The Lighthouse Keeper

Greetings from Pastor Kerry, former pastor of Spring City UMC. This blog contains my sermon outlines and/or manuscripts from my pastorate among the people of Spring City PA, from 2006 to 2011. Pastor Dennis is now the lighthouse keeper. Come and worship on Sundays at 10:00 a.m.!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Surprise

April 8, 2007
Easter Sunday

from Luke 24:1-12 and 1 Corinthians 15:20-26

"Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen." – Luke 24:5

My sermon outline:

• Unusual week, the original Palm Sunday to Easter. Disturbing. Unusual week this year for us too. After seeing several 80º days in March we had snow flurries a few times in April. Started out normal enough, setting up for rummage sale, had to paint the kitchen, but on Tuesday night things started to turn. Brother Ed into hospital. Wed morning vandalism to our church was discovered. And minutes after Good Friday started, Brother Ed embraced Jesus as never before. Thurs morning Rev. Kern and I led worship here, we shared communion, led a service of darkness. Rev. Kern shared the temptation we have to question God or at least question God’s power, love, or goodness.

• Last Sunday was April Fool’s Day. Anybody witness any good tricks? Although not an April Fool's trick, one year on Melissa’s bday I surprised her by parking her car backwards. Cute. Funny. Easy to explain. Fun little prank.

• Imagine this week went differently. Imagine JB had gone into the kitchen, prepared to paint (move, wash, cloth, tape). Called it a day. Came back to newly painted and reordered kitchen. Response? Check calendar, ask around, call doctor. JB tells you... would you believe? Imagine our surprise.

• Imagine our surprise if after cleaning up after the windows, talking to the police, calling the window people and the insurance, we came in and there were no holes. Or better yet, neither of the windows was in need of repair at all. Mint condition. Response? Who would we tell, and what would they need to believe?

• These surprises are something like what the women mighta felt that first Easter morning, or the disciples. Add grief and exhaustion and fear (authorities). Add terror of seeing angels (they bowed with their faces to the ground). What would you say if your frend told you? Imagine their surprise.

• Miracles are weird. They bother people. (From Leif Enger's Peace Like A River: "Real miracles bother people. They rebut every rule all we good citizens take comfort in. When a person dies, the earth is generally unwilling to cough him back up. A miracle contradicts the will of the earth.")

• To their credit, the women talk. The men don’t believe. Peter checks it out and goes home.

• So here we are with this story that we all grew up with and that if we eyewitnessed today or if someone told us as an eyewitness today we’d think it was crazy.

• Here we are with this story we hold foundational yet we have brokenness around us literally, our window’s still broken, we still have to work, our loved ones still die and stay dead, even the ones that die on Good Friday.

• John 11:26 whoever believes in me will never die

• but John 11:25 will live, even though they die

• other selections from PLAR: "People fear miracles because they fear being changed, though ignoring them will change you also." and "No miracle happens without a witness. Someone to declare, Here’s what I saw. Here’s how it went. Make of it what you will."

• Luke 19:10 Jesus came to save the lost
and John 10:10 Jesus came that we might have life

1 Corinthians 15:21-22

• Lyrics to "Because He Lives":
God sent His son, they called Him Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living, Just because He lives!

• Easter People, raise our voices (304)

- Pastor Kerry
This Sunday: 120 in worship. Christ is Risen!


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