The point of vaccinations, Cross Encounters
Well, there is the needle! There is also truth that it is a good way to serve our neighbour in public health.
Local and Global, Cross Encounters
We live in congregations – specific localities – and yet we say in the Creed all the time that the Church is global. We diminish the Church when we emphasise one over against the other – so finding good ways of living in the tension is part of being the Christian Church.
Musings on a harvest, Cross Encounters
Life and living is truly a gift. But that thought implies a giver. As harvests come and go, that thought never goes away. What else might a harvest thanksgiving reveal?
Ah, the Church – very local and very global, Cross Encounters
Any history of a group of Christians reveals both the local and also the historical – a past which reminds us that we never 'create' Christianity or the Faith – we only receive it – to be lived and to be passed on faithfully.
From neuroscience to forgiveness, Cross Encounters
Our world is an amazing place and the journeys we can take in our minds likewise. And God is with us in both!
Is there too much talking out loud in church?, Cross Encounters
The question of silence and personal engagement in worship is a topic that arises from time to time. A few thoughts this week.
What's so funny?, Cross Encounters
What's so funny? Lots of things! But humour is tricky to negotiate and laughter can be both joyous and cruel. A reflection on living well with a laugh – or might I say 'laughing well'?
Order!, Cross Encounters
No, this is not the cry for some semblance of quiet by the Speaker in the House of Commons. Rather this is about knowing what is happening in worship and why. What we do when and why is important but not as important as knowing what God is doing when and why!
Being together, Cross Encounters
The mystery of Christian discipleship is that we relate to Jesus through faith which ultimately means that Jesus is beyond our senses and experiences – and yet he uses means – words, water, bread and wine – to reach us via our senses and experiences but we only receive him through faith. Christians thus can say that Jesus is with them even when their senses and experiences go 'What?!'
The power of hope, Cross Encounters
For the Christian, hope is faith grounded in Christ looking into the future – and that is its true power.
There is something about Mary, Cross Encounters
Christians and the world know that Jesus' mother was Mary. What does that mean for us today? The many answers suggest that there is something about Mary!
The Vibe, Cross Encounters
What is the vibe of a thing, a person, or a relationship? A quintessence perhaps? We often live by vibes. In Christianity all vibes need to be anchored in God's Word – all of it – not just our favourite parts – so that we don't make God or Jesus in our image! And the starting point in getting a Christian vibe is the cross and empty tomb.
The stroke of a pen, Cross Encounters
Why do we do what we do in Church? I think it is important that each of us know what is behind we way we react and behave. That is why the distinction between public doctrine and pious opinion is very important.
Lifting the lid on worship, Cross Encounters
In the UK the devolved governments are lifting the lid on public worship – 'there are no restrictions' is the summary. But how true is such a sentiment when we talk about Christian worship?
The Church, Cross Encounters
What did you think of when you saw that word? No doubt people and buildings and labels and possibly a chequered history. Such are not unimportant at all. But it is good to first remember that the Christian Church is an article of faith and a hidden reality. What we see should reflect that reality but we live 'by faith and not by sight' (2 Corinthians 5:7) and that makes 'Church' very interesting indeed!
Faces, Cross Encounters
Faces are everywhere! People have them and we can even 'see' them on inanimate objects. We so want to know and be known and faces are a good place to start. Of course this begs the question spiritually – Does God have a face? What would you say?
When things don't go our way, Cross Encounters
How do we deal with living when things don't go as we wish? No doubt in many ways. However the best starting point is remembering that God is already with us in the moment and not far away 'waiting to be called'.
What is faith or doubt?, Cross Encounters
What are the issues today about faith and doubt? What should the Church be saying and doing?
Can 'free will' live up to its name?, Cross Encounters
Answers to that question might be found in philosophy, physics, and neuroscience. A cross and an empty tomb also shines light on the question.
God is happy to share his personal data with you, Cross Encounters
God goes to great lengths to reveal Himself through the Word made flesh. Jesus points us to the Father – and together they send the Holy Spirit. Thus God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – don't share this personal information for ego but because without this revelation we are truly lost.
The news and the 'Thought for the Day', Cross Encounters
We all have thoughts each day about life and living. The Good News of Jesus is the best news to help shape our thoughts.
What have you learnt from the pandemic?, Cross Encounters
There is a lot to learn – and to learn a greater appreciation of God and his means of grace. We are never alone.
The centrality of Baptism, Cross Encounters
Baptism – being joined to Jesus' death and resurrection and in a new birth and new life – is critical for everyone because our journey is either being drawn to Jesus in Baptism or returning daily to Jesus and Baptism. That's what living by faith involves and stops Christianity being only history a long time ago.
Changing behaviour, Cross Encounters
Knowledge is usually not enough to bring about change. What is needed is a reason or motivation. So when it comes to relating to God and to our behaviour that flows from faith, then what we need, above all, is the Gospel.
Always with us, Cross Encounters
The Good News of Jesus is not just that he speaks to us but also that he moves. Everything to do with him is about him coming to us.
In the midst of death we are in life, Cross Encounters
It would seem that I've got the words 'death' and 'life' back to front! But no, I haven't. This is what Jesus is all about!
So much faith around, Cross Encounters
You better believe it! Just getting up in the morning requires it – as does believing in God – as does claiming that God doesn't exist – as does driving a car, going to the doctor, and getting married. What do you believe and why?
Resurrection realities, Cross Encounters
There are two realities. The main one is that Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! The second one, not unimportant, involves why you are being told that Jesus is alive? If speakers want something for themselves by this message, then be on alert. Resurrection reality involves following Jesus and not the messenger.
Power for living, Cross Encounters
No matter our physical, emotional, psychological, or spiritual state, God's Word speaks into our day and helps us live.
The Small Catechism, Cross Encounters
The Small Catechism is designed to engage our brain, heart, hands, and mouth because we can live with someone hidden from our senses. Christians live with Jesus through faith. The Small Catechism guides how read and respond to God's Word and that's worth a read, a prayer, a lifestyle, and a story.
Making sense, Cross Encounters
We need to make sense of the world to live in it. Whom do we trust for this understanding? That depends on what you want to know! There is so much we can learn but when it comes to living with meaning and purpose then Jesus and his cross can never be ignored.
Who am I?, Cross Encounters
'Who am I?' is one of the most foundational questions in the world. There can be many answers! However when we ask 'Who am I before God?' then the followers of Jesus through the centuries learn that same answer – loved.
God and Violence, Cross Encounters
It is unnerving to contemplate when you put God and violence together. How would we survive against an angry God? And it seems we can't escape either topic in this life. That is why the violence of the cross needs to be contemplated. What is it all about?
The glory of God, Cross Encounters
In Lent we are reminded not to ignore our eyes but also not to let sight determine everything – particularly when it comes to God and his glory.
The masked faced of God, Cross Encounters
While we are learning to live with masks in our world these days, Christians have always heard of and seen the face of God through Jesus and the means of grace.
Getting it right, Cross Encounters
We want to get things right but to do so we need to know what that actually is and, more importantly, why. For Christians, the Gospel holds the key to both the what and the why. But don't switch your brain off working it out!
The words from whose mouth, Cross Encounters
We really can't communicate without words. And yet knowing who is speaking very much helps us hear and understand. What is the relationship between you who hear words and the speaker who says them?
Free speech, Cross Encounters
What do you mean that there is no such thing?! We can say what we like! Yet words exist always in contexts and relationships, so whom should they serve?
In the water, Cross Encounters
What is Jesus doing in the water meant for sinners? Why is the voice from heaven pleased? Sinner? Son of God? What is going on? Oh ... it is about ME! ... Aha!
The power of words, Cross Encounters
There is huge power in words. Unbelievable. Creative. Destructive. Self-serving. Self-giving. To whom do we listen and why?
When the wrapping paper is torn and crunched up, Cross Encounters
We need more than a Christmas break to help us through life.
There has to be an explanation, Cross Encounters
We want things to make sense and be understandable. It is good that we do to live safely and well. But when things don't fit into our world, does that mean they are not true? Christmas can only be understood by what happens 33 years later.
The time it takes, Cross Encounters
Time might be sped up or slowed down in films, literature, and our imagination but we live it one second, one minute, one hour at a time. And no matter whether that moment is happy or sad, smiles or tears, God is with us all the time.
Good News, Cross Encounters
We tend to think good news is good news for all. However on reflection, this might not be the case. How intriguing that the good news of Jesus can be so difficult to both hear and share. How marvellous that people have faith in Jesus at all!
When death comes close, Cross Encounters
Sometimes we see it coming and at other times we don’t. Death is something we’d prefer ‘over the horizon’ and out of sight. But it is always lurking. It can shrivel life and make people very afraid. However Jesus can help us deal with death when it comes close.
About the future, Cross Encounters
Whatever the future is – and it comprises the predictable and the unpredictable – the followers of Jesus know what they need to do – serve and love their neighbours.
An empty or full heaven?, Cross Encounters
What we think is ‘over the horizon’ shapes how we live now. God’s world is always teeming with life and he has gone to amazing lengths to share it. Life is more than just only between ‘me and God’.
Don’t put me on hold!, Cross Encounters
When phoning, we want to speak to a real person. When with people, we want to be noticed, not brushed aside. So spiritual relationships can be tricky when they seem so one-sided. And they are – until one meets Jesus.
Judgements, Cross Encounters
We want to be the judges not the judged but life doesn’t work like that. We are judged often about lots of things. What happens when God gets involved?
Learning to live where we find ourselves, Cross Encounters
Being aware of our surroundings contributes to our safety and wellbeing and wisdom gives us our purpose.
Religious reverie, Cross Encounters
Birthday musings, living, and dying … what is important in life? Really? It has to be Jesus and the Gospel!
Something different … a story, Cross Encounters
There is often more than meets the eye.
Days and Seasons, Cross Encounters
We are conscious of time and history and yet sometimes one date so dominates that it ‘takes over’ that day. Are there any such dates in your life?
Leaks need fixing just as life needs to be lived, Cross Encounters
While we would like to control things so that problems, hassles, and suffering are avoided, life is not like that. A lot of living is responding to what is happening and for Christians, they do so never alone, for Jesus is with them.
When we suddenly see, Cross Encounters
When we think we know everything then we can be so blind. Jesus and the Bible can seem hard to understand, crazy even. And yet when the crucified man is seen as our gracious Lord, then we can see ourselves and living here in such a new way.
Faces, Cross Encounters
We are seeing less of them in these pandemic times. Yet we desire to see them because they help us know someone personally. So what does it mean when God’s face shines on us?
Understanding the assessments, Cross Encounters
In the northern hemisphere, going back to school is happening. And that inevitably means assessments. How do we think about them and where does God fit in?
When things don’t go right, Cross Encounters
There are lots of reasons why things don’t go right. Where does God fit in? Well, that depends on who your God is and what you’re expecting to be done.
Who says what is normal?, Cross Encounters
In a changing world through the centuries, Christians have always found themselves wrestling with what the world says is normal and what following Jesus means.
Looking forward, Cross Encounters
Our calendars are being crossed out as plans are cancelled or changed but for those in Christ, all time is ‘crossed out’ because Jesus has defeated death’s power to cancel and wreck life. That truth affects each day and guarantees our future.
Trust, Cross Encounters
Reflections on trust in a time of pandemic. Whom do you trust? Why? This is worth hearing! Trust me!
Under the night sky looking at a comet, Cross Encounters
We get a sense of perspective looking up and usually it is that we are very very small. But when the Creator speaks we can discover that we are very very precious.
Buildings repurposed and statues pulled down, Cross Encounters
Places and things powerfully affect us. That’s why we build them. But for Christians the eye must give way to the ear.
‘Friend’ is a good word, Cross Encounters
When ‘locked-down’ we miss our routines and plans and we can be concerned for a future we do not want. Friendships help us to be secure and have meaning – especially friendship with God.
When God speaks, the messengers should get out of the way, Cross Encounters
Musings on ‘abyss’ and ‘abbess’ and a purpose of pastors.
What changes are coming?, Cross Encounters
How we shape our future is best determined by why.
The test results are negative, Cross Encounters
How do we assess what we are told? What has the greater authority? For Christians, it is Jesus, the Word of God.
I can’t breathe, Cross Encounters
With the weight of sin and evil so suffocating, what do we do?
Reading the Bible, Cross Encounters
Encountering the Word of God always has consequences. God wants everyone to follow Jesus and have the best adventure in the world.
Living is more than getting the jobs done, Cross Encounters
We need skill and expertise to get jobs done. But living is more than just one job after another.
Alarms!, Cross Encounters
Alarms are meant to be noticed. Yet they can be ignored. At Pentecost and from then on the Holy Spirit has been active focusing people on Jesus. Will the world hear?
Religion, science and face masks, Cross Encounters
Knowing how and why we know what we know helps us live.
How do I look?, Cross Encounters
In a world of public and private, inside and out, having someone who sees all might be confronting, even fearful. But when it is Jesus who sees all, sees us inside and out, and loves us – then it is life changing every day. His love can cast out all fear.
Language is important, Cross Encounters
Jesus’ message and promise was given to comfort not control, to lift up not lock down, and, above all, to set people free by promising to remain with us.
The One and the many, Cross Encounters
God loves us all – everyone – and us individually – and Jesus’ death and resurrection tells us that God wants us to live – with Him – and with others. And then we – as individuals – can live so that the many around us can be blessed.
Christ is with us, even in times like these, Cross Encounters
Jesus calls his people together in little groups and still comes and serves them, walks with them, helps them, suffers with them, and gives them a perspective that affects all of their lives
God comes to us, Cross Encounters
The Holy Spirit uses means – channels – words, water, bread and wine – so that we may know Jesus and the Father through Him.
The new normal, Cross Encounters
What is the ‘new normal’ when someone goes into the grave with death but then comes out alive? What indeed? Disciples of every generation live in their time and place, working that out! Our ‘new normal’ of each day always has Jesus with us and his ‘Peace be with you’ – ‘Don’t be afraid’ – and that’s how we live through whatever the planet, our country, or us personally are going through.
The world’s changes and God’s unchanging love, Cross Encounters
For those baptised in Christ, they look to Jesus’ death and resurrection where we are joined to him and his new life. A daily return to our baptism is a daily putting on (like clothes) of Christ where we are reminded that our identity has been given to us – God calls us by our name, ‘you are mine’ (Isaiah 43:1) – and that identity is what we wear no matter the clothing!
Lord, I want… what You want, Cross Encounters
Trusting the One to Whom we call out depends on the nature and character behind the Name we cry.
Mothering Sunday, Cross Encounters
Mothers are renowned for their love and care. They remind us that life is a gift and they can be reminders to us of God’s care and love who gives the gift of faith through the Church.
Comfort. Comfort., Cross Encounters
God is gracious and gives his life and forgiveness and perseverance and hope and blessings. In fact, in Jesus God gives himself so that I may live.
The Christian lifestyle, Cross Encounters
Repentance is the only way to live; really live.
The Truth of Christianity, Cross Encounters
Jesus’ resurrection is the Gospel by which we are being saved and which is delivered to all as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins, that he was buried and that he was raised on the third day.
The Greatest Hero ever, Cross Encounters
Jesus’ transfiguration pointed to his death and resurrection where He saved the whole world from sin and death.
A song for all circumstances, Cross Encounters
Church is an outstanding gift of God. We sing a new song that can be sung in all circumstances: that God has brought about peace between Him and us through the life and death of Jesus.
God is The Giver, Cross Encounters
Everything God does are gifts to us. He came to serve and that we might live free from sin now and forever.
Learning by repetition, Cross Encounters
Growing in our relationship with Jesus shapes how we live and behave towards. It reminds us that everyone else is also loved by our God.
The Hope of the Church and of the World, Cross Encounters
For both the Church and the World the only true hope is to stand under the cross of Jesus.
Tragedy and joy hidden in plain sight, Cross Encounters
We have the ability to wreck things in the pursuit of our lives. God become human so that we may live with Him and live abundantly.
Ubiquitous and Eternal, Cross Encounters
Jesus aligns Himself with sinners to save sinners.
Be ready, Cross Encounters
Don't trudge through life. Be ready and of good courage for the coming of Jesus.
I came to call sinners, Cross Encounters
The people Jesus came for may not be the ones that seem obvious to us.
An earnest appeal to a faithful Father, Cross Encounters
Entertaining stories and scenarios in our lives can tend to aptly demonstrate Biblical truths which Christ taught, also by vivid examples. This one fortifies the willing response of our Heavenly Father, who is eager to hear the prayers of His children calling upon Him when in a needful state. Keeping faithful in trust we can petition God, with assurance He will be attentive and merciful to our needs.
Contrast of cultures, Cross Encounters
A review of the psychology in the motives which drive our modern society shows a striking contrast to the perspective of Biblical times. The people and culture of that period were much more reliant on natural cycles, responsibility in the community, and overall provision by God. It would be more helpful for us today to trust in these same essential truths in accord with Christ’s timeless teachings.
Christ’s victory of Life over death, Cross Encounters
We ought to consider what seems to be a tragedy in the recent terrorist attack against Christians in Sri Lanka, in fact, as a great example of committed faith. For the victims who lost their mortal life maintained more confidence in the promise of Eternal Life, which is achieved through our Saviour Jesus Christ. May this help to strengthen our Christian faith, and encourage all others world-wide.
May we boast only the boldness of the Lord, Cross Encounters
The nature of our human being, with its intellect and reasoning, tends to think too largely of himself: failing to acknowledge the great majesty and mercy of God, as our only Saviour. It is only because we are so small and insignificant that He loved us so enormously to provide Redemption.
The weeping prophet and the weeping Messiah, Cross Encounters
Just as Jeremiah wept over the Jerusalem of his time, so does Jesus lament when people are unwilling to repent and abide by God’s Word. Jesus longs to save and protect us.
Death is defeated by Christ, our Saviour, Cross Encounters
This comparison between Psalm 93 with texts from Revelation offers enlightening similarities to help us see the great majesty of Jesus Christ as our King. Both identify His strength as a warrior to establish His reign - Everlasting. The greatest triumph is victory over death, which He grants in mercy to us.
How the Parables help our understanding of God's Word, Cross Encounters
Christ tells the disciples about the purpose of His parables: as a unique means of conveying the great mysteries of God’s Kingdom to those eager to learn His Word – at ALL levels of understanding. Likewise, we must listen and ponder these teachings, being keen to see the Truth revealed.
Follow the Shepherd, not the blind man, Cross Encounters
Just as Christ warned of the false teachings of the Pharisees, so also we must be aware of this as a risk amongst many religious leaders today. By seeking out the pastors and churches who clearly profess the truth from God’s Word, we can be certain to be led and enlightened on the straight path to Christ.
Jesus Christ: certified in God's Word, Cross Encounters
An opportunity to consider the coded language by which Jesus is confirmed as the Messiah who was prophesied to come and save His people. By use of extraordinary Biblical illusions which are clearly inscribed in the ancient text, Jesus verifies His identity in response to John the Baptist's enquiry.
A view of Christ as our central foundation, Cross Encounters
Consider what is most important about the Christmas tree. Certainly it seems impressive and stunning as it stands tall and glorious, with star and lights. Yet the most vital is the firm stand that keeps it centred and upright. Likewise, Christ is the solid rock upon which to build our faith.
Christ is with us through Word, Water, Bread and Blood, Cross Encounters
A worthy cause for meaningful meditation, as we prepare for Christ’s coming during Advent season: Note how prominent is Scriptural reference describing the lifeline of Christ in our Lutheran liturgy. This account pledges faithful reminder of how His presence is with us throughout the Divine Service.
Will God really dwell on earth?, Cross Encounters
As we enter the season of Advent the idea of God clothing Himself in human flesh seems illogical. Yet, Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary to save the world.
Rejoice!, Cross Encounters
This reflection on Psalm 13 provides a stunning contrast from a sense of despair, feeling forsaken by God (as we know in life circumstance) to uplifting praise, rejoicing that He has overcome our enemies! That is: over sin, death and the devil. A great prophecy pointing to Christ’s triumph, as a reminder of God’s enduring promise to deliver us from all challenges.
The Church of Christ born as new creation, Cross Encounters
Here is an interesting correlation describing a link between the origin of woman – formed as a new creation from Adam – and the birth of the Church – coming to life upon Christ’s death. It captivates the significance of the sacraments derived from the divine water and blood as it came from our Saviour.
Who is this man with divine authority? The Son of God!, Cross Encounters
The Gospel of Mark delivers a message that clearly affirms the identity of Jesus Christ. While his contemporaries were posing valid questions, such as how Christ can defy the traditions of the Jews, Mark concludes with the truth that Jesus is the Son of God and that He comes to serve. Jesus is our ransom from sin and our salvation.
We are called to listen to Christ, Cross Encounters
A review of various instances where specific declarations from Christ caused for the people to respond with offence, anger, or confusion: e.g. claiming to have divine authority and being the Son of God. Indeed, so that it led to His death. Yet we must listen alertly and properly consider Christ the Word of God.
Pray for others, Cross Encounters
Luther constructed a thoughtful and methodical ‘Simple Way to Pray’, reminding us that the focus of our prayer ought not to be solely in our own interests. By revisiting Scripture, the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostles Creed and confessing our sins we can beseech God’s mercy as a gracious Father.
Expectations overturned, Cross Encounters
This reflection offers a double account of the supreme joy of being reunited with the Lord. As we honour Easter and the Resurrection of Christ, we can but try to fathom this extraordinary experience of the ladies meeting their Risen Lord while on the path to His tomb.
Christ is our place for refuge, Cross Encounters
The Book of Joshua describes the Cities of Refuge as a gracious resource for protection and strength, to sustain those in need. The elements attributed to these shelters demonstrate a striking parallel to the security Christ offers to us. He is open and available to all as fortress for freedom and peace.
Don't pass Me by, Cross Encounters
Here is example of the statue of Christ with His arms outstretched and welcoming us during the course of our travels through life. We are summoned to pause at his feet and duly respect both his authority and embrace, although too many passers-by offer no regard - even reject Him. We are to recognise this Cornerstone on which God has built the plan of redemption.
Rely upon the strength of Christ, Cross Encounters
This episode narrates an incident describing how we, as Christians, are called to lend a hand of support to those whom we see heedlessly falling. Yet to maintain our balance while offering assistance, we can rely upon the strength of Christ as a Rock of Salvation who serves as a stable foundation – for all.
God’s greatest gift, Cross Encounters
This poetic homily reminds us the prime reason for celebrating this Christmas season. Special reference to Luke’s narrative of the birth of Christ reminds us of the great choral tradition of praise in the Bible (such as Mary’s Magnificat). In the same we continue to celebrate with songs of joy the uplifting hope granted us in God’s greatest gift.
The son of promise and the Son of God, Cross Encounters
Here is a reflection upon the birth of John the Baptist: himself being a miracle conceived, and elected to prepare the way of the Lord. John deemed as ‘Son of Promise’, we see many related prophesies from the Old Testament come to be, which is culminated in Zechariah’s hymn of praise, the Benedictus. Still the ultimate fulfillment of God’s mercy, of course, is manifest in the birth of Christ – for which now is apt occasion for us to give thanks.
500 years of Reformation. Where do we go from here?, Cross Encounters
How do we translate the recent flurry of activities into long term opportunities to get the Word of God out to our communities? Real Reformation begins with confession, followed by reading, marking and inwardly digesting God’s Word, praying and confessing the saving name of Christ.
Call a spade a spade, Cross Encounters
The love of God does not overlook our whims and inclinations. Take sin and its consequences seriously. Don’t replace the Holy Spirit with the spirit of the age. Truth and right are embodied in Jesus Christ.
Reformation: Worth remembering, Cross Encounters
Here is a helpful review reminding us the enduring creed of Lutheran theology. ‘The Four Solas’ are central, founded on Luther’s prime principle that we are saved by faith alone. Focus on Scripture recounts the mission of Christ in all He did, all He served us, and how He reigns actively in our lives now. It is this enormous gift which inspires us to live in accord with God’s Will.
An amazing path, Cross Encounters
The true and proper worship of God should be as natural to his people as birds following their migratory paths.
From death to life, Cross Encounters
The ill state of our human condition is the product of sin in our lives, and though we tend to deny it, death is our fate. Yet everlasting hope is in Christ, who triumphed over our fate to deliver us new life.
From sorrow to joy, Cross Encounters
Jesus says in John 16:20: Truly, truly, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.
The Shepherd who carries His people, Cross Encounters
False idols are like burdens that people carry around. But these idols will never carry people through the tough times of life. The people of God are encouraged to place their trust in Him who seeks, saves and carries us upon His own shoulders.
The landmarks of faith, Cross Encounters
Church celebrations such as Christmas and Easter are signs that God worked mightily in history to fulfil His promise and save His people. They remind us of God’s trustworthiness and serve as tools to teach future generations that God is with us and has reconciled sinners to Himself.
Does it matter what God we pray to?, Cross Encounters
Only Jesus forgives sins. Only Jesus is the resurrection and the life.
Jacob's ladder, Cross Encounters
We, sinful humans, are incapable of climbing up to God through our own works or merits. Instead, we gather at the foot of the ladder and wait for God to come down to us and God did exactly that when He sent His own incarnate Son into the world.
The old has passed away, the new has come, Cross Encounters
Humans want to be happy but they are unwilling to do what they know will bring them happiness. This is true even of those who long to do God’s will. Trapped in a hell of our own making we often aren’t “living the dream” but the nightmare. However, Christ’s forgiveness for our sins and His clothing us with His righteousness gives us newness of life.
Triumphant defeat, Cross Encounters
In the darkness and stillness of His death Jesus turned apparent defeat into glorious victory overs sin, death and the devil.
Where is the glory of God?, Cross Encounters
The glory of God was fully revealed when His Son was lifted up on the cross to draw all people unto Himself. He took all your sins into His body and was forsaken by His Holy Father so that you would never experience the eternal forsakenness of Almighty God.
Don’t wall yourself off, Cross Encounters
Christians are founded on Christ. They are living stones being built up as a spiritual house to proclaim God’s light and mercy.
Drink from the stream rather than the brook, Cross Encounters
Don’t just read books about the Bible and spirituality. Don’t settle for the polluted and contaminated water that the world offers. Instead, read the Bible, the source of fresh and living water that wells up to eternal life.
Written that you may believe, Cross Encounters
Repent and believe in the gospel. Jesus is the source and the object of faith and salvation.
Can Jesus really forgive my sins?, Cross Encounters
The Holy Scriptures teach that Jesus actually, physically and historically took our sins into his body that we might die to sin with him and live to righteousness.
The “onlys” of salvation, Cross Encounters
Only Jesus, only Scripture, only grace, only through faith to the glory of God alone and so that no one may boast in their own works. We don’t have to do good works. We get to.
The blood that neutralizes the serpent’s venom, Cross Encounters
Rebellion and disobedience have infected and poisoned all humanity with sin and the sure consequence is death. But Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for us and his blood was shed to bring us forgiveness and life.
The snare of sin, Cross Encounters
Sin has you tied up in knots? Are you fighting to free yourself only to find sin’s grip tighter around you? Stop struggling and start confessing. Allow the Saviour who has conquered sin to come to you, to rescue you and to set you free.
The illusion of pleasure, wisdom, power and wealth, Cross Encounters
They promise so much but deliver so little. Jesus delivers us from sin and assures us of eternal life.
Taken by the horns, Cross Encounters
Under trampled by sin? Jesus’ righteousness is proclaimed to you: your debt has been paid in full.
Keep away from idols!, Cross Encounters
"A god means that from which we are to expect all good and to which we are to take refuge in all distress, so that to have a God is nothing else than to trust and believe Him from the heart" [Explanation to the First Commandment in Martin Luther’s Large Catechism]
Beware of false prophets!, Cross Encounters
False prophets mistake their own thoughts for the word of God. They may deceive and lead many people away from the truth. They are often full of grandiose promises of blessings and riches but say almost nothing about the disastrous effects sin has upon us. They cause people to doubt the Holy Scriptures and fail to provide people with God’s comfort.
From tragedy to glory, Cross Encounters
God's children through Christ. God's anointed King Jesus transforms crippled and lame sinners into the glory of His image.
Is Christianity relevant or counter-cultural?, Cross Encounters
This week Pastor Jon tells us that when we are one with Christ we can stand united and before God.
Seek the Lord “where” He may be found!, Cross Encounters
We cannot find God by our reason or strength. God’s Word leads us to Jesus. In Him our faith finds salvation.
Praise the Lord, O my soul!, Cross Encounters
God doesn’t need us to massage His ego. Rather, we give Him praise and honour for what He has done for us.
Don’t hide in the darkness!, Cross Encounters
Pastor Jon reminds us that in the New Year temptations are bound to come and advises us to seek security and shelter from the attacks of the evil one in God who is our fortress.
Jesus Christ: the Christmas present that really matters, Cross Encounters
Didn’t get what you wanted this Christmas? God gave us what we really need: salvation through His Son Jesus.
Sing “Glory to God in the highest”, Cross Encounters
Sing because God has come to us. Sing because God is with us and for us.
Let it be according to Your Word, Cross Encounters
The Holy Spirit works God’s will among humanity through the proclamation of His Word.
Jesus the Greatest, Cross Encounters
If you are looking for the greatest, look no further than Jesus
The voice of God’s mercy, Cross Encounters
Lift up your voice in praise; in the coming of Jesus Christ God came to save you.
How Long, O Lord?, Cross Encounters
Are you under attack? Consumed by sorrow? Have these things gone overtime? Remember, God is the ultimate time keeper and He will deal bountifully with those who trust in Him. Listen to Pastor Jon Ehlers’ devotion on Psalm 13 in Cross Encounters.
The heavy yoke and the light burden, Cross Encounters
Humans to often live their life as oxen of old – toiling and dying – but isn’t there more to it?
The Fall, Cross Encounters
We do not need an improved self. We need a new self through Christ.
Lost, sought, found!, Cross Encounters
Pastor Ehlers reflects on God’s joy over the repentant sinner.
The hammer of God, Cross Encounters
The voice that breaks hearts of stone and creates new life.
Wait on The Lord, Cross Encounters
Are we to wait passively or actively for His coming? Pastor Ehlers reflects on what it means to wait on The Lord