Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What They All Agree On

This week's scriptures are Matthew 28: 1-15 and John 20 1-18.

It's Easter. This year, because I'm the "new kid on the block" in the Broadneck Ministerium, I got 'volunteered' to preach at the sunrise service. This will be quite a feat for someone who can barely function before ten o'clock and two cups of coffee. But it should be a good day. Between the sunrise service on the Cape St. Claire beach and the worship service at Broadneck Baptist, there will be a breakfast sponsered by the Cape St. Claire United Methodist Church. So I know that after the first service there'll be good food and lots of good coffee.

Above I've put the scriptures I'll be using at the sunrise service (John) and at the 10:00 service at Broadneck (Matthew). There are some differences. In fact, all four Gospels have differences in the way that they describe what happened, who was there,what was said,etc. This, to my mind, adds credability to the story....different people, particularly after a long period of time, are going to remember things differently. It's only when everybody has "gotten their story straight" that you begin to wonder about whether there's some fabrication going on. Add to that the differences going on between different factions of the early church about what the resurrection meant; and you're bound to have different emphasis placed on the events as they are remembered.

Add to all this the passage in Matthew 28: 11-15 which describes the "spin" put on the empty tomb by the religious and politically powerful. We, in our day, are very aquainted with how quickly politicians get their 'spin doctors' to work after an event takes place in an effort to bend public opinion in their direction. So this too is no suprise to us.

One thing that may be a suprise is something often overlooked. They ALL agreed that the tomb was empty. Nobody said,"Hey! These folks are lying, there's a body there stretched out dead as a doornail."

The question is not the empty tomb. Or that something happened that Easter morning. The question for us is three fold:

-What do we think happened?
-What do we think it means?
-What difference does it make to us in our day to day lives?

What happened? What does it mean? What does it matter?

Each of us has to answer these questions for ourself. Each of us has to come to terms with the issue of belief, meaning, and impact regarding the resurrection and the rest of the Gospel message.

I won't claim to tell you what you have to believe. I, and the other members of Broadneck Baptist, will offer to journey with you as you work to find your own answers. And, if you're too far away to join us on Sunday; or if some other reason keeps you from being able: maybe you can take the time to listen to the sermon(s) posted by link here on the Blog page. And, if you have questions, or just a request for prayer, please use the link on our home page to email me at stephen@broadneckbaptistchurch.org and I'll promise to write you back in a timely fashion.

I hope you have a good Easter. May the meaning of the resurrection grow in you and call you into new and exciting places in your life.

Christ is Risen. Christ is Risen Indeed.


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