Archive for April 8th, 2012

John 20:1-18 I Have Seen the Lord! Easter JUMC 21020408:1100

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes. But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her. [NRSV]

Not only is the first person to preach and proclaim the resurrection a friend of Jesus, it is one of the women. In John’s gospel account Mary comes to the grave site alone and in the darkness of the early hours. She sees the tomb opened and unsealed and runs to tell the news. But the news is not Good News with the first look at the empty tomb. It is after the two and more look at what was first a sigh of foul play or bad news, later becomes the greatest of Good News.

There is an Easter message to those who hear for the first time… Come and see that Jesus Lives (Mary First visit)

There is an Easter message to those who have search and found nothing life saving… Go and ask for other Witnesses (Mary Going and only seeing and hearing the emptiness of the tomb)

There is an Easter message for those who have heard but stayed away… Come and help me figure out what happened (Mary asking for others to join the quest/journey)

There is an Easter message for those willing to come back and hang around, even after the show is over… (Mary returns with witness and sticks with it… not giving up even though the first visit was empty) Most folks who come Easter Sunday can join here.

There is an Easter message of new life to SHARE… Well? Get to it! Happy Easter, Christ LIves, Go tell

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Mark 16:1-8 Rolling Stones Easter JUMC 21020408:0900

When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to any one, for they were afraid. [NRSV]

The stone is rolled away and the tomb is empty

Who will roll away the stone?
Mary and Mary were quite worried about the task awaiting them at the cemetery. The Sabbath was over and work needed to be completed. The very act of going to finish the embalming preparations is witness that the women were not anticipating a resurrection.

The greatest worry of the day was that no one would help them. But they went to work at the cemetery even though they might not even be able find access to the tomb. Sometimes in grief we do things that reflect that our minds and our hearts are not on the same channel. So it is for the Marys.

But this is sometimes true even when we are thinking clearly. We are looking at the work “WE” think needs to be done when other tasks are more important. Is It more important to stay at work 30 more minutes or to spend thirty more minutes with our child or grand child going over spelling words or listening to their dreams and fears?

In one of the last conversations I had with my father he shared that he wished he had spent less time at work and more time with us while we were at home. Jesus pointed out to Martha that Mary had made the best judgment call to let the dinner preparation for the big festival meal wait, because the spiritual meal was already being shared. For me the Easter story cries out for me to review, reflect and examine what work I am doing compared with the work God wants and calls me to be doing.

Focusing and worrying about what appear impossible does not move the heavy stones in our lives.

Easter Sunday is about SEEing what God has done, what God IS doing and what God is ABOUT to be doing…
God already had a plan for the impossible and had moved the obstical away… this is witnessed in Jesus
God has been at work while we asleep… long before any of us were born or join this or any church, God was here.
God knows we need witnesses and messengers… sending the angels and calling us to be messengers to others.

That first Easter Sunday, the first day of the week God has been at work long before we showed up…
And that work has been for our benefit.

While we focus on the physical, asking questions and fear of our weakness, God makes ready a greater strength.
This is the message for us to see, hear and meet face to face…
Sunday Is God’s work day… working for our benefit, faith and life.
Christ died for our sake
He arose for our life

So What?
Do we run away afraid, scared and overwhelmed with the word and witness that Christ has new work for us?
Hear the old story in a new way: Christ lives so that we can live in Christ… not continue to move stones.
That day is passed. Trust God to move the mountains, Don’t be scared.. Don’t keep silent. Go tell all who are afraid.

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Easter Sunrise Jackson United Methodist Church at Dauset Trail’s Chapel 20120408:0700

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Psalm 118

O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever! Let Israel say,

“His steadfast love endures forever.” The LORD is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation.

There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous: “The right hand of the LORD does valiantly; the right hand of the LORD is exalted; the right hand of the LORD does valiantly.”

I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD.

The LORD has punished me severely, but he did not give me over to death.

Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD.

This is the gate of the LORD; the righteous shall enter through it.

I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.

The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.

This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Acts 10:36-43

You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ–he is Lord of all. That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” [NRSV]

Sunrise Message

As those who have seen the light of Christ,

We are to give testimony that is convinces the unbeliever.

Thank You

Thank you for sharing the Light of Christ this Easter Sunday morning. We thank Dauset Trials Foundation for allowing us to celebrate in this beautiful chapel. Christ is risen! Tell the World.

Invitation

COURAGEOUS: The Movie April 21 at 7:00 PM

Jackson UMC Fellowship Hall

We encourage men, dads, young men and the most experienced of men to share this time with family and neighbors. Bring a friend and join us.

Acts 10:36-43

You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ–he is Lord of all. That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” [NRSV]

Has anyone here today never heard this Story of Jesus of Nazareth? If you have not heard: Jesus who lived and taught God’s word and love, gave his life for ours on a Roman cross, but he is not dead, he returned to the living, resurrected and continues to give us life and grace.

For most, my guess is that we have gathered at an early hour, in a place we do not usually gather on any other morning of the year because we have heard the good news of the Resurrection of Jesus the Christ. We want or need to hear again how the stone that sealed the tomb was moved away and angels sit where his body was placed is now empty because he lives. But is that all we need? Is that all we want?

So why are we here? There are as many different reasons for our coming to this place and hour, but we share one common reason to leave this place: To testify to the world what we already know but others do not.

The Easter message is not just for us who believe to renew our faith, it is to empower our witness and intentionality of sharing, proving and infusing what is Good and filled with life, where we see and hear evil, and where we see death and destruction.

We actually find it difficult to believe that there are those who have not heard or there are those who do not believe. We will have to speak to people we do not know, stand where we have been silent, forgiving where we have been right and bold when we have been timid.

There is no other faith story with more hope, power and grace. Let us not be ashamed to tell it, just as we are willing to rise early to hear, let us stay up late until all might know.

We are commanded to preach the resurrection. We are expected to proclaim the good news. We will be held accountable for having shared the life-giving news… “don’t hold on to me, but go and tell the others..”

Sunrise is the breaking moment of the new day. Jesus is the one who breaks through all sin and fear, all failure and shame, to open doors, hearts and minds… to live a new life.

Can’t we simply hear the good old story and go eat breakfast? Isn’t enough sacrifice to come early to this place? Haven’t we already done enough? Until every knee bows and every heart speaks God’s word and will, we have still have testimony to share.

Easter is on trial and the Judge wants to hear from you… Is Christ alive in you? He Lives, He Live, Christ Jesus lives today… He walks with me and talks with me, along life’s narrow way…He lives. Go and tell the others who have not yet heard, or those who have forgotten, or those who have run away without believing. Go tell, He lives.. even in me.

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