We see the Majesty in the world and must have faith that all that God does is for the reason of Love.
Maybe you just do not like churches or maybe you cannot make a service this day. Well we will bring it to you.
Notice they scheduled Easter after the football season so that is not a reason not to attend ;-)
So let us dispense with your reading this but not going to church. We do not care.Or you are welcome here even if you made it to church. And as always our friends from every denominiation and every religion and agnostics and atheists are super welcome, even more so than followers.
Let us start off and borrow from those pesky Episcopal's "old" book of common prayer. We will go with the morning version. Here is the critical portion from Exodus 12
12 “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord.13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.
14 “This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord—a lasting ordinance.”
Now brothers and sisters that is some heavy mean and nasty rock n roll destruction. Whoa be to me. That is one tough and nasty God we are talking about here. OK He had reason and in fact the Egyptians had done this same thing to "God's People" at the time of Moses birth. Same thing happened at the time of Christ's birth. Really horrible stuff. So you have to grapple with that concept. This is not parable or metaphorical this is historical as written.
So how should a preacher man of love deal with such wrath. Historically we flattened Germany when they pulled the same oppressive type stunts as the Egyptians. Oppressors get beaten in horrible ways in order to stop the oppression. It is ugly business. I cannot conceive of why God would act so horrible toward babies. But it is one of those things we just take on faith that was necessary to begin the road toward freedom. Tell you the truth I do not even pray for God to explain it to me. I do not think I could handle the truth.
At any rate this established the Passover which is observed to this day in remembrance of such liberation and the heavy cost God must have paid in his heart for that deliverance from evil. Keep in mind this is why Christ came to Jerusalem.
What would you do for your children?
For the New Testament we use the evening reading of Luke 24:13-35
We shall focus on the end. Basically prior Jesus walked with them and they did not recognize Him and told Him of the events. Jesus rebukes them basically and reminds them that this was all foretold and they should have believed it.
28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
Now how cool is that. He does not use words to tell them who He is he breaks the bread and gives it to them to tell them who He is. He spoke in a very gracious custom of the day. And probably it was His manner of giving thanks that opened their eyes! Wonderful, His manner of giving thanks that opened their eyes.
And here is a fascinating lesson, while they spoke with him their hearts were burning but they ignored it until they thought back on it after the revelation. Telling us not to ignore that burning in our hearts, pay attention to it and act on it. Many describe a great love as a burning in their hearts. Do not ignore that love.
And then they ran back to the eleven and those with them to exclaim the great news that what the angels had told the women was true. He is Alive! Can you imagine the craziness going through their hearts and minds.
A little different style of hymn but it wrings true for Easter
How do you view it?
Do you see Easter as a time to be reassured that no matter how lame you are he will walk down the road with you and break bread with you and that He is alive in Love?
So first let us pray.
Thank you for sacrificing yourself for our freedom from bondage of sin. Thank you Jesus Christ for coming back.Thank you for giving us second and 100 chances. Thank you for loving us even when we walk with you and do not see it is you. Please give us the strength and courage to love even our enemies as ourselves. Amen.
The classic picture but who knows?
The rising up and returning to earth no longer as man at all but pure Love.
Love does not die. Flesh dies.And yet as proof Christ came back in the flesh. Clearly He did this so people could actually understand that He was resurrected. It seems we should always skip ahead about a week here and read:
John 20: 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
And that is where most of us are at Easter. We have not seen but we believe. But we may still have doubts. That is just fine. You just may have to reach out and touch Jesus to believe, more fully.Do not be ashamed.
Today is all about celebration. It is not about analyzing or even learning. It should be just about loving life because of Jesus Christ. It should be about being amazed at the power of God and amazed and the power of love.