An Umbrella Theology for Easter Monday

Paris Street; Rainy Day by Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894)

Paris Street; Rainy Day by Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894)

I was blessed today to read a devotional taken from the Confessing Church Movement of the United Methodist Church. I am thankful for the umbrella metaphor applied to Jesus’ great high priestly prayer for us by Dr. Jameson Jones, formerly of Duke Divinity School:

“Dr. Jameson Jones, former Dean of Duke Divinity School, said that the church is like an umbrella.  Some people think of an umbrella as a shelter or as a way of getting out of the rain.  But that’s not what an umbrella is.  The umbrella is what enables you to leave the shelter of the building and go out into the world where the storms are.  In all the storms of life, all the tragedies, all the troubles, the church is the umbrella that allows you to go out and live in the midst of them without fear; indeed, with confidence and joy.  You come into the sanctuary—into the fellowship, into the community—to find nurture, strength, faith, and confidence that enable you to go out into the world and serve in the name of Jesus.”

“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one…Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.  As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world” (John 17:15-18).

So, I invite you to pray as I do:

Lord of new life, cover me with Thy truth not that I may retreat into the sheltering past of yesterday’s sanctuary, but that I advance into this stormy opportunities of day’s mission. Amen.

—M.M.

Christ is Risen: A Song for Easter

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Christ is Risen Words and Music © ℗ 2011, 2014 Michael Milton Christ has died Christ is risen Christ will come again The Spirit is moving across the world Bringing His children in The Kingdom came to Asia Minor The Kingdom came to Europe too The Kingdom came with power A divine appointed hour And all who […]

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And There Were No More Fire Ants in That Day: Remembering Easter Sunrise Service in the Cemetery

An American Easter Service in the Cemetery.  CC Michael A. Milton. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

I will never forget, as a boy, the site of an Easter sunrise service by one of the churches in our community. Their tradition was to process from the sanctuary of the little white clapboard building across the road and into the church cemetery. Led by a child holding a processional cross and followed by […]

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Comes a Time: A Maundy Thursday Covenant Renewal Message from the Old Testament

The Joshua window, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, College Park, Maryland, USA

This is a Maundy Thursday Service sermon delivered by Michael A. Milton as senior minister before Communion at First Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee some years ago. The Reading Joshua 24.1-2,14-18,22,25 Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel. And they […]

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In the Cross of Christ I Glory

As we begin this week leading up to Good Friday and then Easter, what better way to begin than by looking at the cross? Dr. Michael Milton, shares his message, “In the Cross of Christ We Glory,” preached at the historic First Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga. The cross stands at the center of our faith. […]

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Faithfully Following Jesus

Are you a follower of Jesus? Of course, that is an extremely important thing—in fact—THE most important thing, but today Dr. Milton will be examining a kind of following that is ineffective. Many profess to believe in Jesus, attend church, and read the Bible, but then fail to apply the truth. One of the key […]

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Palm Sunday: A Dangerous Day

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“The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” – John 12:12-13. […]

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Status Symbols in the Kingdom of God? Truth that Transforms

Broadcast on Apr 4, 2014—Michael Milton shares how concern for the right status– in the kingdom of God–is what we need, in his message, “Status Symbols of the Kingdom of God.” Striving for status by this world’s standards is ultimately a losing proposition! The one we need to please, the one we need to fear, the […]

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Shaping the Still Unshapen: Hope in Sovereignty

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It is easy to despair when the vicissitudes of life and the entropy of the world conspire. Yet Christ’s Gospel never shines so brightly as when placed in front of the black pall of the uncertain and the inexplicable. Scripture reveals truth authoritatively. Our best literature repeats that truth in stories from our real and […]

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Truth that Transforms for 3/30/14: A New World on its Way

“The message of the Church in the world is essentially optimistic,” says Dr. Michael Milton, “because there is a new heaven and a new earth underway.” The conclusion to the series Silent No More: Why the Church Must Cry Aloud and Spare Not (Isaiah 58) takes the greater panoramic view of the Bible in which […]

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