Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter message

Thought I would post my message from Easter. It was short and sweet. Christ is risen indeed! This concluded a series on the Lord's prayer and the word of the day was GLORY!

Easter is a day of celebration as we come to the central and decisive act of Christianity.
It is a day of morning glory And I think you know all the elements of the story
• The women who come to the tomb expecting a dead body
• A stone that is rolled away
• An empty tomb and an angel who says - he is not here
• And then the encounters - many encounters - with the women, with Mary, with the disciples, with two travelers on their way to Emmaus, with Peter

This is about the inbreaking of God in the world
And make no mistake about this - the resurrection is a symbolic act, a spiritual act but most importantly and most challenging
This is a supernatural event.
We cannot explain it - can use that word mystery
But that is it - God has acted definitively, decisively
And we did not control it, make it happen.
Resurrection is completely the work of God.

This is really where the rubber hits the road in our faith life.
Do you believe it? Maybe so, maybe not
I wonder if you have experienced it - resurrection.
God’s activity in your life that raised you up - in ways that you cannot explain or take credit for

God steps in - to the tomb, the darkness, the hopeless place and raises us up.
Sometimes resurrection means that we are able to get out of bed after the loss of a loved one - and begin to see beauty in the world.

Sometimes resurrection is the gift of sobriety after years of addiction
Sometimes resurrection is the light of understanding that unites friends whose relationship had become fractured due to hurt feelings and misplaced loyalties

Sometimes resurrection is what happens in the heart of a neglected child who find love and acceptance and a sense of achievement in the attention of a teacher

Resurrection can happen in a marriage, a family, a church. God can move and bring new life in unexpected ways.

Do we make these things happen? Or is it God’s work within us and among us - Resurrection - the supernatural work of God in our lives. New life where there was death

If you have - the only response is doxology. We end the series on the Lord’s prayer with the last words that were added on
Doxology - 2 Greek words that mean
Doxa - praise - Legein - Speak

Thine is the kingdom - The kingdom is a way of life that leads to resurrection. The way of life is shown by Jesus
It is a way of life where we put our Lord on the throne of our hearts - Kingdom
And not ourselves - and so we try to live by kingdom values - his values
It is a way of community and service to others.
Like compassion, kindness, service, justice.

Thine is the power - and the power is the power of the holy spirit.
Our reading in John - 17 - a prayer that Jesus prays before he leaves this earth and there are two things that is saying
- I am leaving you
- I am sending the spirit
When Jesus came to the disciples - he breathed on them and said - receive the spirit. That spirit is available to us. This is the kingdom - the way of life
The power - the power of the spirit

We celebrate the resurrection because it embodies shows us the power of the spirit of God - Romans 8:11“If the spirit of him who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his spirit which dwells in you.”

Thine is the Glory
When Jesus appears to the disciples, what he does first is show them his scars and says “touch my wounds” This is the - evidence of the lowest point of his human life, the time in his life when he was asking whether and why God would forsake him?
His scars point to, not his triumph but his tragedy, not his victory but a time when he was vilified, a time of pain and struggle.
. He could have said, "Look, here I am--completely healed. Nothing they did to me has any lasting effect. I am perfect again
But he says, "Hey I am scarred and wounded, but these wounds will not keep the life of God from flowing through me - to you. Just as God has sent me into the world, so I send you, not to cover up your scars, not to deny your wounds, but to show people that the same power that raised me from the dead is alive in you."
There is a spirit of God which can enable us to do so much more than we can even imagine - that is available to us. The spirit that raised Jesus from the dead.
I want you just to think about that and the implications of what that means to you.
This is the glory of God - the glory that honors God

EASTER is not a promise that your business or your family or the church or the world will be "like it used to be" or even that your pulse will go on beating forever.
It is a promise that the God’s life giving power will never ever abandon you.
The power that raised Jesus from the dead can raise you from despair, and that same power is calling you by name and is still at work and doing a new thing in you and in the church and in the world!
Easter is the promise that nothing in your past, present or future has the ultimate power to define you.
You are defined by by the energy, the light of God that flows through you and that flows through all creation and making all things new.

Thine is the kingdom, the power, the glory or another way of saying this:
Christ is Risen - He is risen indeed!

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