I am thankful for the wonderful time in worship that we had on Resurrection Sunday.
- The worship was a blessing.
- The faces and sounds of worship were a blessing.
- The sounds and faces of the youth reading their Easter speeches?? A blessing!!!
(to view the worship service, follow this link and sign in (Link to Resurrection Sunday Worship Service 2020)
I want to share a little “Wisdom from the Word” with you from our sermon text: Luke 23:55-56 and 24:1-6 but first, here are some updates and call in numbers for our church activities.
Upcoming Church Activities
- Sunday Worship:
- Call In: (312) 626-6799| ID: 970 2378 2283
- Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/97023782283
- Sunday Night Churchwide Chat: Sunday at 7 pm
- Bible Study: Wednesday at 12 pm and 6:30 pm
- Prayer Line: 5 am, 8 am (except Sunday), 8 pm (except Wednesday and Sunday)
Churchwide Chat, Bible Study and Prayer Line all have the same call in and zoom:
- Call In: (312) 626-6799| ID: 4555299334#
- Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/4555299334
“Next, the Tomb: A Rising Faith in Times of Sorrow”
Resurrection Sunday 2020 Luke 23:55-56; and 24:1-6
Sermon Title: Next, the Tomb: A Rising Faith in Times of Sorrow.
When we left Good Friday, Jesus was on the cross. He had declared, “It is finished.” He had given up the ghost and had committed His spirit into the hands of the Father. What was next? For some, that was the end of the story.
But, for those with a mustard seed of faith…next would be the tomb.
At the tomb, is where we see the rising faith. We see faith and faithfulness of the women—those who had journeyed with Jesus. We see the faithful make preparations for death and we see them make preparations for life. Mostly importantly, we see a rising faith in times of sorrow. The women at the tomb were grieving both. But their faith allowed them to be faithful and to see the blessings of God. A rising faith in times of sorrow:
Here are a few nuggets…some wisdom from the word.
“The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.” Luke 23:55-56 NIV
Those Who Came with Jesus.
It is important to see that the women in the text were those “who had come with Jesus.” They had a prior relationship with Christ and that drew them to the cross and beyond. We are also the ones that come with Jesus. We are Christ followers. Does our following draw us into faith and faithfulness? It certainly did for these women they had faith and they were faithful.
The Christian journey is made through death, Paul said I die daily, putting on a new self. Psalm 23 speaks of walking through the valley of the shadow of death and surely Christ died on Calvary’s cross. But, death is not the end for us. It is part of life. The women here went beyond crucifixion, they made their way to the tomb. As we find ourselves in hard times, can we be reminded that death is not the final answer? Will we remember that there is more to the story there is more to the story of our lives today in the same way that death on the cross is not the final answer on the Christian journey.
Preparing for Death.
Here is a hard truth but it is as truth nonetheless—we must prepare for death. It is a certainty. We are all appointed “once to die.” (Hebrews 9:27) It is NOT the final answer but it is coming. If and as we prepare for death we should not be fearful. ur lack of fear should allow us to enjoy the beauty of the day. We see the women here “went home and prepared.” They were preparing for what followed death. Their faith caused them to be faithful to Christ even in times of sorrow. This is that rising faith. Not all were there at the cross. Not all made their way to the tomb. These women’s faithfulness allowed them to prepare for death and to be part of the blessing of the risen Christ. A risen Christ for a rising faith!!
The women made their preparation but they also rested. There might have been an urgency to the work but they also took the time to rest. As pressed as we are in these times, be reminded that there is a “Sabbath’s rest” (see Hebrews 4) for God’s people. Trust God and trust that he has a plan and timing for our work. Do not drive too hard. Trust God’s timing.
“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:” Luke 24:1-2, 4-6 NIV
Here we see this group of faithful women being faithful…exercising their faith by showing up at the tomb—the place of death—early Sunday morning. Can we have a rising faith in the times of sorrow?
A Rising Faith.
These women had a rising faith. It did not stop at the cross but it continued to the next day. They arose early that Sunday morning. They had prepared for death and therefore their faithfulness and their preparedness would help them to witness life. They did not shrink from death or pretend it was not part of life.They prepared and went to the tomb. And, of course, their faithfulness would be blessed. The stone was rolled away. The tomb was empty! Christ had arisen!
As we approach this challenging phase of life, remember to grip onto your rising faith. As our trials, challenges, heartaches and even death come, remember to approach them with faith, even the size of a mustard seed. And look for the hand of God in the midst. Be faithful to what God has said in his word and what he has said to you. Strive and pray for a rising faith in the midst of sorrow.
A Few More Points to Ponder:
Faith is the Substance of the Things Hoped For.
Remember per Hebrews 11:1: that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen.” What do you see in the narrative that shows this type of faith? What about in our own lives? What do we have to have faith for? What is unseen in your life but you believe will manifest? Pray for God to strengthen your faith.
Prepare for Death. It is not easy but it is real. What does it mean for us as Christians to prepare, as the women did, for death? How will we prepare for death while at the same time, we . . .
Prepare for Life. Yes, on the journey we must prepare for living too. There is life after death. The journey has always continued and it always will. For those who are grieving or despondent, we must also Prepare to Live. The song says that “life is worth the living, just because he lived. Because he lived, I can face tomorrow. Because he lived all fear is gone. Because I know who holds my future, life is worth the living just because he lived. We are still hear saints. Let us prepare to live the life the Lord has provided for us. What does this mean or look like for you? Live!!
Next-The Tomb: A Rising Faith in Times of Sorrow