and to bring the whole mess and muddle of our lives, the mundane, the exciting, the big and small, to God.

That is what prayer, at its heart, is: talking to God. Talking. Not begging, pleading, negotiating, bargaining, hiding, pretending all is well when it is not. We have been shown work and activity, sitting and listening, and now we have a guide for talking to God.

Who taught or told you to pray? I remember as little girls, my sister and I being taught to pray by our Nana and our parents. The first prayer that we learned was the classic 18th century children’s prayer – ‘Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep’.

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
If I should die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take
If in the morning light I wake
Lay down my feet
That I my take the path of love
for thy dear sake

God Bless Mommy, Daddy, Susie, Jenny, etc.
And it always ended with ‘God bless all the little children in the world. Amen.’

I realise that this is a combination of the many versions (thanks to Google) but this is the one that I know. Recently my younger sister admitted that this is still her ‘default prayer’. She taught it to her three children and she still prays it on a regular basis before she goes to bed. She also prays it before she walks into the courtroom in her job as a lawyer.

For many of us, the Lord’s Prayer might be our default prayer. Much like ‘Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep’, the wording can be different and we can use it at different times. My version of the Lord’s Prayer is said with ‘thy’ and ‘thine’ and ‘trespasses’ not sins. Again, family influence comes into play: my Mom’s upbringing on the old Anglican Book of Common Prayer and my Dad’s love of the King James’ Bible.

However, it is really not about the words we use. The language of the Lord’s Prayer is simple and intimate; it affirms the fatherhood of God; we are cared for as his children; we are reminded that God is holy and we must reflect this in our words and worship; and it ends with addressing our physical, spiritual and safety needs. The simplicity of the wording makes it easy to slide in our own needs and requests as there is a space for every plea, cry and desire; without need of particularly eloquent language.

It is talking to God and bringing our concerns, which I may remind you, He already fully knows about. You are not fooling Him by withholding! I often think that God uses our prayers to bring needs and issues to our attention.

The second point I would like to briefly make is around persistence in prayer. I have always found the ‘Parable of the Friend at Night’ in verses 5-8 a bit annoying. Just get up and give him a loaf of bread. Jesus uses this story of the irritating friend to get the disciples to see prayer as something basic, day-to-day. Prayer does not need to be carefully sanitised. Nor do we have to worry about bringing to God only what we think he will accept. Back to: God already knows.

Prayer can come with a great sense of frustration. Has this been true in my own prayer life and in the situations that have required persistence? There is always ‘work in the wait’ and a sweetness to both the prayers that have been answered through persistence and those that still await an answer. As uncomfortable as it may be – we are to persist.

Jesus is encouraging the disciples to bombard God with requests, tell him everything, talk constantly to him, involve him in every part of life. We are not to limit God and prayer to Sunday mornings in a particular pew with particular words. The more we bother God, the more we learn about him and the more we learn about ourselves in relation to God.

Why do we need to bother God?

In verse 9, ‘so I say to you, Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.’

These verses are not about the prayers we pray for the stuff, the answers, the problems that we want God to respond to. Many people feel misled by God when they read these verses and then ask God to heal their loved one dying of _____ (and nothing short of that), or for a million dollars or a million other things.

When these prayers are not answered in the way that is expected, it is all God’s fault. They then give up on God or turn away from faith as they have created a vision of God as a genie in the sky waiting to grant wishes. Their view of God is fundamentally flawed.

The asking, seeking, knocking that Jesus is talking about is in relation to pursuing God, talking to God, learning more about God and who we are in relation to Him. It is about seeking God’s will and not solely our convenience.

Ask for God to come into your life and He will be given to you.
Search for God and you will find Him.
Knock on the door of heaven and it will be opened for you.

Paul, in Colossians, is imploring that young community to live their lives in Christ. Stay rooted and grounded to be built up and get established. We all have needs, wants, struggles and desires, both secretly and publicly, in all areas of our lives that we (I hope) would want God to be our ever present help in trouble.

Paul goes on to warn them of all the empty deceit happening around them. That hasn’t changed! There is so much deceit and empty philosophy in the world today and it is so attractive. Ultimately it will fail. Jesus is the only one who will ever fill us. We can be alive together with him.

Finally, Luke reminds us that our Father in heaven will give us good gifts, more than we can ask or imagine. It is all for the asking.

How is your prayer life at the moment? Do you?
How is it going? Need a change or boost?

If not – why not?

Do you want to do anything about it?
Maybe you need to want to want to do something about it!

Talk to God. It is not eloquent or fancy, not just an activity for Sunday.

I am going to leave some space for a few minutes to do just that. You are not bound to your seats – get up. For some people sitting on a hard pew is not conducive to prayers. Light a candle at the back. Kneel if you’ve got the knees for it.

Lent 3: Comfort & Discomfort in the Asking

March 20th, 2022

Isaiah 55:1-9

Luke 13:1-9

Luke 13:1-9

As it is Lent, I need to start with a confession this morning. Sermon writing this week was a challenge! I have never preached on this passage on Luke, I didn’t really understand what it was about and my great temptation was to go lightly on it and emphasise Isaiah because it is so lovely and comforting. However much I delayed and tried to do it this way, my thoughts were directed elsewhere.

What is happening here? Jesus has been given some shocking news. Pontius Pilate had ordered the slaughter of a group of Jews from Galilee. He had then had their blood taken and mixed with the blood of the sacrificial lambs.
Lives have been lost and sacred religious practice has been desecrated.
The next bit of news is that a tower has collapsed and killed 18 people. The bearers of this bad news want to know why. Why did these things happen? Why is there so much pain in the world? Why does God let suffering happen?
These are the same questions that many people are asking now in light of the situation in Ukraine. We feel small, helpless and even hopeless in the face of so much suffering. We may take our questions and prayers to God and seek an answer to our whys.

Jesus, however, does not give a direct answer. Instead, there is a short parable about cutting down a dying tree. Why this?

What does this have to do with people being senselessly killed?! Jesus is looking for a different question. A direct, clean answer will not help the situation. We do live in a world where suffering exists, is unavoidable and likely will be until Jesus comes again. We want a theory to explain why bad things happen. We can’t stop asking the question every time something happens. So often we are left wanting.

Any answers that we get, hold us apart from those who are suffering, take us away from communal humanity, keeping our distance to shield ourselves.
Jesus challenges the assumptions of those who came to him that day as he continues to challenge ours. He tells the listeners to ‘repent’ before it is too late.

Debie Thomas, ‘When Jesus challenges his listeners’ assumptions and tells them to “repent” before it’s too late, I think part of what he’s saying is this: any question that allows us to keep a sanitised distance from the mystery and reality of another person’s pain is a question we need to un-ask.’

Jesus then tells the parable of the man and his fig tree. There are three characters in this story who need to be considered. First is the man who planted the fig tree and then stood back from it. He only came to look for the fruit, he had no part in the care of that tree. It didn’t give him what he wanted, so he demanded that it be cut down. How often do I stand apart from a situation, giving only my judgement that I am in no position to make? Do I call it quits too early in situations?

Second is the fig tree. It has been planted but seems unable to produce any fruit. Is it undernourished? Am I helpless or hopeless, ignored or dismissed? How can I come back to life?

Third there is the gardener. He defends the tree, pleads for another year of life for it. He is willing to go the distance, put in the work even when a positive outcome is not guaranteed? Will I give up love, time and effort for someone else? Why is not a life-giving question and Jesus knows this.

This is where Isaiah is helpful. Chapter 55 is the end of the second major section in the book of Isaiah, which up to this point has been the prophecy for the people of Israel before, during and after their exile to Babylon.
This section of Isaiah (ch 40-55) is dominated by the theme of salvation through suffering, known as the Servant Songs. Christians have long identified the suffering servant with Jesus as there are many NT references connected to this portion of Isaiah. In Ch. 55, an invitation to the whole world into the new world is extended. ‘All you/(everyone) who are thirsty’ brings before us the worldwide consequences of the Servant’s work.
What is on offer?

First on offer is free provision for every need (v1-2) through three invitations.
Come to the waters – water is essential for life, we die without it. There is a life-threatening need and an abundant supply. This first provision is for survival both physical and spiritual.

The second invitation, come, buy and eat is extended to the one who has no money and highlights inability and helplessness. We know that we can’t buy anything without money; and nothing can be had without payment – someone, somewhere along the line has paid. The implication here is that the suffering servant has paid the price.

The third invitation, come, but wine and milk, without money, stresses the richness of the provision: not just the water of bare necessity but the wine and milk of luxurious satisfaction. God is the god of luxury, of lavishness. We are to seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him when he is near. We have come to the fundamental issues in the next few verses of Isaiah. So far it has been come, come, come, listen, listen and now the full meaning of come and listen is found in the call to seek, call, forsake, turn. There is an urgency to the message of Gospel.

Seek here doesn’t mean to look for something that is lost, it means to come to the place where the Lord is to be found. Jesus is calling us to repentance now.
Forsake and turn speak of true repentance, turning from and turning to. In turning to the Lord, he will have mercy, he will abundantly (theme of luxury) pardon.

Debie Thomas, ‘Why hasn’t the fig tree produced fruit yet? Um, here’s the manure, and here’s a spade — get to work. Why do terrible, painful, completely unfair things happen in this world? Um, go weep with someone who’s weeping. Go fight for the justice you long to see. Go confront evil where it needs confronting. Go learn the art of patient, hope-filled tending. Go cultivate beautiful things. Go look your own sin in the eye and repent of it while you can.’

3rd Before Lent: Living Between Blessings & Woes

Luke’s Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6)


Proper 2

Jeremiah 17:5-10
1 Corinthians 15:12-20
Luke 6:17-26

Blessed are you who are poor, hungry, sad, and expendable. Woe to you who are rich, full, happy, and popular. This week’s Gospel in a nutshell.

What are we supposed to do with this?! Those of us who are comfortable and privileged may want to question what Jesus means, maybe edit or rationalise until we can tolerate what is being said. We may prefer Matthew’s Beatitudes over Luke’s plain speaking about actual hunger, thirst and poverty; material issues over spiritual. If we want to know where God’s heart is and who receives blessing then we need to to look to the poor, the wretched and reviled.

From the essayist Debie Thomas, ‘So, again. What should we do with this Gospel? Wallow in guilt? Romanticise poverty? Avoid happiness? I don’t think so. The very fact that Jesus prefaces this hard teaching by alleviating suffering in every way possible suggests that he doesn’t valorize misery for its own sake. Pain in and of itself is neither holy nor redemptive in the Christian story, and in fact, Jesus’s ministry is all about healing, abundance, liberation, and joy.’

It is helpful to hold that we are not being told how to behave or think; Jesus is telling his audience simply how it is going to be. Also, every blessing and every woe is addressed to every person. This is very much a human pattern and where we live – between woes and blessings. We invite blessing when we are hungry and weak and mourning. We invite woe when we are prideful, forgetful and distance ourselves from God.

Wherever we put ourselves between blessing and woe, God is faithful and can be trusted. Trust happens to be a golden thread that runs through our readings this morning.

Through the prophet Jeremiah, God’s message was that he wanted his people to trust him alone. No other gods, idols or even humans could replace him. So determined is God to have their trust – he is prepared to curse those who trust in ‘mere mortals and make human strength their only strength.’ Over time the Jewish people had gradually come to trust in other things, in themselves, in novel religious rituals, in wealth. Basically anything but God and they are paying a terrible price.

People like these live ‘like a shrub in the desert.’ There is no water, nothing to feed them. They won’t see relief when it comes. Think about for a moment when you are hungry or thirsty to the point of distraction? Can you think clearly? Living like this means a life of constant worry, anxiety and inability to focus on anything other than survival.

Jeremiah uses water as the image of God. God is as essential to life as water is, and to choose to live without him is as dumb as it would be to choose to live without water. Instead of being cursed, those who ‘trust in the Lord are blessed, like trees planted by water, sending out roots by the stream.’ These people are constantly being fed and watered by the stream that is God. They don’t have to fear and be anxious when things get difficult; they bear fruit always. They knew where their roots were; by the stream, planted by the water that is God. Can we check our root system today?

The message of the Gospel is where we need to put our trust. Sometimes it is a hard message but first and foremost it is about love. The love between God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit – all equal parts. This is the love that we are invited into, that we were created for.

Both Luke and Jeremiah have messages of woe and blessing. Blessed are you who are poor, hungry, sad, and expendable. Woe to you who are rich, full, happy, and popular. Again this is about trust. What is our trust in? Being rich, full and popular? These are good if used in the right way, not to be taken lightly or misused for our own personal gain. Woe to you if this is what your trust is in.

Blessed are you who are poor, hungry, sad, and expendable. Why are they blessed? God’s favour falls on those who have nothing to fall back on – no pension, no credit line, no NHS, no social care, no credit card.

Jesus is standing with people who are hungry to benefit from the power that streams from him, and he announces through his healings and his words that God cares for the poor, the hungry and the suffering. The power of God is a power that is used to comfort and renew. It is the power of the cross and resurrection.

Where then is our trust today? Maybe in light of what has happened it has been shaken – but that doesn’t mean that God’s power is less. Ever so fortunately, God’s power and love is not conditional or contingent on how we might be feeling in a particular moment. There is no better alternative to his power. Until we are powerless ourselves; we cannot truly understand his power. Find your roots again today and stay close to the waters where fear and anxiety are taken away.

Debie Thomas, ‘Blessed are you who are poor, hungry, sad, and expendable. Why? Because you have everything to look forward to. Because the Kingdom of God is yours. Because Jesus came, and comes still, to fill the empty-handed with good things.
May the God who gives and takes away, offers comfort and challenge, grant us the grace to sit with woe, and learn the meaning of blessing.’

Easter Sunday – He is Risen!

Christ is Risen! 

This is always the good news of Easter! Always has been and always will. This year has been different of course. What is usually a very busy weekend with a number of services has been quiet. In lieu of an Easter Vigil last night (although a number of dear Priest friends were doing them online) I opted to re-watch the Passion of the Christ without distraction (my phone). I vividly remember watching it when first released in 2004. At the end of the movie, the entire audience left the cinema in silence. Again, it left my in silence. 

As per request I am posting an Easter Sunday sermon. This was from last year. Still good! 

He is Risen Indeed! 

Acts 10: 34-43
1 Corinthians 15:19-26
Luke 24:1-12

Risen Christ,
for whom no door is locked, no entrance barred:
open the doors of our hearts,
that we may seek the good of others
and walk the joyful road of sacrifice and peace,
to the praise of God the Father. Amen.

Jesus is Risen. That is the message of today. I know that and you know that too. I kind of want to sit down now!

We come together this morning as brothers and sisters in Christ to celebrate what was done for us by Jesus on cross, we it meant and what it continues to mean. My hope this morning is that as we hear again the familiar story of the empty tomb, the reactions of those who were that we can put ourselves somewhere in the story of that first Easter Day.

Luke’s account has slightly different details than the other gospels, this doesn’t mean it is better or more accurate than any of others. Luke’s perspective is just different. I read through verses 1-12 with a stop every few verses with a thought or reflection with a brief pause. 

On the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb,  but when they went in, they did not find the body.

• These women, who had been at the cross, went to the tomb expecting to find Jesus’ body; they had seen it hanging on the cross so knew the condition it would have been in. They were prepared to finish the job of preparing the body. But they did not find it.
• We can only imagine the shock and surprise these women faced. There was a body yesterday but not today!
• How do we do when our expectations go unmet? When we turn up, ready to complete the job, meet that person, do what needs to be done and we can’t?

While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?
• Are we looking in the right place for things? Are we looking among the dead? Do we do the same things time after time but expect different results? Do we treat people the same way, with the same expectations – but want a different response? Maybe it is time to look somewhere new?

He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” Then they remembered his words,

• Sometimes we too need to remember what we know about the promises of God. He did not come to meet our expectations but to meet our needs. This is cold comfort sometimes. I think this is why many people struggle with God; he doesn’t act or behave in a way that would make life more convenient or easier for us.
• Jesus rose again on the third day so that we could be with him forever, be forgiven and freed from our sins.

and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.

• I’m not sure about you – but I struggle when I am not believed. If I am telling someone about an event or situation or telling a story, I expect that I will be believed. I like to think that I am a credible person!
• We have some idea of what these women have been through – the disciples (the men) all left Jesus on the cross as they couldn’t bear to watch. It was these women who were up early to get to the tomb to finish the preparations. The grief they must have been feeling. And now the hurt of not being believed.
• There is something in this about how I believe other people when they share their stories with me. Do I hold the same level of entitlement to be heard and believed that I think I deserve to other people? I think of some recent encounters with people and I have had to think seriously about this very issue. Am I treating the stories of others as an ‘idle tale’ or the real lived experience of another human.

But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.

• Luke has Peter going to the tomb by himself. Matthew and Mark make no mention of Peter, John puts himself and Peter going to the tomb.
• Evidently Peter believed what the women had to say so he went too. Maybe one of the unnamed women was his wife or mother-in-law whom Jesus had raised? Anyway, something that Peter heard was enough to get him out of the house and on the road. Remember too that Peter was the one who had denied Jesus three times as Jesus told him he would. We again can only image how Peter must have felt that next day – his grief, his shame could only have been overwhelming.

• Now maybe in his mind Peter had a way to make things right. He saw the linens clothes by themselves and went home amazed at what has happened.
• What would it take to be amazed about the death and resurrection of Jesus today? Have we become complacent in our faith? Has life worn us down and we no longer feel that Jesus is bothered with us?

Friends be reminded again that He loves you, that everything that happened in that week 2000 years ago was for you today. As we hear these verses again let’s try to renew our amazement of all that Jesus did and continues to do for us.