In his “sermon on the mount” one of the challenging things Jesus said was - “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today” (Matthew 6:34).
Message by: Peter Godwin
We said it on Easter Sunday – “Jesus is risen.” That’s a pretty radical thing to say. So, if we say that it’s true, what does it mean for us now; what does it mean for how we live our lives that, ‘Jesus is risen?’
Today, we want to go to Jesus Himself, and ask Him what He’s calling us to do. What kind of life, does He want of us? And it’s pretty radical. In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew Chapters 5-7) Jesus says some pretty challenging things to us.
So, what are we to do when Jesus’ calls to follow Him, and to give our one life to Him, seems not just challenging, but in many ways, even unreasonable? Here’s a start. Let’s remember that –
Jesus is a loving Saviour
Jesus wants to make our lives better, not worse
Jesus knows more than we do
Jesus lived what He taught.
Easter Sunday has just been celebrated. “Not dead” Jesus! Resurrection Sunday. And if Jesus truly is resurrected, then maybe the only question we can ask is, “who is this Jesus”.
Of course, there are many ways to begin to answer that question. Matthew, when he writes his gospel, starts with Jesus’ family tree – “an account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham …” (Matthew 1:1). It’s like even before Matthew introduces us to the birth of Jesus, he wants to locate him in the Scriptures. He wants us to see something of Jesus before his birth.
Matthew wants us to know that there’s more to Jesus than meets the eye, and the Old Testament tells the story which Jesus completes.
Message by: Rev. Peter Godwin
First, we watched movies in black and white, then colour and now 3D. Each advance brought a deeper and more rewarding experience than the one before.
Easter, and faith in the resurrected Jesus, can be the same for us.
We can see Jesus’ resurrection as simply a proof that he was uniquely who he claimed to be – the Son of God. At a deeper level we can believe that Jesus’ resurrection is the promise, and the key, to life lived always, life lived eternally, in God’s presence. Then, we can know 3-dimensional living - not just the proof, not just the promise but also the power of the resurrection.
Baptism is the Christians ID card, the mark of 3D living. Baptism says I accept the proof and believe the promise and count on the power that was evident in Jesus’ resurrection.
Message by: Peter Godwin
It’s said that “attitude is everything” and we know what that means. We’ve all felt the impact of “attitude” in our own lives.
We have a choice about our “attitudes” every day of our lives. We can’t change our past and we can’t stop the inevitable. But we can choose our “attitude”.
The story of Palm Sunday and Jesus’ entering Jerusalem is a great opportunity to think about our “attitude” to him.
Over a million angels are singing in heaven ‘worthy is the lamb who was slain.’ Heaven is singing all about Jesus. And many of us here on planet earth sing our own song and we make it all about us. We cannot be in harmony with both heaven and the world. As we examine our lives what song do we sing?
Christianity is in many ways a paradox.
We are encouraged to go out into the world and make disciples yet it is obvious from our experience and the scriptures that we are aliens or strangers in this world.
We reach out with our Easter buns and Christmas farmyard activities on the mall in the hope that at least someone will respond. Our gifts are either politely received or impolitely rejected by the public.
As to our Christian message and what it represents, for most people it is “thanks but no thanks”.
Rejection, persecution and suffering are the indelible marks of a true individual Christian or Christian community.
1 Peter is the New Testament letter “par excellence” on rejection, persecution and suffering.
How did Peter recommend the Christian communities of his time deal with such responses ?
How do we, in our day and age, deal with them ?