“The Christian religion asks us to put our trust not in ideas, and certainly not in ideologies, but in a God Who was vulnerable enough to become human and die, and Who desires to be present to us in our ordinary circumstances.”

― Kathleen Norris

A powerful Good Friday Message of honesty and hope from Rev. Dr. R. Mark Giuliano of the Old Stone Church (First Presbyterian Church, Cleveland) in Downtown Cleveland, followed by a haunting solo of “Were You There” and the Offering of Nails. God bless you all this dark Friday.

Are You Dangerous?

Posted: April 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

Even as people of faith, we are dangerous and destructive. Let us never forget that some of the same people who waved palms and shouted ‘Hosanna in the highest’ as Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem were also in the crowd at the Praetorium a week later shouting, ‘Crucify him.’ Good Friday is a day of stark contrast: our propensity toward sin, on the one hand, and God’s propensity toward mercy, on the other. In the end, we must learn to live each day honestly and confessionally about our thoughts and actions, but also freely and joyfully as forgiven beings in God’s grace, not because we earn it, but because God gives it.

- R. Mark Giuliano, The Old Stone Church

“In the first palm procession, Jesus was propelled by a vision, not of what was but of what would be. He was compelled not by lustful imaginings for worldly power but by the conviction of a certain faith which would ultimately lead to victory over death. He saw down the road past the parade, the palm waving party, beyond Maundy Thursday’s holy supper, even beyond the trial he would soon face and the cross on which he would hang one short week later. Jesus looked just outside the present and toward the truth of the eternal.”

- R. Mark Giuliano, The Old Stone Church

“As Lent is the time for greater love, listen to Jesus’ thirst…’Repent and believe’ Jesus tells us. What are we to repent?  Our indifference, our hardness of heart.  What are we to believe?  Jesus thirsts even now, in your heart and in the poor — He knows your weakness. He wants only your love, wants only the chance to love you.”

- Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

“Freedom and justice cannot be parceled out in pieces to suit political convenience. I don’t believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others.”

- Coretta Scott King

“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult, and left untried.”
- G.K. Chesterton