Thursday, 5 April 2018

Easter Sunday 1 Apr 2018 Sermon

Easter Sunday 1.4.18 Belief

We have suffered with Our Lord through His degradation, and now we find that degradation suddenly turning to great glory.

We are always inspired by stories of someone coming from an improbable position to one of triumph. This is the greatest by far of any such story.

We acknowledge that we are on a much lower scale, yet we can see the same pattern in our own lives, as we go through the valley of tears before we reach the mountain top.
Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy (Ps 125(126),5-6).

We are more familiar with the hard part than the glorious outcome! Some give up altogether, crushed by the hardness of it all. They should have waited, as we should keep waiting.

Imagine standing outside the tomb of our Lord, at any point between His death and resurrection. Looking at that stone wall of the tomb. Remembering what you saw on Friday. Can you believe that He would come out of that tomb? He said He would (Lk 18,33), but can you believe it?

That is really the test of our faith. We know the story. We know He did come out; so that question maybe is easy to answer.

But if you were alive then not now, it would not be so easy.

The test for us is not so much with the fact of the Resurrection, but with our current issues: Can you believe that God will deliver you from all your troubles and sorrows?

We are still ‘looking at a stone wall’. Will He come out? Will He hear my prayer? Will He come again to save the world?

I believe my Saviour liveth and on the last day I shall see him (Job 19,25)

To be able to look at death, and say I believe in life. To walk through a cemetery and say: I believe these people will come back to life. To look at all our problems, and say I believe God will solve these problems, will somehow get us through.

We do not have to know how, just believe that it will happen.

It is the same process that God has been doing ever since He began the restoration of the human race, after the Fall.

All the prophets, the great figures of the Old Testament, Christ Himself coming back to life, then the apostles, persecutions, martyrdoms… all manner of trouble we have been through; and yet here we are, still believing. Still looking at the wall.

I do believe; I do not worry about appearances because again and again God has exploded negative appearances and come up with highly positive results.

And the Resurrection is the best of them all.

In the meantime, as we bump along this rather difficult pathway, we never lose hope, never complain. We have our eyes fixed on the glory that awaits us if we persevere (2 Co 4,17)

We take every chance to reaffirm our belief in God, that He has the power and the desire to make things come right.

The more we believe, and the more people believing, the quicker things will lighten up. There does not need to be so much gloom as there is: it is caused by sin. Remove the sin and we feel a lot better straight away.

This is a day for victory against the odds. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair, persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed (2 Co 4,8-9)

Whenever you feel down and out, just remember Friday to Sunday, cross to resurrection, death to life. For us it is always Sunday, always life.

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