Saturday, March 30, 2013

BEL MOONEY: The painful price we pay for love and the REAL meaning of Easter | Mail Online

This is a fascinating piece by someone who claims to be an atheist. And yet her explication of the Easter story is better than most Christians could give. worth reading and thinking about.

Friday, March 29, 2013

In Memory of God!

Gate Pa: Easter Sunday 2013.

            First Reading:              Acts 10:34-43                          Bible Page 895
            Second Reading:         1 Cor 15:19-26                        Bible Page 936
            Gospel:                        Luke 24:1-12                           Bible Page 860
What I want to say:
*        Ask three questions of Easter:
o   What image comes to mind when I think of Easter?
o   What image of God am I given in the Easter story
o   Who am I in the Easter story?
*        Reaffirm our Baptism – statement that our self identity and self worth is found in the God who is love, who loves us as something of great worth and dignity by an act of such self giving, and who through this gives us the grace to love God in like fashion

What I want to happen
  • To grow in love of God and in God’s love

The Sermon:
  1. Introduction:
  • Introduce yourself to the person next to you, even if you know them
    • your name,
    • one important thing about you,
    • and what comes to mind when you think of Easter?
    • Please include the children
·  Ask for responses on what comes to mind about Easter?
·  In western church often think that Easter is just about salvation
·  And for us that has come to mean having our sins forgiven through Jesus’ death on the cross and then rising again

  1. Introduction:
  • want you to imagine a child snuggling into a mother
o               what allows that to happen?
o   discuss
  • In church of first thousand years, and eastern church today
    • that image of child snuggling or cleaving into God described salvation
    • to be created in image God meant
·        knew loved by God
      • because we loved – we cleaved to God-> child snuggles to a mother
      • but we forget.
      • Story Jesus reminds us of that
      •             so can again cleave
  • From this point of view
    • for us to really be able to cleave to God
      • Not only need our sins forgiven
      • need to be retaught about who is God, and about who we are
    • God does this re-teaching through birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, especially the death and resurrection – Easter.
  • purpose of Easter is much more than having our sins forgiven
  • the equally important purpose of Easter is teaching us about God?
  • Question I asked at the beginning
    • So what comes to mind when we think of Easter
    • Becomes really important question
  • So lets pause
  • What is God teaching us about who God is and who we are through those things you think of when think of Easter?
    • Think about that
    • Might want to tell person next to you as well

  1. Who is God?
    • Ask for responses.
  • Overwhelming image of God for early church and Eastern Church is one of Love.
  • God is love
  • God loves humanity.
  • Not love we see today
    • Movie stars saying love audience – means like your adoration, keep adoring me
    • Or see movies or tv, - I like you, and I like feeling good with you
  • Kind of love Easter is talking about is
    • God is deeply committed to us.
    • God is deeply attached to us
  • Image of God in Easter is a God who holds us in such high regard that God gave all so that we could be freed from the results of our sin, be reminded of who God is, and be able to once again snuggle into or cleave to God
  • Easter is not about how bad we are
  • Easter is all about how important we are to God

  1. Who are we?
  • At beginning asked you say one important thing about yourself
    • How many said that they are profoundly and deeply loved by God?
  • But that is what God is trying to teach us through Jesus and Easter
    • That we are profoundly and deeply loved by God?
    • That God holds us in such high regard, as so important, as people of such worth that God would do anything to bring us back
    • Anything
  • There is nothing more important in our lives than that.
    • Not the fact we are sons and daughters, husband and wives, mothers and fathers, that we go to school or work or not,
  • Easter says that our identity is found only in a God who deeply and profoundly loves us.
  • The end.

  1. Response
What is your response to that
in light of that how would you answer questions
            who is God
            who are you?
take time think about that, and think about world we live in.
What is God inviting you to today?
who is God inviting you to be today?
write on paper
make into flower
place it on Cross as our prayer this morning.

  1. Baptism
  • We are about to reaffirm our baptismal vows
  • When we do that we are doing two things
    1. Declaring Gods profound love for us and deep attachment to us
    2. Declaring our desire that the most important thing in our lives is the great worth and love God holds us in
                                                              i.      we cleave to or snuggle into God
                                                            ii.      we will base our identity in that above all else
·  Are we ready to do that?
·  Then let us declare The God of Easter and the love of our lives and baptise

Thursday, March 28, 2013


side by side
waiting for death.
One filled with so much anger
fear, bitterness and despair spat
his last defiance in the face,
life wrenched away
wept his last, accepting
this terrible fate, Rome’s
peace would extract its
heavy price. So much
Yet this third one
dying fast, speaking
forgiveness, shrouded in
goodness and peace
untouched by Rome’s
brutality or the other’s
hate. How can one such as he
be here among the dead?
“Remember me Jesus”
“Today you will join me in paradise.”
 (for Good Friday 2013)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Theme for Easter day

Death, nothingness, life again. Easter is upon us! We join the women who mournfully and dutifully walked through their dark fear and grief to prepare Jesus’ body for the year where the body and all that represented fell away to leave just bones. Bones all knew would rise again on the last day clothed with a new body. We join in their shock at the loss of the body, at their surprise to find the “two men, light cascading over them”[1] and the good news they proclaim. How do we respond to this proclamation? With the women, trusting and believing; with the male disciples, disbelieving these foolish women; or with Peter, doubting, yet running to see for himself?
Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians encounters and entirely different response. He is writing to people who found the resurrection superfluous. They believed their bodies held them captive, and that when they died their soul was freed and went to be with God for eternity. Who needs a future resurrection? No need for a last day or to pay any attention to this world. It is all about eternity with God. There a lot of people who hold this line today.
Paul’s response is that our bodies do not hold us captive, but are part of our essence and our ability to express ourselves. There is no future in God that does not include our bodies. Why was Paul so hot on this? William Loader suggests that “Paul cites all this evidence for the resurrection of Jesus because he wants to assert that Christian hope envisages an embodied, fully human existence. Human existence and human community are to be taken seriously both for the future and for the present, unlike at Corinth.”[2] 
For Paul Good Friday and Easter were not just about my private faith and Jesus dying for my sins, but was about the redemption of the whole cosmos. Jesus death and resurrection is about all humanity, and life in God was not an event that happened after death, but starts now, in this life. This physical world is God’s world. Jesus death and resurrection restores all in God.
So again, how do we respond to the good news from the two men who spoke to the women at the empty tomb?  Peter ran to an empty tomb. Where do we look for the risen Christ?

[1] Scripture quotations from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © by Eugene H. Peterson 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.