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I want to say to all of you that it’s hard to replace church, because you are the church. A pastor providing sermons, lessons, or music is in no way a replacement for the beauty of what we have as a body of believers. With that in mind, let’s read this passage:
1 Corinthians 12:14-27:
For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
So I say this to you, today: thank you for your part in our family of God. The verses above speak not only to those parts that are visible and obvious, but to all parts of the body, as we often don’t realize how much every part is needed, but they are. You are. I cannot recreate a “church service” today because I don’t have you all on hand, so know my heart here is to be a helping “hand” to the rest of the body as a supplement to your worship of God this Easter, and not a replacement of our assembling together. I am praying for your health and wisdom through this time and God’s provision for you.
The Easter of 2020, for many of us, will share a bit of similarity to the very first Easter. The disciples and followers of Christ were mostly laying low, some going out but many appearing to stick in close proximity with one another. They were not in a building, dressed in their finest clothes getting ready to sing songs. They were full of uncertainty and hope, doubt and sadness, wanting to hear good news and trying not to get their hopes up. As much as you can, see this Easter as a unique blessing from God to teach us things we may not see without being put in uncommon positions such as the one many of us find ourselves in this year. God is good to us, and as I said, I am thankful for you. Stay positive!
This Easter, I want to provide you with a host of resources for singing (or listening), as well as Scriptural reflection and some various messages… Just follow along going from one video to the next in this order:
Thoughts on the four passages:
The first Easter, the day of Christ’s resurrection, was not a day like the typical traditions we host today on this most special of Sundays. It was a day of excitement and amazement, but we will also see multiple instances of disbelief, and especially among the disciples. The morning was a time of amazement at the tomb, followed by the telling of what had been seen to the disciples, who thought it was essentially crazy talk. Jesus would spend most of the day time that day talking on the road to Emmaus to two of His followers, and then that evening would show up in the presence of the disciples.
Even when Jesus would show up in the midst of the disciples (Luke 24:36-43), it says that they were terrified and thought him to be a spirit, or ghost. He had promised them He would rise again, but still they were struggling to believe that this could be true. He had to convince them by showing them the wounds and even eating food—“spirits” don’t do that.
What do we do when we’re so uncertain of what we’re supposed to do? For the disciples, Jesus came in to their uncertainty and loved them as well as taught them further. Jesus comes in to our uncertainty, too, and offers Himself. Unfortunately for most of our world, the answers being sought right now are very temporary, aren’t they? At best, we may get past this COVID-19 problem on a mass level relatively quickly, but what about the greater problem of sin? While it’s potential to get the virus, it’s impossible to not get the “virus” of sin–all people are born in it and all people must be saved from it for there to be any hope. Pray that many will see a greater need than health; a greater problem than COVID-19 which is spiritual; and a greater savior than anything this world could offer.
Jesus is Lord today. Give Him the worship He is due. Here are a couple sermon excerpts that are powerful reminders:
Thank you for taking the time to come here today. Pray for one another and as God gives opportunity, in the ways He enables, bless others. Let God teach you through this time and I hope valuable moments are had every day for all of you.
“The Resurrection and the Life” Easter Poem by John Newton:
I Am, saith Christ our glorious head,
(May we attention give)
The resurrection of the dead,
The life of all that live.
By faith in me, the soul receives
New life, though dead before;
And he that in my name believes,
Shall live, to die no more.
The sinner, sleeping in his grave,
Shall at my voice awake;
And when I once begin to save,
My work I ne’er forsake.
Fulfill thy promise, gracious Lord,
On us assembled here,
Put forth thy Spirit with the word,
And cause the dead to hear.
Preserve the pow’r of faith alive,
In those who love thy name;
For sin and Satan daily strive
To quench the sacred flame.
Thy pow’r and mercy first prevailed
From death to set us free;
And often since our life had failed,
If not renewed by thee.
To thee we look, to thee we bow;
To thee, for help, we call;
Our life and resurrection Thou,
Our hope, our joy, our all.