This page will contain links to files of Sermon Thoughts from Easter 2006. The files will be Adobe PDF. To download the free Adobe Reader program, click here. To open any file, click on the underlined title/link.
Easter Sunday: This Day Is Made For You. The powers of coercion; the powers of death, accident, disease, violence, hatred – these are all still at work in our world. But so also is the hidden and present love of God. And this love of God is persistent; is a survivor; endures; perseveres; heals; restores; outlives and lives again. Where is Cesar? Where is Rome? All gone. Where is Christ? Here. Present. Alive. This day is made for you.
Easter 2: Seeing Life. The reason why John has written his stories about Jesus and Thomas is not that we should believe. They are written that we might have life – the life that is found in Jesus. That is, mere belief is not the final result. Rather, belief is meant to be a means to the fruit which is life itself. John is not asking us to believe the unbelievable. Rather he is asking us to look at Jesus and see if there is life in him. Not just existence; but deep life, true life, abundant life, life in its fullest, life as it is meant to be. And if there is, if that is what we see, then let us question our beliefs so that we too might share in that life through believing Jesus is the Life.
Easter 3: Over To You. Jesus is trying to open our minds to understand in a new way what the scriptures say about the eternal nature and character of God. God is not just a bigger, better king up in the sky who will one day wipe out all the bad guys. That is old news, not good news. The good news is that God is love; powerful vulnerable love; undying love. And this is what has always been true about God.
Jesus doesn’t show up to simply take back his old job of leading his sheep. He doesn’t hang around so we can follow. No. He comes back so that we can know for sure that what he told us last week was really real, and then he says, “Over to you.” “Once you were followers and learners, now you are my witnesses and proclaimers of the eternal character of God’s forgiving nature. Over to you. Beginning with Jerusalem and then to all peoples. Over to you.”
Easter 4: Sheepishness. Are you mourning today? Are you spiritually spent today? Are you afraid today? Is death nearby today? David and Jesus are here today inviting us to enlarge our frame and hold our grief, exhaustion and fear in a larger, deeper reality: God provides and guides and protects and restores. Be a good sheep today. Relax. Listen. Drink. Eat. Follow. Live. Live in God’s presence, now and for ever.
Easter 5: Love. When we love one another as Jesus loves us, we first learn from Jesus what love is. And having experienced being loved by Jesus – had that love heal, restore and renew the loving that was already in us – we then love others as we have been loved.
Easter 6. No sermon from that day. But you can read my background on the text here.
Easter 7: The DaVinci Code and the Secret of John. We are human. We are frail and messed up and make mistakes and are unaware of how we affect others. But when the spirit of Jesus calls us to love as he has loved us, we know that there is something powerful and healthy and fecund in that call. And because he calls us not just to love, but to love as he has loved us, we have before us a profound and powerful true love.
Jesus does not ask us to love as he loves. He asks us to love as we have been loved. We are not to try and be a little, imperfect, Jesus. We are asked to let live a healed and transformed and fully alive spirit that is already within. And to do that together – as one – with each other, just as Jesus has only done what he has done, as one with the Father. It is the relationships – the quality of the relationships – that is crucial.
Pentecost Sunday: When The Spirit Comes. The Jewish festival of Pentecost celebrates the giving of the Ten Commandments. 50 days after experiencing the new life and freedom of the resurrection, we Christians must also ask, "How then shall we live we this freedom?" Now that Jesus has gone, how shall we continue to receive - and express - the Spirit we knew in him?