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Rise - Easter Sunday

Unfortuately we were not able to get a recording for this morning's sermon, but the text is below.



  • Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
  • Acts 10:34-43
  • Colossians 3:1-4
  • John 20:1-18


Once again, I thank you all for being here on this blessed Easter morning

And I am truly excited that we are baptizing four young people into Christ’s church today

I have three short stories to share with you this morning



Thursday night, after the Maundy Thursday service…

Gwen and I are watching some TV before going to bed

A Wal-Mart commercial comes on the TV

Kids hunting Easter Eggs on a bright sunny day…check

Kids jumping, fully clothed, into a pool…ok…I guess…check

Kids flying a toy drone…I’m a hip, modern guy…check

Then the closing words on the screen… “Easter…LIKE YOU MEAN IT”

Easter like you mean it?  Seriously?  Or am I just getting too old?  Gotten too old?

So we have 100% taken the sacred out of the day, just like we have for Christmas

I hope that you are telling your kids and your friends what exactly it is we are celebrating

We are celebrating the Risen Lord, Jesus Christ

We are celebrating the forgiveness of sin…all sin…for all time

We are celebrating everlasting life

We are celebrating hope…the hope that we will one day be with the Father

That is Easter how I mean it…



I’m going to bring back a part of my Good Friday message this morning

Pastor Dan Schultz of Crosspointe Church reflected at the Good Friday Ecumenical Service on Jesus’ very last words… ”It is finished.”

Jesus knew in taking the drink of the wine vinegar that he had fulfilled all of the prophecies, and that death was all that remained

Pastor Dan’s reflection was that more than Jesus’ fulfillment of the prophecies was finished

EVERYTHING was finished by his forgiveness of sins and promise of eternity

Finished for Jesus…and should be finished for you, too

Anger at your neighbor…finished

Mad about that contractor who never finished that job…finished

Waiting for an old friend to forgive you…finished

Anything you can think of…finished

Should the offenses of the people in your life be forgotten?

No, life lessons learned are forever, but forgiveness is different

We are all different, and we do things for different reasons

Some people are manipulative, thoughtless, forgetful, and so on because it’s who they are

I do not believe there are THAT many people looking to get over on EVERYBODY

But back to Jesus, hanging on that cross for the forgiveness of sins

That forgiveness of sins was BOUNDLESS

Your petty grudges do not stand up to forgiveness from God, do they?

Are you bigger than the God who put you here?

The God that made you and this entire world out of dust?

And, on second thought, it HAS to be finished, doesn’t it?

How can you love your neighbor unless all conflict is FINISHED?

Think about that while you are celebrating Easter like you mean it!



On March 3rd, Gwen and I had the pleasure of enjoying a concert at the Huntington Center in Toledo

Dinner at Tony Packo’s…parking across the street…quickly in our seats…near the floor with leg room

Unspoken did the opening set…very good performance…joke about the Latino guys in the band being from the country of Spanish

Danny Gokey was next…will get back to this

Casting Crowns were amazing…every popular song…many with the stories behind them

I fight the urge to show you “One Step Away” every week!

You should see them if you ever get the chance

Danny Gokey…third place American Idol contestant…Midwesterner…from Milwaukee, WI

Danny’s wife of twelve years died four weeks before his American Idol audition

Complications after the third surgery to mend congenital heart disease

Started a foundation to help others with heart disease

Danny is married again and they have a young son

Amazing performer…enjoying the show

And then it happened…during one song

Julius…this is the Easter message song…you must do this

This is why we are here…praising the God who gifted us everything that we have

The Risen Lord is why we are baptizing four children today

The Risen Lord is why we must be the light and share the gospel

The Risen Lord asks us to RISE with him

Look at the lyrics…brokenness, fear, shame, rejection, paralyzed hearts, defeat

The chorus calls us…

But something inside you can't deny

You hear the call of your creator

I made you for more, unlocked the door…by dying and rising

I wanna restore your glory

So rise

Breaking the dark, piercing the night

You're made to shine

An army of hope

Bringing the world

A radiant light…A radiant light

You were made to rise, rise

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