Monday, April 17, 2006

Easter: Monday, April 17, 2006

Old Testament Lesson

Exodus 12:14-27

To me, some of the most beautiful things about the Old Testament are the rituals that God gives to the people. He says, do this in remembrance. Your may also remember that when our Lord instituted the sacrament of Holy Communion, He told us to do this in remembrance as well. And the way God works, the meal He was eating when He instituted the Lords Supper was. . . . Passover. You will see some great miracle happen in the Old Testament and God will say, build an alter or place a stone. And when your children ask, why is that stone in the road, you will tell them of the great things God has done.

He does this because we tend to forget. It is easy to focus on our problems and forget about what God has done. It is easy to focus on our trials and forget how God has delivered us. It is easy to focus on the here and now and forget eternity. We see in this text, God tells the people do this ritual of Passover to remember.

He also says that when the children ask, tell them it is because the Lord delivered you. We are to remember. We must not forget what our God has done for us. We must not forget how He has delivered us in times past. And we must past it down to our children, so that they can remember. And here, these rituals are helpful. We worship God, not ritual. But, remember what these things from the past can teach, remember what these traditions from of old can share. Remember what our God has done in the past. Rm ember.

New Testament Lesson

1 Cor inthians15:1-11

We see Paul write today that because of what He had done in the past when he persecuted the church, he felt like he must work harder. But then, he said that it was not him that worked, but God's grace. That is the mystery of God. God is the one at work, He saves us, He cleans us, He calls us, He does all these things. He is the one at work through grace by the Holy Spirit. He is the author and giver of salvation

But, we have our role to play as well. We don't save ourselves, but we do have choices. We are responsible for our decisions. We are accountable. And we have to be faithful. We must each day put ourselves in a position where God can work through us. Yes, it is God at work, but must make ourselves available. We must do our part. For, we have a part to play. As Paul says later in Philippians 2: 12-13

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

It is God that is at work through His grace, but we must do our part as well. One of the Early Church fathers said that we are "co-laborers" with God on our salvation. It it God that saves, but we are at work with Him. Today, God is faithful, are you?

Gospel Lesson

Mark 16:1-8

The text says today that they left the empty tomb trembling. What better way is there to describe our reaction when we encounter God. Trembling because of His might power and amazing Grace. While we know that He is out best friend, we must never take Jesus lightly. We can boldly approach the throne of grace, but we should always, always remember that He is God, that He is mighty, that He is the Lion of Judah. While we must know Him personally, we must also know that as CS Lewis says of Aslan in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, "He is not a tame lion." He is our God and we must always remember how Holy He is.

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