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Resurrection: Deconstructed

We spent the last 3 Sundays at City Church deconstructing the historical, eternal, and everyday life implications of the resurrection of Jesus.  This gospel-centered series was a great reminder of the centrality of the resurrection to our beliefs, hope, future, and daily living.

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Here are a few of the truths that stood out to me.

Historical

- There is no form of historic Christianity that does not affirm at its heart that after the brutal death of Jesus Christ that the Father raised him to life again.  The resurrection is woven into the structure of Christian belief, life, and thought - informing everything about our faith.

- The survival of the movement known as Christianity makes no sense outside of the resurrection of Jesus.  Christianity did not survive because of the teachings, miracles, pithy sayings, or even the death of Jesus.  It survived and thrived because people encountered a man alive who t…

Faith, Miracles, & Jesus

This past Sunday I taught at City Church from John 4:43-54 about a desperate father who comes to Jesus on behalf of his dying son with the sole purpose of bringing Jesus back to his house for a miraculous healing. What he received from Jesus instead tested the essence and validity of his fledgling faith.

This story is found between one of the most recognized encounters of Jesus - the Samaritan woman (we spent 3 weeks walking through it) & one of his most dramatic miracles (curing a man who was an invalid for 38 years).  For that reason, we have a tendency to view it as more of a filler moment in the life of Jesus but this week I was reminded of the depth of what took place in this narrative. Here were some of the things we dug into yesterday.

- Jesus responds to desperation with compassion.  He meets us right where we are - in our life context.

- Jesus asks us to trust Him with what is closest to our souls - what we value the most.  Can Jesus be trusted with my kids, my marriage,…

I Am Not Important

This Sunday I am preaching from John 3:22-36.  Following on the heels of one of the most popular texts in the Bible, this story often gets neglected but serves as one of the clearest ministry models in the New Testament. Let me put it in context for you.

John the Baptizer hits the preaching circuit in full force. He is provocative, confrontational, inflammatory, and offensive. His message stands in stark contrast to the religious world of his day and the commoners love him.  They flock to hear him.  He is baptizing people by the droves. Reporters are itching to get an interview with this crazy desert dweller turned evangelist.  He rocks the establishment.

He even has disciples ... students ... loyal followers who have been transformed by his message of repentance.  John has a devoted team and his ministry is busting at the seams. Outreach Magazine is calling ... "let's get you on that fastest-growing list Johnny."

And then Jesus shows up. Another ministry moves into town…

Thoughts on Grace

Yesterday at City Church we completed a 13-week series on God's grace entitled Charis (the Greek word for grace).  It is a series I have been putting together and processing for a few years now.  Perhaps no set of sermons has ever been more personal to me.  Here are a few of my takeaways.

- Grace is more than tolerance or leniency.  It is even more than the unmerited favor of God.  Those definitions dilute the fierce and aggressive nature of grace ... which not only welcomes rebels but relentlessly pursues them. 

- If grace does not offend your human sense of justice or fairness at some point, you probably do not grasp a) the magnitude of your own sin and/or b) the scandalous nature of His grace.

- Grace is more than a doctrine.  Grace is found most clearly embedded in stories.  The Bible from cover to cover is filled with the narrative of broken people who stand in need of radical grace and the God who pursues them. Do not try and restrict it to a theological concept that you can…

Dear Levi from your Daddy

Today is the due date for Levi Lockey Hudson.  Unfortunately he is not on our schedule. We are on his. So he has not officially arrived yet.  I've been thinking about his arrival and had a few thoughts I wanted to share with him.

Dear Levi:

You are a product of grace 

One day when you get older you will hear a story of grace and redemption that led to this moment in time when you became a part of our family. You are a gift from a gracious God who heals, restores, and redeems.  God has given us the privilege of being your parents for one simple reason: He is a good Father.

Your mommy is the best 

Your mommy is my best friend. She is a blessing to those who know her. She is loved by a lot of people.  She is sweet, kind, pleasant to be around, encouraging, positive, beautiful, smart, and a ferocious lover of God, your daddy, and our family. You are privileged to have her as a mommy.  I will seek to love her in a way that demonstrates for you just how special she is.

You have awesome s…

A Transparent, Tough, and Needed Discussion at City Church

Yesterday at City Church we took a Sunday to break away from our "regularly scheduled programming" for a Sunday of intentional prayer, reflection, and discussion regarding what has been happening in our culture.  We discussed racism, violence, the role of the church, and many other tough topics.

A few of the things that I took away from our discussion:

- God is in absolute sovereign control. Not one thing that has happened recently caught God by surprise. His sovereign rules extends to every square inch of our planet and He can be trusted.

- We must be intentional to listen way more than we speak.  Social media is a platform that gives me the opportunity to state an opinion before I take time to listen.  Don't fall into the trap. It is easy to make noise with a keyboard.

- Life matters to God - all life.  Protestors. Victims. Cops. Criminals. Bystanders. All life is valuable. Every person is created in God's image.  Treat people like they are valuable ... particula…

What's in a Name?!?

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As you have probably heard, Ashley and I are expecting a baby boy at the end of September. We are beyond excited. We have discussed a multitude of names and have finally decided on a name for our son.  We wanted to pick a name that we love and also has meaning.  We believe we have found one that meets both criteria.  So we are happy to announce the name of the next Hudson boy will be...

LEVI LOCKEY HUDSON 

LEVI

Levi is the name of Jacob & Leah's 3rd son in the Old Testament.  I identify closely with the story of Jacob as he wrestled constantly with the struggle between his own human identity and the man God created and called him to be.  His ultimate identity was not found in his own cunning ways to gain notoriety but in the God who saves and redeems sinners.  He is one of my favorite OT characters.  Also Jacob and his wife Leah met under unusual circumstances generated by wrong choices that God used to create a lasting bond in spite of the choices that landed them there ... a…