Notes from My Easter Sermon

Just some notes from my sermon this past Easter, April 5, 2015. Preached at Sunnyside United Methodist Church, Portland, OR.

Scripture: Mark 16:1-8

I must not believe in resurrection, if I did…

  • Wouldn’t worry
    • Money | Security | Reputation | Future
  • Wouldn’t fear speaking up against things that angered me.
    • Racism | Terrorism | Disdain for the poor
  • Wouldn’t shun the sadness around me
    • Homeless | Grieving | Prisoners
  • Wouldn’t hesitate to dance when I hear good news.
    • Not embarrassed | loving creation
  • Wouldn’t doubt that God loved me
    • Forgives me | Has a purpose for me
  • Wouldn’t doubt that a place is reserved for me at the table.
    • Includes me | wants reconciled

Resurrection is an existential matter

  • Not logical… We understand that from scripture
  • Not emotional… A belief that transcends my fleeting feelings
  • Bedrock foundation to rely on when things go awry.

Fear and terror seized them

  • They did get, at an existential level, the wonder of resurrection.
    • Their unbelief was exposed
    • were the first ones to struggle with the bafflement of resurrection
    • Somewhere along the way, the power of belief overcame their fear and they told someone
  • They told someone convincingly…who told someone else…who told us.
  • We are entrusted with the end of the story
    • Jewish literature
  • Our belief and our unbelief are known to God (who yet loves us)
    • How I want to be a witness like the brave Marys and the courageous Salome.

Even in my uncertainty, the table is set. We are loved.

  • As we dine can we allow God’s grace to so enter our hearts that we can say “I believe. Help my unbelief. ” ?

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