Thursday, April 26, 2012

Easter 3B: Seeing with eyes of faith

Lectionary: Acts 3:12-19; Psalm 4; 1 John 3:1-7; Luke 24:36b-48

Sermon given at the 8:30 service:

Sermon given at the 10:30 service:

Note: Below are sermon notes. As this was an extemporaneous sermon, it differed at the 8:30 and 10:30 services. When I asked which one I should post, the answer was consistently: both. So I have. I have no expectation that you'll listen to both, but I offer both anyway, confident that the Spirit will guide you in your choice.

Quote from “Children’s Letters to God”

Seeing with our eyes vs. recognizing God with the eyes of our faith.

Experience – (refer to the handouts with optical illusions)

Jesus resurrected. The same, but different.

It has been said that we are bodies with souls – Greek dualism – soul is eternal. Only the body dies.

Jesus demonstrated in this gospel story that the body is resurrected, the same body. And in its resurrected state, it’s the same, but different.

Those that meet the resurrected Jesus don’t recognize him at first. Then they do. He’s the same, but different.

Recognition happens when Jesus chooses it – in the breaking of bread – which we do every Sunday. That’s why we come together every Sunday… to be in the presence of God, to grow in our ability to see.

Now we too are children of God. And as we heard in our epistle, “we will be like him”
That’s a bit of a scary thought – especially given what happened to Jesus in the world.

That’s why we do this together.

If we are like him, then the same love that was in him is in us, and it overflows in us and in our lives like it did in his – a river of life-giving water that nourishes everything it touches, and washes everything clean

Jesus opens the eyes of our faith. We invite that to happen by:
• coming together and helping one another - reading scripture & sharing communion - breaking bread
• praying together
• playing together

When we come into the presence of God together, things change. Remind about our Lenten series on prayer - how that changed people and opened their eyes to God’s presence right here in and among us.

Things changed A LOT for the disciples when Jesus opened the eyes of their faith. What might change for us? Will anything have to change?

Yes! We are commanded not only to change but to proclaim change! As we heard in the Gospel, Jesus said: "…that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations..."

To repent is to change. We must change, because God isn’t finished with us yet. And the more we grow, the more the eyes of our faith open, the better we can help our friends and family – and THAT is why Jesus calls us witnesses.

It isn’t just that we learn to see with eyes of faith, but that we tell others about it so they can see that way too.

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