A Easter Sunday Service

SERMON#EIGHT APRIL 2018

Reading: John 21: 1-14

An Easter Sunday Service

“As he (Saul) neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?  ….now get up …….”  Acts 9: 3-6.

Christ is risen!

There is a question we all must face up to eventually: ‘On what do we build our lives?’ Or to ask it differently with Easter Sunday in mind: Is the resurrected Jesus the rock on which we are building our lives?’

The resurrected Jesus can be the rock on which we build our lives because he is the one who, in him becoming visible to us, makes the kingdom of God visible for us and in us. In Jesus the kingdom of God is visible in this world as much as it can be – to us, for us to see, and in us, for others to see.

But perhaps Jesus can become more visible to us in our struggles and thus the kingdom of God becoming more visible to us in our struggles. We have a tendency to see Jesus in our lives only when things are going well – we speak well about how blessed we are. But what about those times or for those people when things simply do not work out?  We must not restrict Jesus’ presence or his visibility for us by only seeing him when things are going OK for us. Jesus can also be seen in our struggles.

There are atheists who became atheists because they cannot reconcile the paradox that a good God can allow suffering. But what if they would/could see Jesus as one who is just as powerless as they are? Who share their passion for those who suffer? A God who limits God-self as the world waits for the return of Christ. We must not limit Jesus’s visibility in people’s lives to how Jesus is visible for us in our own faith or life stories.  Jesus can be visible in different ways in people’s lives – visible in different ways to them and visible in different ways for others to see. We must allow one another to see Jesus in different ways. There is not just one way of telling the Jesus story. 

In this visibility of Jesus God has indeed become close: Tangible, approachable, touchable and God with us. We also see God’s hospitality in Jesus – although the disciples deserted him at the time of his need he simply prepares a meal for them – the ultimate symbol of hospitality. So Jesus is visible as the one who reconcile, reaffirm, renew. And in that he created the community of the resurrected who knows about hospitality and how generous God’s forgiveness is and who lives that out in this world.

Is the resurrected Jesus the rock on which I am building my life – we are building our lives? We can for if he is the rock on which I build my life I am embraced by a God who is generous in God’s hospitality toward me and I am embraced by a God who is with me all the time – also when I have to stay in my difficulties and things don’t always work out: a God who shares my journey with me as much as I share my journey with God. This is the resurrected Jesus. To build my life on anything else than the resurrected Jesus would be to build it on what is not lasting and not as strong as a rock. 

“O God of the living, may we build our lives on the resurrected Jesus, the one who is visible to us and visible in us so that others too may want to build their lives on him. Come to our help and strengthen us this Easter Season so that we may in all we do proclaim the resurrected Jesus. Amen.”

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