Posted in The Way, Thoughts & Musings

How can I be saved?

Have you ever asked the following question:

Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

You’re not the first person to do so! When we start really thinking about life, death, eternity, heaven and hell, we always think it is so complicated. In reality, the answer is perfectly simple and always has been. Look:

They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” Acts 16:30-31

Believe, have faith in, trust in Jesus. Believe He, the Son of God, lived a perfect life on earth – fully human and fully God – died to pay the debt that you and I owed because of our imperfect lives, and rose from the grave alive and eternal, and that he wants everyone to have that same free gift of eternity in heaven, as well as an abundant life now!

Posted in The Way, Thoughts & Musings


Tomorrow is Maundy Thursday. In some churches, it is known as Holy Thursday. But Maundy is the oldest (as far as I can tell) term for the day before Good Friday. But what exactly is MAUNDY?

Well, naturally, it stems from a Latin root. Here is what has to say:

Recorded around 1250–1300, the word maundy comes from the Old French mande, in turn from the Latin mandātum, which means “mandate or command.” As you may have guessed, this Latin word is the source of the English mandate.

The specific mandate or command at hand refers to the words Jesus is believed to have spoken after washing the feet of his disciples during the Last Supper. In the New King James Version of the Gospel of John, chapter 13, verse 34, Jesus said: “A new commandment I give you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” New commandment, in the Latin of the Vulgate, is novum mandātum.

So, a command, a mandate, a rule to live by. But what an earth-changing, earth-shattering rule! LOVE one another. Not like, not tolerate: Love. And in a very specific way: The way Jesus loved.

So, how did Jesus love us? Dear readers, he loves you so much that HE paid the death penalty for every lie you told, every law you broke, every person you spoke ill about. And not just what you did but what I did, and Joe next door did, and so on and so on. Jesus loved US so much that he paid for our sins with his death. And he told us to love in the same way: sacrificially. We are not called to a life of self indulgence, but of service to others, to a life that will show them how much God loves them.

Simple? Yes. Easy? No.

But as we move into Good Friday, Saturday, and ultimately Easter, I ask you to consider ways that you can begin to love the way Jesus mandated. Happy Maundy Thursday and a very blessed Easter!

Posted in The Way

You Are Enough

This is not my writing. The original is at The Human Becoming: A Lenten Devotional

Palm Sunday | Enough | Rev. Ben Robinson – The Human Becoming, a Lenten Devotional

On that day there were two roads leading into Jerusalem, and the people knew it. One road brought the governor, Pontius Pilate, sitting upon a warhorse, leading battalions of armor-clad Roman Soldiers through the main gate of the city. The people knew this was a reminder that if anyone thought of revolting, the Roman war machine would strike them down. The people knew this was what Rome called “peace”—the absence of war due to the threat of violence.

But the people also knew what was happening on the other road, the one that approached the eastern gate—the road Jesus traveled. The people knew the scriptures told them that the Messiah would enter through this gate on the back of a donkey and defeat the foreign army.

Jesus knew it too. Jesus watched the people wave palm branches—the traditional symbol for military victory. Jesus heard the people’s desperation as they cried out Hosanna, “save us.” Jesus knew the people wanted to be saved from Roman rule, but Jesus had something bigger in mind. Jesus wanted to save them from the peace of Rome.

The salvation Jesus offered was the road of the donkey; a road geographically and spiritually opposed to the road of the warhorse. Where the road of the warhorse relied on dominance and power, the road of the donkey relied on humility and self-sacrifice. The road of the donkey would lead to Jesus’ death, but it would not end there. This road would expose the peace of Rome as a futile attempt to control the future with violence, a vain attempt to kill God. This road kept going beyond death and journeyed on to new life, forgiveness, and salvation.

The road of the donkey brings good news to all; but it might not feel like it at first, because the road of the donkey does not let us control how we are saved. When the crowd saw Jesus, they cried out “save us,” but what they meant was to save us so we could be in control instead of the Romans. But that was not the salvation Jesus offered. Instead, Jesus offered to save them from a way of life where security could only be found through power and violence.

We ask Jesus to save us from all kinds of things. “Lord save us from loneliness, fear, weakness, from old age, humiliation, or just another month of scraping by.” “Save our city from violence, poverty, and fear.” These are the kinds of things we pray for and the things we want to control the most.

But in the same way, Jesus does not save us from violence by making us powerful, Jesus doesn’t save us from loneliness by magically providing a life partner. He doesn’t save us from fear by taking away all of the scary stuff. He doesn’t save us from that nagging sense that we aren’t good enough by filling us with superhuman abilities.

Instead, Jesus arrives, humble, riding on a donkey, and joins us in our loneliness, our fear, our weakness, saving us through vulnerability, risk, self-offering, and love. He says, to all of those fears, even in the face of the warhorse, “You are enough.” Just as I made you, you are enough. Just as you were knit together in the womb, you are enough. Tacoma, just as you are, you are enough.

This doesn’t fix everything or make everything magically better. I am not going to lie and say it is easy. We know where this story goes; Jesus rode into Jerusalem as simply himself, and he died. But we also know the story doesn’t end there. The road he traveled opened the doors to the only life that’s worth living. It’s not a life of power and control and dominance. It’s a life of self-offering, vulnerability, and deep, abiding peace. It’s a life where we give up the image of what we are supposed to be. We let go of control, and join Jesus on the road of the donkey as we simply cry out “save us.” Lord, save us.

Reflection Is there a word or phrase that stands out to you? What is it calling forth?

Discussion What do you hope to be saved from? What role do power, control, and domination play in your life? What would vulnerability feel like instead?

Public Action Walk the streets of your city, and as you walk each one, say to yourself, “(Your city’s name), you are enough. Just as you are.” Look for signs of salvation through peace, humility, and self-sacrifice.