Monday, May 5, 2014

Now What?

My next few posts will be portions of my sermons from the past couple of weeks. When the senior pastor is away, the youth pastor doesn't play. He gets to preach!

Well, that was a nice story. Jesus loved me. He died for me. He rose from the dead and told the Easter Bunny to leave me some eggs with chocolates in them for me. That was nice. I guess we can relax now until Christmas for the other big story. Or, for the fanatical, we could look ahead to Pentecost Sunday and celebrate the Holy Spirit for a Sunday. We could do that.

Not many of us would be so bold as to say that, at least not here inside these walls. I do wonder if we think it. But no, we profess to believe this. We profess God come to Earth, lived, crucified and rose among us, this ultimate of love stories. (And if I just said that last line without you thinking twice about it, then maybe you’re not a Christian, or perhaps you’ve been a Christian for too long. We profess God…come to Earth….lived, crucified and risen.)

When studying scripture, we're taught to get to the so what, the implications. We don't say so what as if it doesn't matter. We say so what as in, why does this matter. Never is this more necessary than post-Easter. For those who believe this love story to be true, the question becomes; Now What?

Because we believe it to be true, what comes next is a response on our part.

Now what?

Can’t you just picture the disciples standing around an empty tomb, looking at each other and asking, ‘Now what?’

This is the question we ask in many areas of our lives. Sometimes the answer is obvious.

Dinner is over. Now what? I guess we need to clean up.

The school year is almost over. Now what? This sort of depends on who you are. A student? You celebrate. A teacher? You also celebrate. A parent? Kids, I'll let you ask your parents for an answer to that one.

Sometimes the answer is a bit harder.

A high school break-up. Now what? We move on. But that's easier said than done.

A job is lost. Now what? We search the want-ads and update our resume. Again, easily said, but change is hard.

But sometimes the answer to Now what? is so important that it literally demands a total change in the course of our lives.

Easter happened. Now what?

It actually happened. God came to Earth as a man. He did some pretty amazing stuff. The week between the original Palm Sunday and the original Easter seems like a whirlwind of events, but it happened. We killed Jesus. (Does that sound a little too close to home? ‘I wasn't there’, you might protest. It might have been Jewish Pharisees and Roman soldiers on the scene, but it was love for us and a desire to clean up our sin that put Him there.) We killed Jesus.

But, being fully God, Jesus has a way of having His own way in things. He didn't ask anyone for permission. He didn't check with anyone else's schedule. He took a bat to the head of sin and bashed death to...well....death. Jesus rose victorious.

Now what?

to be continued...

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