April 22, 2012

Bodies Matter…Now and Forever – Bishop John Guernsey – 1 Corinthians 15:35-49

April 21, 2012

Update and Q and A with Bishop – John Guernsey

Living New Creation

I used to be like this.  But Jesus rose from the dead.  Now, I’m like this.

The Disciples Peter and John Running to the Sepulchre on the Morning of the Resurrection by Eugene Bernand

I used to be like this.

But Jesus rose from the dead.

Now, I’m like this.

I am captivated by how these sentences changed the world.  I can’t stop thinking about them.  St. Paul said, “I was the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle because I persecuted the church of God.  But by the grace of God, I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain.” [1 Corinthians 15: 9-10]

I am grateful for the post-Easter space to reflect on Jesus’ resurrection and mine.  I am grateful to have to drill in to ‘what will really happen’?  What does this really mean for me?

One thing for sure…  I have a story to tell.

I used to be like this.

But Jesus rose from the dead.

Now, I’m like this.

Over and over, through millenia and across miles, people realized that the power that raised Jesus from the dead was power that could change their life.  Over and over people experienced new creation–  and they knew it was resurrection.

Being forgiven is a taste of resurrection.  We know what guilt and shame tastes like–  like chewing on pennies.  But forgiveness is your soul experiencing new creation.  It is literally new life replacing the death of guilt.

I used to be like this.

But Jesus rose from the dead.

Now, I’m like this.

What’s on either side of the story for you?  Who were you?  Who have you become?  I loved talking about this with our confirmation class back in March.  And now, I am thrilled that 13 people will stand before our congregation on Sunday to bear witness that:

I used to be like this.

But Jesus rose from the dead.

Now, I’m like this.

What new creation is God doing in you?

April 15, 2012

No. Zombies Are Not Cool. – 1 Cor 15:12-21 – David Hanke

April 8, 2012

By the Grace of God I Am What I Am – Mark 16:1-8 and 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 – David Hanke

April 7, 2012

Stand, See, and Marvel – Luke 24:12 – Erin Bair

April 6, 2012

The Last Words of Christ – Good Friday Service – Various Testimonies

April 5, 2012

Yet… – John 13:1-15 – David Hanke

April 1, 2012

Jesus and Paradox – Mark 11:1-11 – David Hanke

Tuesday of Passion Week

So I never knew that the week before ‘Holy Week’ is called ‘Passion Week’.  Thank you, Show me the way and Henri Nouwen.  Apparently, the 5th Sunday of Lent was called Passion Sunday.  The Gospel reading from the lectionary is usually one of Jesus’ predictions of his death [His Passion].  I have been challenged by our conversations about paradox during Lent–  all the ways Jesus flips what the disciples were expecting in a Messiah and what they were expecting for themselves as they followed Him.  These are the teachings to which I consistently need to return with my assumptions and comfort.  This is where I need a prayer for humility and teachability–  Jesus help me be faithful to you and what you rightly expect of me.  Help me not to recreate you in my own image and understanding.

This week I talked about our love of money.  Specifically, that the best way to deal with the amount of real estate money takes in our heart is to generously give it away.  To that end, here are a few reminders:

  • If you are a member of Restoration, remember that you have committed [to the Lord and to each other] to give a deliberate, annual portion of your money to the work God is doing through our church.  Making an annual commitment before the Lord helps you avoid the traps of impulsiveness, consumerism, and convenience.  It helps you plan.  It helps you to pray and talk as a household about the number that gets returned to God as an act of generous, cheerful worship.  Remember how we prayed Psalm 116?  

What shall I  render to the LORD for all his benefits to me?  I will lift up  the cup of salvation and  call on the name of the LORD, I will  pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.

There are other opportunities to be generous in the weeks to come…

  • We are collecting items to create care packages for homeless folks.  We want to be deliberate and prepared as we look at those who are expressing need around us.  Theses packages [prepared ahead of time] will give us something to give.  According to our FB page, we still need white socks, individually wrapped wet wipes, and shaving cream.  Check out our FB page for details on how to give these.
  • During Holy Week (the services on Thursday, Saturday, and Easter Sunday) we give all of our offerings away to people outside of Restoration’s normal context.  This year, we are giving all of our offerings to a non-profit that is serving severely struggling folks in Syria.  It is a way for us to include all of our visitors in the generosity opportunities and a way for our church to practice radical generosity that helps us say no to the love of money.

Money is such an amazing resource for good.  And money is so dangerous to our souls.  Because we can trust and serve and worship it.

So as we prepare for the passion and death of our Savior, let’s humbly invite the Lord to put this ‘love of money’ in its right place.  I invite you to generous and cheerful giving.

See you on Palm Sunday!


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