Resurrection Sunday - He is Risen!

Matthew 28:1-10

Resurrection Sunday is the culmination of all that we have seen and heard through the life and ministry of Jesus in the gospel accounts. What does it mean for each of us as we proclaim, “He is Risen!”? Drawing on the work of Stanley Hauerwas, we identify three distinct meanings for believers in the resurrection of Jesus. We also learn that the key to understanding the meaning of resurrection life found in the way that we live out faith daily.

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Palm Sunday, Good News for the Righteous: The Gates of Righteousness

Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29.

This Psalm form part of the Hallel psalms associated with the celebration of the Passover. The movement of the psalm describes a liturgy in which the people of God enter the temple through the “gates of righteousness” and approach the altar in worship. The “gates of righteousness” are not only the temple gates, but also infer entry into the New Jerusalem through the gate that is Jesus himself. However, only the righteous may enter these gates. The Good News for humanity is that in the person of Jesus, we have been declared righteous so that we may enter into eternal life in the New Jerusalem.

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Good News For the Grieving - John 11:1-45

In the story of Lazarus, we see a foretaste of Jesus’ power over death itself as he restores his friend to life.  As we celebrate baptisms in our congregation this Sunday, we reflect on the symbolism of dying to our old way of life and being raised to new life through the death and resurrection of Jesus.  The Good News is that we no longer need to fear death.  Our grief is turned to joy as we consider the resurrection power of the risen Lord.

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Good News For the Blind - John 9:1-41

This story of the healing of a man born blind from the gospel of John is used by the writer to highlight spiritual blindness and the healing that comes from acknowledging our need before God.  As we hear the story, we are invited to consider who we might be within the narrative.  Are we the blind man who receives sight or are we like the Pharisees who believe that we can already see clearly.  As we consider this text we explore four kinds of spiritual blindness in our own lives.

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Good News for the Searching - John 3:1-21

Nicodemus comes to Jesus in the dark night of his own searching for truth.  Jesus shares with him the Good News that we may SEE and ENTER the Kingdom of God through spiritual rebirth.  All those who lift their eyes up to Jesus will find freedom from condemnation.  We need not live in the darkness of our fears and doubts.  Bring your questions and searching to Jesus and enter the into the light.

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Good News for the Dying - Romans 5:12-21

We are all dying.  As a People of Good News and as followers of the resurrected Jesus, we are also a People of LIFE!  What does it mean to understand life as a sacred and divine gift?  We understand death itself as the antithesis of what it means to be fully human as we were created to be.  Romans 5:17 says that those who receive Christ will live in triumph over death.  This is Good News for the dying.

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Walking in Faith, Living in Hope

Guest Speaker: Wanda Derksen, Chaplain of Donwood Personal Care Home

Sometimes people can feel sorry the elderly, especially as they must let go of their earthly possessions and downsize to fit life into one room in a care home. However, when we look more closely, we see from our text that outward circumstances do not define our inward reality.

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Good News for Everyone? Matthew 5:38-48

In our current political and social landscape, we see the rising rhetoric of us vs. them. We see evidence of hatreds, discrimination and suspicion of the other all around us.  In order to respond well as Good News People, we need to have a clear understanding of who we are and who our God is.  In these hard words of Matthew 5:38-48 we are confronted by Jesus’ call to love the enemy.  We are tempted to dismiss, rationalize or mitigate these words rather than face them directly.  Let’s look at the practice and understandings of the Early church and the Early Anabaptist Reformers for some helpful ways to think about this passage.

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Good News for Damaged Lives. Matthew 5:21-37

These texts from the Sermon on the Mount which each begin with, “you have heard it said,” are often treated as a call to moral behaviour of a higher ethical value.  What if these texts are not just about being better at pleasing God in our actions, but rather are a description of what the Kingdom of God looks like?  A way to live rooted in the character of God.

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