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Another Side of Sunday: The Path

And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

Luke 22:19

Remember… to think of again; to cause to keep in your mind.

Remember your baptism…

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Remember those who journey with you…

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Remember your confirmation, the day you said yes to Jesus…

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Remember Jesus, broken and poured out for you…

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This is my body broken for you. This is my blood poured out for you. 

Remember, think again, keep it in your mind and be…

Re-membered…

Put back together, made whole, complete, lacking in nothing, all cleaned up.

Remember to be re-membered.

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Another Side of Sunday: The Path

And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Acts 1:10-11 ESV

I see the disciples dumbfounded by what they saw. Eyes big as saucers… mouths opened wide… heads cocked up like turkeys in the rain… (Yes… I know that’s not true, but it paints a great picture.)

Angels come to snap them out of their stupor, reminding them: What are you doing?! He’s coming back.

The reminder of His return should’ve brought to mind all His parables featuring a master going on a long journey entrusting his property to his servants while he was away.

“…It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. …”

Mark 13:34 ESV

Not only were the servants challenged to be productive with the master’s property, but to guard it while he was away.

In each parable, the master returned…

“…Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them….”

Matthew 25:19 ESV

He returned to judge their work and pay them accordingly. He expected a return on what he invested in his servants; the charge he gave them to work and guard what he had left in their hands while he was away.

In essence, the angels reminded the disciples: The Lord is going on a journey, it’s time for you to get to work. There’s not a moment to waste looking up at heaven. Your work is here on earth.

The same is true for us. We have work to do. What He’s invested in us — the apostle’s teachings, prayer, instruction in the Word, spiritual gifts, faith, grace — He expects us to use for His glory and the building of His Kingdom.

Do you find yourself looking up? gazing at how His prophecies will play out? or what heaven looks like? or whether angels have wings?

It’s time to take a look around. Consider what’s been entrusted to you and get to work. Walking in step with the Holy Spirit and obeying all He calls you to do.

Because we don’t know… when He will return…

Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.

1Thessalonians 5:1-6 ESV

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The Path

Join us tonight for an evening of Praise and Prayer with Rev. Von Dawson. Worship will begin at 6:30 p.m.

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Another Side Of Sunday: The Path

We invite you to enjoy a post from Jeremiah’s Menu as you continue your path from the empty tomb.

Today… I was a picture of His hands at work…

She told me Friday… I need you to come to Praise & Prayer and knit… she said I would be the demonstration…

Through the entire service…? I asked…

Yes…

Well… OK… if it helps people to connect with Him… Amen…

So this morning… I sat at the front of the small gathering… on a single stool… ball of yarn on the floor… knitting… Read more

 

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Another Side of Sunday: The Path

On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”  And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.”

Luke 5:1-5

The guest preacher Sunday spoke to our church, preparing us to make take the next steps in the Vibrant Church Initiative process.  Let’s take some time this week to reflect on his insights and consider our call to be fishers of men.

On one occasion… an ordinary day, a day like any other, not a holiday or a special event, no potluck luncheon or revival meeting. It was a day like the one before where Peter was fishing and cleaning his nets. Just an ordinary day, but when Jesus shows up He makes the ordinary extraordinary. What does an ordinary Sunday at church look like for you? Do you recognize Jesus in your ordinary?

Getting into one of the boats… When you step into a canoe or boat things move. Sometimes it’s hard to keep your balance in the midst of the rocking and swaying. The preacher said, “When Jesus gets into your boat, it will be rocked.” The reality is we like stability, and tend to resist change. It’s risky. We might just topple right over into deep waters. Change is inevitable. It signifies growth. Are you growing when it comes to being a part of the church? Is God calling you to do something that leaves you shaking? Are you resistant to change? Why?

Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch. Life seems easier when you’re fishing from the bank. No danger of falling into deep cold water. It’s safe and secure, but the fishing is limited. I told my fifth and sixth graders recently, “Never go fishing without your life jacket. It saves you.” Jesus calls us to put out into the deep, but we never go alone. He is our Life Jacket, our salvation.

Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing!” In other words, we’ve been fishing and caught nothing. The fish aren’t biting today. Our words and thoughts often echo Peter’s. “We’ve always done it this way. This is our way. We’ve got it mastered. Why do it different?” Is there something in the church you really like, want to do the same way every single time? Is that something working to make disciples, bringing others to Christ?

But at your word I will let down the nets. My friend and I have this saying when we’re feeling called out of our ordinary. When our boats are rolling side to side, and we’re off balance. When we hear God whisper: Go deeper, push harder, do it My way. After we’ve shared our struggle, admitted our fear and hesitancy, we often say, “There is no other way.” In other words, I may be trembling on the inside, but I’ll move forward, take the next step, attempt to do what God is calling me to do. Because His way is always better and good and right.

Consider our church as a whole, the call it has to go and make disciples. How is God calling us to deeper waters? What part is God calling you to do? Will you answer like Peter? Will you say, “Because You say so, I will?”

Jesus, we invite You to come. Get into our boat. Lead us to deep waters. It is our hearts’ desire to serve You, to live out the commission You gave to Your disciples. Forgive us when we hold onto our comfortable things, when we refuse to love our neighbor. When we allow fear to overcome our call. Teach us how to be a church that cries out, “Yes Lord, yes Lord, yes, yes Lord!”

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Another Side of Sunday: The Path

That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him.

Luke 24:13-16

Two friends left Jerusalem on their way to Emmaus talking about Jesus and His death. They were confused, and sad. They too, had heard the tomb was empty. Still, an empty tomb didn’t really explain anything. I can almost hear the questions in their mind maybe even some of the discussion they had along the road.

I thought this was it. The Messiah had come, but now He’s dead. Did I misunderstand His teaching? Was I manipulated to believe in a lie? And now an empty tomb, the women talking of angels. What in the world is going on? Who would take His body and why? Or is possible He told the truth? Could He be alive?

There are years the path leading to Easter somehow stops and I don’t want to go any further. I’m like Mary holding tight to the legs of the risen Jesus and I don’t want to let go. Life will be fine if I stay right here. But Jesus didn’t allow His followers to take up residence at the empty tomb.

Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

Matthew 28:10

Today is the fourth day after Easter. Ninety-six hours have ticked away each of us follows a path away from the tomb. Consider the path you’ve walked since Sunday.  Which direction have you taken? What questions flood your mind? Who is walking with you?

Lord, as we walk away from the tomb and our Easter celebrations, help us consider where we are going. What direction you are calling us to. It is so easy to have a celebration and walk away unchanged. Not this year Jesus. We want to be changed, renewed, different. May your Resurrection have its full work in us. Amen.

Another Side of Sunday: The Path

Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. One of the maids came over to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it in front of everyone, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about!” As he went out to the gate, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus the Nazorean.” Again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man!” A little later the bystanders came over and said to Peter, “Surely you too are one of them; even your speech gives you away.” At that he began to curse and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately a cock crowed. Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had spoken: “Before the cock crows you will deny me three times.” He went out and began to weep bitterly.

Matthew 26:69-75

Confessing Jesus and praising him loudly and boldly is very easy among friends and fellow believers. But what will we do when our perception of Jesus’ power and love are rattled and we find all of our dreams shattered like broken shards of glass lying at our feet? Will we confess him as Lord then? Will we serve him because we believe and because he is Lord even when there is no external or readily apparent reason to serve him?

Peter’s rooster has crowed in many lives since Peter heard it and realized what he had done: broken his word to the Lord and broken the Lord’s heart. That rooster crow comes in many forms, but it is that agonizing moment when we personally realize that we have betrayed or denied our Lord—not for thirty pieces of silver like Judas and not for fear of our life like Peter, but for nothing.

The really powerful and beautiful part of this story is that unlike Judas’ betrayal, Peter’s story doesn’t finish here. He returns to serve and glorify the Lord in mighty ways. So for those of us who have failed mightily, there is not only hope, but a proven example that Jesus welcomes back failures to make them strong and call them to his service. In the meantime, let’s keep trying to be strong and not fail with the help of the Lord’s Spirit and the confidence that Peter would not know until Jesus had risen from the dead!

Almighty and holy God, I fully recognize that I make promises that I cannot keep. Please forgive me when I have been hasty with my promises, slow in keeping my vows to you, and weak in fulfilling my commitments. There is a bit of both Peter and Judas in me. This troubles me and shames me, but also reminds me that I need your strength and your Spirit to be strong and to live faithfully. My truest prayer, dear Father, is that I never outlive nor betray my love for you and the grace you have given me in my Savior. In the precious name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

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