Monday, April 16, 2012

Easter Sunday 2012

Aaron preached a mini-sermon during our Easter Sunday service + All-Church Breakfast a few weeks ago. His devotional message was inspired by the Christian calendar, liturgical tradition, and a healthy does of that week's Scriptural passages and suggested readings from the Green Book. The basic points went something like this:

"Then the disciples went back to their homes, but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. “Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

"Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

"Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her. Jesus Appears to His Disciples On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit." " -John 20:10-22 (NIV)

"The LORD is risen; tears of grief have given way to tears of joy; and followers of Jesus Christ now try to live in this world where evil, darkness, and death itself have been unconditionally conquered...To live in a world where evil holds no fear and death holds no threat requires a radical shift in understanding and attitude.

"Such a world is no longer under the dominant control of darkness, but is already showing signs of the healing and life-giving presence of light, God's light. The truth that darkness can never extinguish the light gives us confidence and hope in this Easter season, and in all seasons."

This is one of our favorite Easter the Christ candle from last year's Advent wreath, the candle that was so agonizingly extinguished during the Service of Shadows on Good Friday. In short: Love Wins!! :)

"The Season of Easter is set within the fifty days following our LORD's resurrection. Forty days after the resurrection we observe our LORD's ascension; fifty days after the resurrection, and ten days after we observe Ascension, we observe Pentecost...but it is now, in this Easter Season, that we begin to learn how to live (and love) in (and with) the power of the resurrected Christ!"

"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you." -John 15:13-15 (NIV)

"Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Fill me with life anew.
That I may love what Thou dost love,
And do what Thou wouldst do."
-Edwin Hatch, 19th-century English theologian and hymn-writer

"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

"This is my command: Love each other.
" -John 15:16-17 (NIV)

"We know, O LORD, that if we follow close to you nothing will be able to separate us from your endless life and love and light. Please give us the grace to make your word our guide, so that we may know you more intimately and follow you more closely - forever.

"Father, we love you so much. We really do. Help us to act like it."


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