Sunday, April 16, 2017

Fear and Great Joy

Fear and Great Joy from Joseph Taber on Vimeo.

Matthew 28:1-10
1After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. 5But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples, 'He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.' This is my message for you." 8So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9Suddenly Jesus met them and said, "Greetings!" And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshipped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."

  • Go see the tomb
    • It is easier to look for “Jesus who was crucified” than it is to follow our risen savior.
      • “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary one to see the tomb.”
      • God is active in our lives even before we can respond in faith, even when we encounter a tomb that should be full and instead is empty.
      • Just as the guards quake, so too does the earth with the fear of the LORD. This is awe at what God is doing. The whole creation trembles in amazement at the resurrection.
      • The resurrection is scary stuff. It shows that God cannot be contained, not even by death. It shows that Jesus is on the loose. And if the tomb could not contain him, that probably means that neither can the walls of this sanctuary.
  • Go and tell with fear and great joy.
    • If we stay at the tomb we will never encounter our risen Lord. He is not there, and that's the whole point.
    • Pam Driesell at Trinity, “Y’all didn’t come to church.”
    • "The encounter with the risen Jesus is not a self-centered, solitary spiritual experience. It is promised in the midst of the mission he pursues even now, and invites us to join.”
    • "[These women] are the church in miniature - overcome with joy over the good news they have heard but also apprehensive as they move with this bows toward a skeptical and dangerous world.”
    • We meet the risen Jesus on the way. We can grieve at the cross or stand in awe at the empty tomb, but our faith must find form if we want to see Christ.
  • Gather as disciples
    • "God has the power to strengthen us and uphold us... whatever we must face, we do not face it alone...Nothing we encounter is stronger than God's love."
    • The meal we're about to share awakens us to the real presence of Jesus in our midst. The Lord's Supper allows us to recognize Jesus and nourishes us so that we have the strength to follow him, and to continue his ministry through our own efforts.
    • This worship space is not a monument to a god who was only active in the past, it’s a filling station for those who a continuing to travel the way Jesus is leading us.
    • We are gathered in the name of Christ, and we know that our Risen Lord is here with us, and that he leads us out into the world again to BE the church, and in following him, we will find ourselves doing the work of faith with fear and great joy.

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