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
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