The Resurrection of Jesus

The message of the resurrection is that this world matters! That the injustices and pains of this present world must now be addressed with the news that healing, justice, and love have won…If Easter means Jesus Christ is only raised in a spiritual sense–then it is only about me, and finding a new dimension in my personal spiritual life. But if Jesus Christ is truly risen from the dead, Christianity becomes good news for the whole world–news which warms our hearts precisely because it isn’t just about warming hearts. Easter means that in a world where injustice, violence, and degradation are endemic, God is not prepared to tolerate such things–and that we will work and plan, with all the energy of God, to implement victory of Jesus over them all. Take away Easter and Karl Marx was probably right to accuse Christianity of ignoring problems of the material world. Take it away and Freud was probably right to say Christianity is wish-fulfillment. Take it away and Nietzsche probably was right to say it was for wimps. — N.T. Wright

Observation: What drew the most ‘amens’?

Enjoyed visiting the ol’ alma matter for Lectures today. Something stood out to me in one of the lectures I attended. The speaker made several comments that were met with yells of “amen.” Within a minute’s time, he made two statements that each were met with an enthusiastic response.

The first statement: “We need to realize that everything–it is all about Jesus.

The second statement: “We need to remember that the church is worth fighting for.”

The “amen” offered to the second statement was easily twice as loud as the first. That caught my attention.

There are several ways I could interpret this:

  1. We are living in a time in which people have not defended the church against slander, and it is really, really, really important we start defending her. Or,
  2. We like the idea of fighting for something better than we like the idea of personally living for Jesus.

I’ll leave the discussion as an exercise to the readers.

What’s your focus?

“In the average crisis, the crisis itself gets the attention God should have had. Helmut Thielicke said that during the bomb raids on Stuttgart he used to hear two kinds of prayers rising from the bomb shelters. Most prayed, “Lord, save us from the bombs!” and only a few prayed, “Lord, save us from the bombs.” Most believers cannot really get their minds on God when the crisis looms large. And preaching on a crisis will probably leave people talking more about the crisis than it leaves them talking about God.”

Miller, Sermon Maker p 130