Lent and Beyond 2017
Most Recent Sermon at Top of List
Life is full of questions. We've all faced this one..."Now what?" For Jesus' followers, everything was going great and then suddenly Jesus was dead. Then just as suddenly He was resurrected and fully alive. "What now?" seems entirely appropriate. For Judas the question was just too much, and he couldn't see beyond his present moment. For Matthias, an entirely new experience lay right around the corner. Grace was available to both men. One took it and was brought even more fully into life with Him. Now what? Please don't ignore this simple powerful question.
Life is full of questions. "What'd you do over the weekend?" is one we hear all the time. Seems safe to say that no one ever had a more eventful weekend than Jesus did beginning on Good Friday. It was an action-packed few days for those closest to him, too. Mary Magdalene experienced every possible emotion from outright despair to unmatchable joy. At the end of it, a question remained for her, as it does for you. Please don't ignore this question. It exists to provide the turning point of everything you are and will become... "Who do you think Jesus is, now?"
Life is one question after another. This Jesus put a lot of people in a position where they had to choose. Pilate's wife, Claudia, was one such person. Just like you. Just like me. She was a woman of privilege, and not familiar with unease. Yet a dream she had during her husband's dealings with this Jesus placed her in the center of the one question all of us face; "Who is this Jesus and what does He have to do with me?" Another one...a young boy...watched as Jesus was arrested and dragged away. A sword was drawn... a man fell... people ran in fear in all directions... John Mark was this boy. He was present in so many places that Jesus was. He chose to be there, and in fact he wrote one of the Gospels. His life showed that he answered his question. So must you.
Life is one question after another. The questions are even harder when you're blind to the world around you. Such was Bartimaeus' fate. All he had ever known was darkness, isolation, and ridicule. But when Jesus' walked by him one day, he displayed a grasp of reality that few men had ever known.. The Holy Spirit had convinced him of who Jesus really is, and Bartimaeus did not shrink from it. He declared the identity of Jesus and his entire life changed as a result. The same can happen to you...
Life is one question after another. Some questions are routine, others are the kind of questions that only have one correct answer. It's those questions that determine the arc of your life. Lent reminds us of a time full of questions asked and answered. Who is He? Why did He give Himself for me? When will I listen? How should I respond? What does He think of me? He does you know. All the time. Lent proves that it's true....