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Good Friday Service

Tonight Gateway met for our annual Good Friday Service.

As in other years, rather than a sermon, it was a time for thinking, praying, and singing about Jesus' death on the cross.  The point was made that Christianity is all about events in history -- and this weekend we are celebrating those events.

Various members of the congregation read passages of Scripture, which included prophecies such as Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 and the crucifixion account in Mark 14 and the John 1 passage about why Jesus came.  There was also a reading from Philip Yancey's The Jesus I Never Knew about Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane.

In between readings, we sang choruses and some old classic hymns.  We finished off with "Softly and Tenderly."

Which is appropriate.  Because didn't Jesus die to call, "O sinner, come home!"

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.  -- John 1:14

It was a beautiful way to get us thinking about Jesus' death . . . and prepare us for Sunday morning.

Posted by Sondy Eklund with

Fantastic! - Walking on Water

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Today Pastor Ed continued his sermon series titled "Fantastic: Incredible Stories from Jesus' Life and their Significance for Us" looking at Matthew 14:22-36, where Jesus walks on water.

There's nothing unusual about taking a walk - unless you're doing it on water.

If it's not true, where would this story have come from?  It was awfully early for this kind of mythology to have developed, and the authors were clearly intending to write history.

If it is real, Jesus is uniquely and incredibly Fantastic -- He's Holy -- set apart, unique, in a completely different category from anything else in existence.

The disciples' response is, "What kind of man is this?"

When Jesus gets in the boat, they do what you do to God -- they worship him.

Observations:

1.  There's always hope when we put our trust in God.

No matter what the obstacle.  God's rule extends over even the laws of nature themselves.

Faith is understanding that God can do anything, believing that God can do anything, and putting our hope in him.

2.  The power that was available to and through Jesus is now available to and through us.

An astonishing part of this passage is that Peter walked on water.  Peter was an ordinary guy, just like us.

What does that mean for us?

In John 14:12, Jesus says, "Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing."

We are called to be fantastic in the same provocative way.

Predictable and normal = safe

Jesus' kind of fantastic is disruptive and shocking to the world around us.

Application:

1.  Be amazed at Jesus!

Rediscover the wonder of Jesus.

2.  Open our hearts to Believe:  If Jesus is involved, anything is possible.

3.  We need to go ALL IN with that belief.

Let's be caught finding out what that means.

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Gateway, what do you think?  I find myself tremendously challenged by this message - but wondering what it looks like, what it means.  If you have some thoughts about it, please add them in the comments!

Posted by Sondy Eklund with

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