Jesus is Alive!

Yesterday, we celebrated and rejoiced in the truth the Jesus Christ has been resurrected from the dead and still lives. This is a key teaching and cornerstone to the Christian Faith. It was a great time in worship. How do you celebrate the Risen Lord? What brought you to a place of belief?
When we read about the resurrection in the Gospel of John (John 20:1-18), we first see Mary Magdeline go to the empty tomb, then the disciples John and Peter. What I find interesting is each one of them had a different reaction when approaching the empty tomb:

  • Mary made a snap judgement someone stole the body of Jesus just by seeing the stone had been rolled away
  • John knelt down and glanced in, noticing the grave cloths and finally entered and believed
  • Peter pushed his way in and began investigatin the scene

None of these reactions are wrong, they are just different. But these also show us how we react to people and news today. It is easier to make a quick judgement and decision without ever trying to figure out the entire story. Adults teach this to children; yet we, as adults, still make snap/quick judgements on people, news, circumstances, etc. without ever trying to figure out the whole truth of what happened, what was said. There are others who get quick snippets of the situation and come to their own conclusions, whether or not it is the whole truth. Then, there are those who take time to investigate and try to understand wholeheartedly.

I believe it is important to have all of these traits and reactions. We should quickly look to see what happened. Then we should glance in to get more information. Finally, we should investigate and examine what is presented to get to the core of the truth.

One of my favorite stories about Mother Teresa is when she teaches someone searching for her about trust versus clarity.

 “John Kavanaugh, the noted and famous ethicist, went to Calcutta, he was seeking Mother Teresa … and more. He went for three months to work at “the house of the dying” to find out how best he could spend the rest of his life.

When he met Mother Teresa, he asked her to pray for him. “What do you want me to pray for?” she replied. He then uttered the request he had carried thousands of miles: “Clarity. Pray that I have clarity.”
“No,” Mother Teresa answered, “I will not do that.” When he asked her why, she said, “Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of.” When Kavanaugh said that she always seemed to have clarity, the very kind of clarity he was looking for, Mother Teresa laughed and said: “I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God.”

Jesus asks us to follow and trust Him through our life journey. Because He is risen and alive, He is with us (Matthew 28:20). The question asked of the congregation yesterday was, “Do you believe this?”

I hope and pray you do. Jesus is alive! Alleluia!

Sermon “Do You Believe” (Easter Sunday 2016) http://youtu.be/uUNE5o3gvWM

December 16: Prepare (Advent Devotional 2014)

Luke 2:11-14 Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord. This is a sign for you: you will find a newborn baby wrapped snugly and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great assembly of the heavenly forces was with the angel praising God. They said, “Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors.”

advent

Our journey to the cradle of Christ is not over yet. We still have 9 days until Christmas. How is it with your soul? Do you feel like you are getting your spirit ready for the coming Savior, or is it still focused on getting the material items and gifts ready?

There are some Christmas seasons, I want Jesus to just appear before my eyes and get me into the Christmas spirit. Has this happened to you? I invite you to read again the verses above.

Did you notice that the angels were proclaiming that Jesus was born? He is on the earth when they speak to the shepherds. I find it interesting that the angels did not make Jesus appear right before the shepherds eyes. Instead, they told the shepherds were to go. The shepherds had to take some initiative to go to see and know Jesus!

That is what we are invited to do daily as well. Jesus Christ is here. Jesus Christ is within you and I. We should take the time to see him ourselves and not just wait for him to appear to us.

What steps are you taking / can you take this day to see Jesus personally? I pray we all have open eyes to see Jesus in every person we encounter and do for them as we would do for Jesus, serve and love them.

Almighty God, you sent your angels to proclaim the birth of your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Guide us to show us where we can see Jesus and bring others to him as well. Come, Lord Jesus! Amen