Skip to main content

Jesus Lives—In Our Lives!

(A sermon based on John 20:19-31 for the Second Sunday of Easter 2013)

[Note: the Abraham Baldwin College Chamber Singers led us in worship so I offered this brief message.]

Jesus is alive! And it is because Jesus is alive that we are alive! And it is because Jesus is alive and we are alive that we can offer Jesus’ life to other people!

The story in our text is set on Easter Sunday evening; Jesus appeared to his disciples who were huddled behind closed doors. There he gave them some gifts that would be necessary for their successful continuation of Jesus’ ministry.

One gift he gave them was his presence. He came to them and let them know that he was indeed alive; he gave them an experience with him.

Another gift he gave them was his peace. In his greeting “Peace be with you” was an affirmation of the ever-increasing wholeness and well-being that was their because of his life, death, and resurrection.

A third gift he gave them was the Holy Spirit. He conferred that great gift on them so that they would always know the presence and power of God.

A fourth gift he gave them was a commission. He sent them as the Father had sent him to offer hope and life to the lost and hurting.

Jesus has given us all those same gifts. We too are blessed with his presence, his peace, his Spirit, and his commission.

The next Sunday, after Thomas, who had been absent on Easter evening, was given the opportunity by Jesus to view his wounds and then expressed his faith in Jesus, Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” What he meant was that after those who had been eyewitnesses to his resurrection had all died out, subsequent generations would have to believe in him based on the testimony—based on the lives—of those who bore witness to him.

What will they see in us—what do they see in us—that will help them to believe in him? How will they see him in us? They can’t see his presence, his peace, his Spirit, or his commission—although our inward possession of them might sometimes shine through us. What can they see?

They can see his wounds in us. They can see the wounds that we bear for serving and following him. Provided, of course, that we are willing to be wounded for his sake …

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Following Jesus: We Live From the Inside Out

(A sermon based on Luke 11:37-44 for Sunday, August 26, 2012)

Trying to be a real Christian while living a real life in the real world is tricky business. I mean, just think of some of the tensions with which we live.

For one thing, we know on the one hand that being Christian is not a matter of doing all the right things but we know on the other hand that we should and could do better at doing the right things.

For another thing, we know that we are limited because we are human but we know on the other hand that we can be more than we can imagine because of the presence of the Spirit of God in our lives.

For yet another thing, we know that our behavior is often of a higher quality than the state of our hearts but we know on the other hand that the state of our hearts is sometimes of a higher quality than the quality of our behavior.

One of the challenges we confront is to face who we are in all our complicatedness, who we can by grace-infused effort become, and the gap that l…

Living Dangerously (2 Corinthians 4:5-12; Mark 2:23-3:6)

(Preached at First Baptist Church, Columbus GA, on June 3, 2018)

Do you give much thought to what it means to live as a Christian in our present context? I do. It’s something we should always think about no matter what our circumstances are. And as we determine what it means to live as a Christian, we should always be doing something about it.
Questions we should ask ourselves include: how do I best follow Jesus? How do I best bear witness to the God that Jesus revealed to us? How do I in my unique life have Christ-like motives, think Christ-like thoughts, say Christ-like words, and carry out Christ-like actions? It is vital that as we develop answers, we act on what we realize. It is also vital that as we live our lives, we continually adjust and adapt in light of our continuing reflection and our experiences.
So do you give much thought to what it means to live as a Christian in our present context? We really should.
Here’s another question: do you give much thought to how you can be as…

When You Pass Through the Waters

(A sermon based on Isaiah 43:1-7 & Luke 3:15-17, 21-22 for the Baptism of the Lord)

The images are ones we still use. “I feel like I’m going under.” “I really got burned.” Water and fire have long been images of trial, testing, and suffering. We experience events and situations that either are life-threatening, such as a serious illness or accident, or feel like they are life-threatening, like a divorce or job loss or serious problems with a family member. We feel like we’re going under. We feel like we’re getting burned.

Sometimes, we don’t just find ourselves in such a situation; we rather put ourselves there. So the prophet speaking in Isaiah 43 spoke his words to guilty people, to people who had sinned and who either knew they had sinned or needed to admit their sins. Their nation had been devastated by the Babylonians and they had been transported into exile hundreds of miles away and it was all because, the true prophets had told them, they had sinned against th…