MISSION WOODS CHURCH
Worship April 17, 2022
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        2 Cents a Meal Offering

        December 9, 2018 - 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
        This offering goes towards providing food for those in need. It supports our local foodbank.
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      • Download

        2 Cents a Meal Offering

        December 9, 2018 - 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
        This offering goes towards providing food for those in need. It supports our local foodbank.
  • In Christ Alone
  • Christ The Lord Is Risen Today
  • The Wonderful Cross
  • In Christ Alone
      • 1 Corinthians 15.19-22ESV

      • 1 Corinthians 15.23-26ESV

      • Luke 24.1-4ESV

      • Luke 24.5-7ESV

      • Luke 24.8-11ESV

      • Luke 24.12ESV

  • I can’t begin this morning’s sermon without that traditional greeting again,
    “HE is risen!”
    “He is Risen Indeed!”
    There’s a great story about a pastor sharing a children’s sermon and asking a small band of young children what Easter meant.
    One child eagerly piped up! That’s When Jesus came out of the tomb!
    The pastor enthusiastically said, “Yes! And do you know what that means?”
    The child was excited having gotten the answer right, she continued, “I don’t know for sure, but I think if he saw his shadow there’d be six more weeks of winter.”
    Well, it didn’t predict the weather when Jesus rose from the dead, but it did mean change.
    One of my professors in seminary used to always encourage us to put ourselves into the Scripture. Put yourself in the story. See the scene. Hear the sounds. Smell the smells. Feel the emotions.
    Imagine yourself there that first easter morning. It’s been a horrifying week. It began with such joy as Jesus descended into Jerusalem riding on the young donkey. “Blessed is He Who Comes in the Name of the Lord! Hosanna!”
    He went to the temple to teach. He met with his disciples, and they’d celebrated the passover meal, remembering how God had led the nation of Israel out of slavery from Egypt. They remembered the blood of the sacrifice so that death would pass over their homes. They remember passing through the waters of the Red Sea.
    Then they’d gone to the garden, a place they frequented with Jesus to pray. It’d been a long journey, that week to get to Jerusalem, and they’d been so busy in preparation for the Passover celebration, when it came time to pray after the meal, their eyelids felt heavy. In the darkness they’d drifted off to sleep.
    They were jolted awake as the soldiers had come and arrested Jesus, now they too were wanted men. They’d seen Jesus after he’d been beaten, carrying his cross. And now, two days ago, they’d seen him die.
    Now, they’ve rushed to the tomb, only to find it empty. Talk about heaping sorrow, upon sorrow.
    I remember sitting with the father of an almost two year old who’d discovered their daughter was not only completely deaf, but was just diagnosed with autism as well.
    Or the sitting with the young married couple as they grieved the loss of a pregnancy for the third time.
    Sitting with the young man who diagnosed with AID’s, loses his job, is rejected by his family, and he just doesn’t want to live anymore.
    At the doctors office with your spouse and you hear the dreaded word…cancer.
    You can almost hear that thud sound of your heart in these situations as it drops in mourning and in sympathetic pain with these others in these situations.
    It has to be similar in this scene with the disciples, it says Peter marveled but that might be better expressed as his head was spinning. My head would’ve been spinning.
    Where’s the body? Who could’ve taken him? Wait, did he say something about rising again? Surely that was metaphor? Wasn’t it? Where is He?
    Well, we’re here on Easter, so it’s sort of difficult for us to put ourselves in the mindset looking backwards, we know that Jesus had risen. But they didn’t, not yet.
    In the following verses in Luke, there would be three resurrection appearances, the first one immediately following our passage this morning is one of the longest. They encounter Jesus on the road to Emmaus. I’m not going to read it all for you, but would encourage you to spend some time there.
    A mentor and friend posted this past week a quote from a theologian and pastor Tim Keller:
    “If Jesus rose from the dead then you have to accept all he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.” ~ Tim Keller
    Wow, there is so much in there. It’s true though. IF indeed Jesus rose from the dead, then he did exactly what he said he would do, and so we can trust what he said. If he didn’t, then you don’t need to worry about anything he said, though you might be able to pull out a few inspiring sayings.
    This was the very dilemma of the disciples!
    When we find them at the end of the Gospel of John, they are cowering in a room with the door locked for fear of being arrested for having perpetrating some kind of hoax. They’re not sure what has happened. Oh sure, there are those who have said they’ve seen Him, but the rest aren’t so sure.
    John writes:
    John 20:19 (ESV)
    Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
    Can you just picture it? The disciples all locked in this room. The debate is raging. What happened? What should we do? Some are saying they’ve seen him! Others are thinking they’re delusional in their grief. And in the midst of this raging debate,
    Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
    Don’t let the simplicity get lost on you. “Peace be with you,” was the everyday greeting of the day. It was like walking up to someone and saying, “Hi, how are you?” Or “Hey guys, wassup?”
    The contrast of the emotions is…well…It’s funny. It’s like this big joke. You can imagine everything falling silent in that moment as everyone stared.
    Wait? Is that you? Really? Are you really here?
    John continues:
    John 20:20 (ESV)
    When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
    We forget that part. Jesus showed all those present his hands and his side. and John continues:
    John 20:20 ESV
    When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
    Oh, THEN the disciples were glad when they saw him. Not before. No, before they were probably confused.
    Now, Thomas wasn’t there. We’re not told that until later, and because he wasn’t there, just like the other disciples he’s not about to believe based on hearsay. Just as they doubted before he’d appeared to them, Thomas is not branded for all eternity as doubting Thomas.
    I saw this on the internet this week, and thought it was funny.
    Yet, we still haven’t answered the question. What difference does it make?
    Here’s a classic from Leadership Journal years ago.
    This is totally something my dad would’ve said back in the day. And I love the woman’s expression. LOL
    But it all brings us back to the question we actually started with this morning. I don’t know if you remember what it was?

    What Are You Looking For?

    There’s a reason that we go to church on Easter Sunday, and I believe deep down it is much deeper and more profound than simply tradition. There is a reason we go to church at Christmas, and on any given Sunday.
    Let’s get honest in talking about What we’re looking for.
    I’m reminded of the haunting chorus by U2:

    But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. ~ U2

    If you remember those lyrics they speak of climbing the highest mountains, running through the fields, only to be with you.
    Who is the you? It’s answered in the final verses of the song,
    I believe in the kingdom
    Then all the colors will bleed into one
    Bleed into one
    But yes I’m still running
    You broke the bonds
    And you loosed the chains
    Carried the cross
    Of my shame
    Oh my shame
    You know I believe it.
    And yet, the author writes...
    But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for
    But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for

    What Are You Looking For?

    I can’t speak for any of you. I can share that people are generally looking for a place where they can be without trying to impress others. I’m going to let you in on a secret. Most of us here are dressed up far more than we normally are on a given Sunday. I seldom wear a jacket, I almost never wear a tie, and I seldom wear a dress shirt even, much less slacks. It’s not uncommon to see sport jerseys and even shorts when the weather is warm enough here. We will love you the same.
    People are looking for a place where they can work on themselves, and be themselves with all their junk and be honest about it. Being here today, I want to let you know, you’re in such a place.
    People are generally looking for a place where they can… I hope I can say this… Yes, I can say this because it’s true. People are looking for a place where they can fail.
    What? Fail! I don’t want to fail.
    Yes, yes you do. Whether you want to admit it or not, you desire a place where you can go for it, you can go full throttle, go big or go home, go large, and take those major leaps of faith - knowing that when you miss, when you fall, it’s okay. You’re not judged. You are loved, cared for, prayed over, and encouraged to try again.
    That’s why we’re here. We’re not saying we’ve got it all together. We’re not saying we’ve got life all worked out. We’re not saying our lives are anywhere near perfect.
    We are an imperfect group of people, doing our best to live our our faith in God together. Striving to give to God our best in what we do, though we know we still do that imperfectly. And in the midst of it all, we love each other, imperfectly, led by an imperfect pastor, and seeking the One who knows us even better than we will know ourselves this side of eternity.
    I so relate to those early disciples. I have faith, and I have doubt. Sometimes my faith is bigger than my doubts and sometimes my doubts get the better of my faith. Yet, I keep on pressing on.
    Our New Testament passage this morning from 1 Corinthians 15:19-26
    1 Corinthians 15:19–26 ESV
    If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

    What Are You Looking For?

    This morning as I was reflecting on that first Easter morning, I imagined Mary and the others going to the tomb, and finding it opened. I imagined them wondering what was happening. How could things get any worse, and there must not have been any hope of things getting better.
    Their Lord had been tried and found guilty of nothing. He had be whipped, scourged and beaten. He had been mocked and scorned as he carried his own cross up a hill, where he would be nailed to that cross and hung up for all to see. He had died, a horrible death…why?
    If we were to read beyond our passage this morning in the Gospel of Luke we would read of Jesus explaining all of Moses and the prophets to the disciples along the road. And He broke bread with them and it says, “And their eyes were opened and they recognized him.”
    That is why I’m here. That is why our church exists. We come, we study God’s Word, we pray, we break bread together as we seek Jesus. And we’re growing in this growing place.

    Mission Woods Church - a growing place

    Growing closer to God, to one another, and to our community

    As we put ourselves in the story, Oh, what a day that must’ve been. And yet for Jesus it was just another day. He greeted the disciples and he greeted his disciples and he greets us with a simple, “Peace be with you.”
    To God be the glory. Amen.
      • John 20:20ESV

      • 1 Corinthians 15:19–26ESV

  • He Lives
  • Because He Lives
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