A Psalm of Hope, A Psalm of Life
I'll let you get into the
Good morning, everyone and happy Easter have a couple of announcements before we go to our Easter worship this morning. We'll have a couple songs to sing in a as well as a couple prayers to pray together, but I'm happy that we can be here together. And so here's just a couple of announcements first. We've been doing our trivia question. And so I wanted to give you the answer to our last trivia question that we came up last Sunday and it's a little longer than some of our other ones. I'm going to read it. But this is what it says Chuck Daly is a two-time Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee being inducted in 1994 for his individual college and professional coaching career. And again in 2010 when he was posthumously inducted as the head coach of the dream team that won the 1992 Olympic title. Chuck Daly graduated from the same high school as one of our church members and began his coaching career at a high school in the same basketball conference where our church member played against the Chuck Daly coached. Who is that church member so you had a little while to think on it and the answer is Mike Swanson Mike Swanson was was that the church member who did that so you can ask Mike about Chuck Daly and if he ever got a technical foul in the basketball game, so there's that I'm moving forward keep an eye on out continually for emails and stuff. I am working towards maybe having Sunday morning services in our church parking lot. It's not for sure. But I wanted to give you a heads-up that I think of got to wait to do that and I think we're allowed to do that too. I'm so hopefully that comes together so we can only see each other through our car windshields. Thank you for those who continue to support the ministry of the church for giving and so check back to the email. If you're interested in online giving it all otherwise folks have been mailing it in and we check the mail on a regular basis will thank you so much for that that's certainly means a lot now for Easter Sunday. Now you're watching this probably hopefully it's still Easter Sunday because there's also going to be an announcement and the email that goes out before we get to Sunday morning, but jean Michaels has made caramels, and I think that's all that I have to say really, but she's placed them out in the front doors, so you can go and get some of your karmel's if you need a little extra Easter snack, so, I believe that's all for now since this morning. I'm happy that we can worship together in Easter for Easter Sunday this way and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I wish that we were together, but I hope this brings a little bit of Hope and joy as we move forward together. Thank you.
It was early in the morning still dark the dawn just starting to cut through the fog the air hung heavy with expectation as if the Earth itself were holding its breath The Echoes of the Cross linger his voice still rings out. It is finished. Into your hands I commit my spirit. The story comes to us in pieces and fragments hints and images of Vineyard Garden grapes ready for the Harvest of stone rolled away. The guards asleep at its side a pile of clothes folded in an empty tomb Peter and John running in with disbelief walking out with questions and with hope he stays behind to sleep in the garden and we weep with her. There's so much loss or so much grief. There's so much death With her we look up and through her tears. We see Angels seated in Victory on top of the stone do not be afraid. They tell us he is not here. Why do you look for the living among the dead he is not here from the garden. She hears a voice. Why are you weak weeping? Whom do you seek? She still cannot see the sun is rising. She was muttering with explanations, but Mary's heart starts beating with tremors of Hope. Whom do you seek for he is not here and like a voice from Heaven. She hears that voice The Voice she is longing for the gardener speaks are named Mary. Jesus looks at you and Jesus speaks your name. The world is new as he speaks your name. You are made new as he speaks your name what the Angels said was true and it is true. Today. Jesus is alive. Jesus Walks his heart beats and victory Easter is announced by every breath. He takes Easter means that love has one death is finished. Satan is doomed evil is Concord. God is good. Love redeeming work is done. It is finished. It is finished. He is not dead. He is alive. It was that reading I welcome you to our Easter morning worship folks. It would be a lot better if we could be together, but I'm glad that we have this venue this chance to Worship in this way. Would you open with prayer with me? The prayer should be on the slides. I'll let us pray together greater of life and raising Christ Jesus up through out of & Beyond the chains of death you open for us the way to Eternal an Abundant Life Manor Alleluia is on this day float high above the ceiling of what we think we know and transcend to the heaven of what we believe in this live. Raise us up renew our lives resurrect our dreams through Jesus Christ Our Living savior. We pray amen.
As we celebrate this Easter morning, we continue in our sermon series it is written. And we come out with a little different angle this morning as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ or scriptures this morning. They come from Psalm chapter 16 and Mark chapter 16, and we'll get to those in a moment. You know, it's been awhile since I've met someone who enjoys waiting. I don't know if this is a skill that's been lost over time. Maybe it's just a lost art. That's gone by I don't know if Oaks wherever is good at waiting in the first place, but I don't think that I've ever known anyone that enjoys just waiting around whether it's waiting for their turn waiting for news to arrive or waiting for something to begin. I think we're Justin impatient people sometimes some folks may excel at this area of life a little better than others. They hold a little bit more patience, but sometimes we just reached our limits. Pretty sure I've never been in line at Walmart or down at Pick n Save and have overheard somebody. This is a great day for waiting. I'm glad I have this chance to wait in a line today. No, usually we see people fidgeting around anxiously his precious time takes away as they wait to purchase their milk and eggs. There's a reason there are so many items to buy at the checkout counters. You have time to wait you have time to look and maybe purchase just one more item. People check their watches with their cell phones a couple times every minute is time is flying by at Double the speed while they wait after a few checks of the clock and for some it doesn't even take this the complaining begins as if the line they are in purposely is holding them back just to irritate them waiting is not always our thing is it's I mean, I've gotten upset over line at the store taking too long only to get home to realize that there wasn't really any rush in the first place. So, why did that time of waiting get on my nerves? Why do we become impatient when we want when we have to wait a man by the name of Lewis smedes describes waiting like this. He says and I quote waiting is our destiny as creatures who cannot by themselves bring about what they hope or we wait in the darkness for a flame. We cannot light. We wait in fear for a happy ending that we cannot write. We wait for a not yet. That feels like a knot ever. You know if we stop for a minute and wait for our brains to get into gear and allow ourselves a little thinking time. This is what we often see when we break down and take a look at a little something called. Hope there's an event that takes place that that might suck the life out of us. Something may go terribly wrong maybe a dream dies or a relationship ends, maybe a job falls through or Falls right out from under or a desire is crushed. So we're left standing there in a place where we don't want to be that we find ourselves waiting and stricken with hopelessness. We're not the only ones who been there though. I'm the gospel accounts of Jesus death on the cross. We read that his family and close followers stood at a distance and watched I couldn't imagine anything being more hopeless than having the hope that they had in Jesus rip right out from their very lives. Have you ever felt this way about anything before you couldn't get mad or even fight or even cry? Have you ever felt so hopeless that you didn't have the energy inside of the even get upset? I can only imagine what Jesus followers felt as they watched him die on the cross. This is about as close as I can come to possibly describing what they might have been going through. Of course, we know the in story as we sit here this morning, we know that God was up to something great and he knew it all along but yes waiting would be involved we go from Palm Sunday to Holy Thursday or Monday Thursday to Good Friday and then to Easter but what about Saturday? Why don't we pay too much attention to Saturday? It may have something to do with the waiting. I don't know the other days seem to have their great meeting Palm Sunday the king arrives on Holy Thursday. We remember the last supper and Jesus demonstration of the new commandment Good Friday is a somber day of reflection as we remember Jesus death and then Resurrection Sunday Easter Sunday is a day filled with hope and celebration. All Saturday seems to be is a day of a whole lot of questioning doubting wondering and definitely waiting a day of helplessness and hopelessness. It's a day when we may wonder if God's paying attention to us, but we still have those days today. Don't we the Saturday of this week what we call Holy Week probably matches up with our lives a little better than any of the other days more often than we might want to admit a former Pastor by the name of Pete Wilson says this about these Saturdays in our lives. I'm trying to get to the place in my life where I can Embrace a Saturday. He says I'm trying to get to a place where I can view it as a type of preparation for what I believe God might be doing in my life. You may currently be in the midst of a horrible out-of-control situation you feel as if God is not there that there's nothing that can be done. But here's the message of the gospel for you while you're stuck in your helpless hopeless Saturday life. God does his best work in Hopeless situations. It's this story of hope that we celebrate this morning. It's the story of renewal and a fresh start that we celebrate this morning. And this is what we hear from our scripture this morning a story of Hope, but it came long before Jesus time. We hear it from Psalm chapter 16 verses 9 through 11. Therefore, my heart is glad in my tongue rejoices in my body also will rest secure because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead nor will you let your faith will one see Decay you make known to me the path of life. You will fill me with joy in your presence with eternal Pleasures set your right hand. What on Earth does a solemn have to do with Easter? We've been taking a look at Old Testament prophecies and connecting them with their fulfillment counterparts in the New Testament and Easter. Sunday is no different for us hear the song was written by King David who had times in his life when he felt hopelessness and wondered if God was paying attention to him. David talks about the security and hope he has in this life because God will not let death to feed him and while he's still alive on this Earth, he finds is joy in the presence of God and a world full of Saturday's we can still have hope We can feel secure when we place our life in God's hands are there for my heart is glad in my tongue Rejoice. My body will also rest secure because you will not abandon me to the realm of the Dead really it's no wonder that both Peter. One of these is most trusted disciples and Paul the reason Christianity spread the way it did refer to this particular song when they talk about the resurrection of Jesus. We see this next chapter 2 verses 25 through 28 and Acts chapter 13 verses 35 through 37 a point back to this particular song We Worship a God who specializes in resurrection's in Hopeless situations. So on Easter we celebrate the fact that Jesus conquered death so that we can have life God did The Impossible and a matter of hours is Jesus disciples went from hopeless to Hopeful tails the story of our Salvation begins with what seemed to be a hopeless situation on Easter morning. We celebrate that the tomb was found empty. Yes. Jesus had risen and all along God knew what was needed Chuck Swindoll and his writing the grace Awakening. He wrote this if our greatest need had been information God would have sent us an educator if our greatest need had been technology. God would have sent us a scientist for greatest need had been money. God would have sent us an economist for greatest need. I've been pleasure. God would have sent us an Entertainer, but our greatest need was forgiveness. So God sent us a savior. David finishes verse 10 x saying I've served you faithfully and you will not abandon me to the world of the Dead folks. These are the words of a person who has been through tough times and hopeless situations in his own life and knows what it's like to have God in his life through these times tables writing from his own experience and God's using this experience to point towards the future to a day when all would know what David was talking about and this day happens when we read and Mark chapter 16 verses 1 through 8. When the Sabbath was over Mary Magdalene Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices so that they might go anoint Jesus body very early on the first day of the week just after Sunrise they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other who rolled the stone away from the entrance to the tomb But when they looked up they saw that the stone which was very large have been rolled away as they entered the tomb they saw young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side and they were alarmed don't be alarmed. He said you're looking for Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified and he has risen he is not here see the place where they laid him, but go tell his disciples and Peter is going ahead of you went to Galilee there. You will see him just as he told you so trembling and bewildered the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone because they were afraid. Folks on this day Hope was restored to the whole world. Jesus had risen the tomb was empty and death has been defeated Yep. This is the story of our Salvation And it certainly came out of what seemed to be a hopeless situation as David new and is Jesus disciples and family found out nothing is impossible with God and it's because of God's presence that David continues in with Psalm chapter 16 verse 11 our last verse from John Psalm chapter 16, you make known to me the path of life. You will fill me with your joy in your presence and with your Eternal Pleasures at your right hand David and found out the secret to Joy to Joy's far deeper than happiness because we can feel Joy in spite of our deepest troubles happiness is temporary because it's based on external circumstances, but joy lasting because it's based on God's presence with us. Our joy comes from knowing that when God is in our lives. The world is not all that. We have we have something more temporary. We have something more. Hope Fields Paul reminds us in 1st Corinthians chapter 15 verse 19. If only for this life we have hope in Christ. We are all people most most that must be pitied. The good news is that in Jesus Christ and John 16 Verse 33, we here I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace in this world. You will have trouble but take heart for I have overcome the world. Book the Easter celebration the hope we find and Resurrection can help our us through the ups and downs of this world, but it may not take away those things that bring us down. Hope may not take away our cancer. Hope may not relieve the stress of job situations our relationship struggles. Hope may not replace our Shattered Dreams. But hope does remind us that while life is uncertain. God is not while we are limited God is Limitless and while we might be fragile. God will hold us together because God is Hope is Hope and give us an interesting perspective in life as if reviewing it for the second time. Have you ever watched a movie that you've already seen? Maybe this is your second third or fourth viewing maybe the first time it was suspenseful but not so the second time because you know how the story ends. You know, the good guy doesn't fall off the cliff in the bad guy eventually gets caught but you still enjoy the movie and back since you're not all tied up in the plot you begin to appreciate other aspects of the film. Maybe there's a clever dialogue. I'm standing camera work the use of a special effect in so long since you know the ending you can enjoy the movie on a whole different level one movie. I've seen several times as the movie Hoosiers, I think from the 80s based on the Indiana high school basketball team that won against the state championship against a large school during basketball season, I'd watch it multiple times during the week in high school. And so I got to the point where I knew all the dialogue and I can even tell you how many times Jimmy Chitwood misses a shot in the movie. You have to watch it and find out for yourself though. So that's how we can enjoy life as if we are viewing it for a second time. We don't have to see what the outcome because we know God's ultimate outcome. We need not wonder if he will take care of us or if you make make calls all things work together for his good we know the outcome and we know that since Jesus conquered death we can through him conquer life and in the process we can enjoy the journey everyday is part of the celebration even the tough days and that's God's promise when we have those days or those weeks that are like the Saturday before the resurrection letters. Remember that's waiting isn't so bad. These can be times of preparation for us what God might have in store for us down the road and on those Saturdays and in this life, we're all seems hopeless. I pray we quickly remember that we serve an awesome God who gives us hope he's a god of Hope and of God of life and we celebrate that on this Easter morning. What you pray with me or closing prayer?