Spirituality

CALLED TO COMMUNITY

May 31, 2019  •   Tracy Earl Welliver We were created for community. Human beings are not meant to be alone. As each of us grows in our relationship with Jesus, we find ourselves drawn further into community. Our stewardship never reflects just on us, but on the Body of Christ to which we belong. When speaking to his Father, Jesus always spoke about all of us as a whole. Jesus has a unique relationship with each...

UP, UP, AND AWAY?

May 29, 2019  •   Rev. Mark Suslenko For Sunday, June 2nd, 2019  The Ascension of the Lord  Acts 1:1-11 Ephesians 1:17-23 or Hebrews 9:24-28; 10:19-23 Luke 24:46-53 It is common thinking to believe that Christ’s Ascension into heaven somehow removes him from earth and that the Holy Spirit becomes some kind of substitution for his presence here. The Holy Trinity can never be divided and always exists in relationship with each other, whole and intact. How,...

Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

April 19, 2019  •   Tracy Earl Welliver The Fourteenth Station of the Cross Burying the dead is one of the Corporal Works of Mercy, taught to us by Jesus as a model of how we should treat one another. Jesus’ friends cared for his body and, in turn, honored his teachings. Their actions provided a sense of dignity and honor to the dead Messiah after others sought to discredit and ridicule him. We are called to...

Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross

April 16, 2019  •   Tracy Earl Welliver The Thirteenth Station of the Cross When the lifeless body of Jesus was removed from the cross, the sorrow in the hearts of his friends must have been great. Did they know that this was all part of God’s plan? Did they see his weakness as true strength? Did they realize that he would rise from the dead and change the world? When grief is so new and so...

Jesus Dies on the Cross

April 12, 2019  •   Tracy Earl Welliver The Twelfth Station of the Cross Jesus had to die so that he might rise again. It is the Resurrection that provides the meaning for the cross. Without Jesus’ rising, the events of the Passion are simply some grotesque sequence of man’s inhumanity toward man. Of course, true sacrifice does require that one dies to oneself. We must die to ourselves so that Jesus can live through us. Our...

Jesus is Crucified

April 9, 2019  •   Tracy Earl Welliver The Eleventh Station of the Cross Can you hear the sound of the hammer on the nails? Can you imagine the spectacle of a public execution? Can you see the Savior of the world lifted high on a cross as he bleeds and struggles to breathe? The hymn “Were You There?” has no single composer. It was sung by 19th century African-American slaves and was first included in an...

Jesus is Stripped of His Clothes

April 5, 2019  •   Tracy Earl Welliver The Tenth Station of the Cross The world can take many things from us: our wealth, our family, and our home. Our dignity is often the last thing we are able to hold onto. But imagine being publicly ridiculed and cursed and being beaten until you cannot physically defend yourself any longer. Then finally, you are stripped of your clothes, and you stand before the world naked. It is...

Jesus Falls the Third and Final Time

April 2, 2019  •   Tracy Earl Welliver The Ninth Station of the Cross Jesus’ body could finally take no more, and it gave out on him. For the last time, he fell to the ground, this time unable to get up. He would meet his death in just a short while upon a cross. We can choose to look upon the Lord’s beaten and torn body, soon to be pierced for all eternity, and shudder in...

Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem

March 29, 2019  •   Tracy Earl Welliver The Eighth Station of the Cross On the road to Golgotha, Jesus stopped to console the grieving women on the side of the road. Jesus could not ignore their tears of despair. Even in one of his darkest hours, Jesus took time to stop and be present to those in need. Jesus not only gave the women his time and his presence, he quoted the prophets for them, teaching...

Jesus Falls the Second Time

March 26, 2019  •   Tracy Earl Welliver The Seventh Station of the Cross Jesus must have hit the ground much harder the second time he fell. His bodily strength was quickly becoming depleted, and the pain of his joints must have been severe. However, once again he got back up and continued on his way. We know from the accounts in the Garden before his arrest that Jesus was afraid and asked God to remove this...