Fifth Sunday of Easter

  1. Mary goes to the tomb

          her intent…  anoint the lifeless body of Jesus

          she fully expects to find the body where they had laid it Friday evening.

          BUT … tomb empty

          She speaks with the “gardener”

          He calls her by name;  “Mary”

          She recognizes him:  Rabbouni

          In this touching encounter…Mary recognizes the risen Christ.

          Mary runs back….”I have seen the Lord”

          He spoke to my heart

          He touched my soul

          Her Easter message:  “I have found life where I feared there was only death.”

          That’s always the message as God confronts our vulnerability

                   As God embraces our fears, anxieties, grief, guilt, shame…all the experience we prefer to forget.

          That’s the message of Easter.  Life is found where we feared there was only death.

          Gospel demands hope..allows us to look beyond vulnerability..yes, there will be living in Jesus

  1. The gospel is the power of God for life. (Rm 1:16)

          Steadfast love and forgiveness of God challenges us to hope

          Steadfast love/forgiveness…shines light into the darkness

          Resurrection makes clear… death not the end of the story

          tomb is empty

          life/hope prevail

          power of God for life will not allow death to be last word

          He lives…He is risen…He is risen indeed.

  1. Our burdens are many and great.

          In worship, we connect our burdens to the Lord of life

                   We connect our:

                   guilt and need of forgiveness

                   relationship and family issues

                   trust issues

                   health issues

                   worry and fear and anxiety issues.

                   We connect our lives with the power of the resurrection…the power of God to bring new life

  1. Mary went to the cemetery, land of vulnerability and death

          she found God’s power for life

          She found

                   God’s power of love and forgiveness

                   power of death defeated

                   healing/hope

                   new life/new reality

                   Kingdom of God

                   Found life where once there was death

                   There will be living in Jesus.

          Jesus said “I am the resurrection and the life”

          Fear/loss/disappointment/anxiety/grief…these are Not final reality

          Broken relationships are not the final reality

          Health problems…not final reality

          Resentment is not the final reality

  1. Jesus said “I am the resurrection and the life. I am the final reality

          I am the new reality, new Jerusalem, new creation, new heaven and earth

          I am the new covenant

          I am the alpha and the omega

          I am the resurrection…come to me all who are burdened and heavy laden

          I will give you life.

          No loss.  No disruption…is final in Jesus

          Light shines in wilderness.  Darkness will not overcome light

          There will be living where once there was death.

          There will be living in Jesus    

          That is reality of Easter…I am the resurrection and the life

          There is living in Jesus!

  1. As he comes back for us…As encounter the Risen Christ, we learn …

          We are loved by God

          Get same blessing Jesus did…you are my beloved child

          Receive forgiveness…enables enter more deeply into relationships and able to forgive others

          Receive sense of belonging/community

                   Today…we gather around table and know we have come back home.

          Like Prodigal Son…get robe/ring/embrace of loving Father

          Like Peter…new sense of purpose/vocation…become witnesses and fishers of men

          Like woman at well..get living water that sustains

          Like Bartimaeus..get new sight

          Like woman touched Jesus’ robe…get healing

          Like disciples on beach…enjoy breakfast with Risen One

  1. Jesus says “do not be afraid”

          Our fears do not have to keep us divided…not have to keep us hiding behind closed doors.

          In resurrection…power of death is broken.

          In resurrection…powers that bind us to the past are broken.

          In resurrection…power of sin and errors of yesterday are overcome.

          In resurrection…our relationships are restored.

          In resurrection…we see each other with new eyes, we relate with new hearts.

Jesus came to us…fed us…forgave us…now we can move out in ministry in the power of the resurrection.

Live in the power of the resurrection…Live restored. 

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