THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER
Call to Worship-Sound the Trumpet-the instruments of Joy
Morning Song: He Is Our King
Text for the Day 1 Peter 1:17-23
Today is a day to contemplate, to meditate on simple Declarations of Faith.
The people of Jesus day were confronted with an unbelievable moment, some might say surreal. Perhaps bizarre. Perhaps fantasy. His very presence became a declaration to be dealt with. Deal with it. What are the words these people were being asked to deal with? In the Acts passage these words jump out to me: all, assured, God, made, crucified, Lord, heard, cut, brothers, repent, baptized, forgiveness, receive, gift promise, call. All strong words, all words that are confrontational. Take time to make your own list. What words jump out to you? What are the words you declare?
Thoughts go rushing into your head. If it is surreal, there is a chance no matter how slight, it may be only a dream. You will wake up, everything will be as it was. Yet, the power of the declaration confronts you, the reality of your believe in God rushes through your thoughts. I choose to believe that God would save me! These are thoughts that lead to feelings. As you read the Psalmist what are the feelings that surface? Are all lost or are all saved? What are the thoughts you declare?
Feelings. Luke’s Gospel vividly reveals feelings. I feel they were being overwhelmed, saddened, amazed, exhilarated, made hopeful, and given assurance. What feelings do you empathize with? What feelings act as the flux that changes words and thoughts into beliefs? As you read this story of Jesus what are the feelings you declare? As it becomes your story, what are your feelings?
Beliefs then move us. They help us to make a strong declaration based on simplicity. Peter tells the people:
Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver and gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. (New International Version (NIV)
Benediction Song: Because He Lives