Monday, January 29, 2007

Thoughts on Resurrection Sunday

Easter Sermon Series Summary Notes 2006

This series leading up to Easter is designed to prepare our hearts for celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead by the Power of God's Spirit because of Father God's love for His Son and His Creation.

The probelm I personally have with Easter celebrations is the way I try and gear myself up for the "big Sunday." All that is done on Easter Sunday to make it a huge deal often strikes me as a replacement for the true reasons for my authentic gladness. Getting all dressed, big choirs and special music, festive decorations and eye-catching props, dramas and other artwork, all that often strikes me as done as a substitue, as a replacement: we need to feel joy on this day, and since we don't authentically have it, let us come up with stuff that will make us smile, laugh, maybe even shed a tear on Easter day so that we can appear as having experienced the true meaning of Easter.

This is obviously a very cynical understanding on Easter for my part. But part of it strikes true for me.

I have resolved to myself that any joy I experience in celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus will not stem from the art that we produce for the event, but rather that the artwork is a conduit, it is the means through which I celebrate with Jesus his Resurrection.

Maybe this sounds too strained, like I am trying to hard to have too authentic experience of the true joy that Jesus promised his followers we would have if we remained in and with him. Maybe. But I can't let go of this incessant urging in me to keep pursuing a more authentic and honest understanding of not just the facts surrounding Jesus' death and resurrection, but the meaning that comes from the facts, what does it mean for ME (not relativistically, but rather subjectively - does it mean anything to me, do I understand it to the point that I make decisions in accordance with it).

I don't want to imply that I understand nothing, that I have no true joy at Easter time, nor that I assume this automatically of other people who worship on Easter Sunday.

It is just that I feel God inviting me to a deeper understanding of how the facts of the Easter string together, and what that means for how we are to live now. This is where the concept of Eternal Life comes in. As I was preaching last weeks sermon, which included some comments on this phrase, "eternal life", it struck me that I had a very undeveloped understanding of this concept, and without being arrogant, I assumed so did most of the congregation. Some in the congregation can give me stated facts about what the Bible teaches about eternal life. But what I am looking for is what this concept means to them, and how it alters their life. That is what I am looking for in my life.

And so this is going to be our journey:to learn how to have eternal life in everyday life (as the fulfillment of a post-Jesus Resurrected promised life!).

You were maybe hoping for a shorter blogpost. How about I end this post here.

This post outlines what I hope to accomplish in this series leading up to Easter.



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