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Easter Risen

An Easter Blessing
by Mark Giuliano

May our great God of resurrection, who rolled away the stone from the tomb on the very first Easter, roll away the stone from the dark tombs in your life.

May our great God of resurrection, who raised Jesus from the dead,
Raise you up to new life.

May our great God of resurrection, who raised up hope for the hopeless, abundant and eternal life to the dead, and peace to all, grant you hope and peace now and forevermore.

Amen.

Love,
Mark

Bat Boys 2My brothers and me, Easter 1968. Forget the jelly beans and chocolate eggs!
Nothing said “Easter” like a super cool Batman t-shirt.

A BATMAN T-SHIRT! I HIT THE JACKPOT! It was the best Easter present a five-year old kid could receive in 1968. Never mind the chocolate eggs and colorful jelly beans, either. Easter morning, 1968, my parents blessed my brothers and me with authentic Batman t-shirts.

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Cross Series

It’s Holy Week! Feed your faith, strengthen your cross-carrying resolve,
and discover the life-giving power of the cross.

Click here (or on the video below) to watch, re-watch, or share all four parts the 2019 Lenten sermon series Cross Words: There’s Power in the Cross.

God Bless you on your Holy Week journey!
Dr. Mark

Cross - Holy Week

The Cross that You Carry is an inspirational prayer I wrote for the benediction at the end of each service in Lent. May God bless you today and throughout Holy Week as you journey toward the cross of Good Friday and the open tomb of Easter morning!

The Cross that You Carry
by Mark Giuliano

May the cross that you carry today,
Build strength within you for your journey.

May the cross that you carry today,
Be the cross which leads you to eternal life tomorrow.

May the cross that you carry today,
Be the cross that Jesus carries with you.

May the cross that you carry today,
Bless you with peace now and forever.

Like the cross, and the brutal form of death it once represented, death is now a way-marker or a signpost that points us toward abundant life in Christ, today, and eternal life, tomorrow.

Have you ever been with someone near the time of their death?
Find out who and what we see before we die. 

Jesus set his face toward Jerusalem, and kept his focus on the eventuality of the cross (Luke 9:51-62). Jesus was set-faced and cross-eyed. Find out how the cross, and the death it once symbolized, have now become way-markers on our greater journey. (more…)

IF SOMEONE ASKED YOU TO PICK A SHAPE TO BE BEST SYMBOLIZE LOVE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? A circle? A Square? Maybe even a Möbius loop? For Christians, love comes in the shape of a cross. The cross represents a kind of love that the ancient Greeks called, “agape” love. Agape is the kind of love that willingly lays itself down for the other.

There’s power in the cross. I once almost quit the ministry, but a deeper understanding of the cross and all that it represents called me back. Where is it calling you?

May God continue to strengthen your faith as you carry the cross throughout your Lenten journey and beyond.

Dr. Mark

WHY DID JESUS HAVE TO DIE? Theologically speaking, why does the cross even matter to us? And how does it matter? Ask yourself, why the cross matters to you. Maybe it doesn’t.

On the second Sunday of Lent this year, I decided to tackle the theological problem of the cross be exploring a variety explanations, from substitutionary atonement to creation theology which, simply put, says that the cross restores us and the creation to God. I see the cross somewhat differently. (more…)