DiscipleChurch Family and Friends:
With the entire Church, we celebrate Easter every Sunday in DiscipleChurch. We worship on Sunday, as opposed to the Jewish Sabbath from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown, because we believe that Jesus was raised on a Sunday. When we celebrate communion every Sunday in DiscipleChurch, we sing together: “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.” And we recite together: “By your Spirit, make us one with Christ, one with one another, and one in ministry to all the world, until Christ comes in final victory and we feast at his heavenly banquet.” Sunday is the first day of the week, and Easter was the first day of a new creating and creation.
A beautiful and important part of our Christian faith is that our individual souls will survive the death of our bodies. So when we suffer physical death, we will not suffer spiritual death. We believe that the aspect of our Self that is eternal and is truly who we are—our soul–will live forever. And a truly beautiful part of that hope is that we will spend eternity not only in God’s presence but also with those whom we love. Frankly, this aspect of our faith—that the soul is eternal—is not at all a uniquely Christian faith. It has been and is shared by most of the religions in history. Some say this conviction is a part of the hard wiring of every human mind.
If that is the extent of our Easter faith—that my soul will live forever–if this is all we hope for in response to the event of Easter, then our Easter is too small and, frankly, too self-centered. The early Church believed that Easter was much more than this–the beginning of an entirely new creation and of the realization of God’s promises.
I am going to be preaching one Easter sermon in three parts over the next three Sundays.
We will be starting with the very first written account of the resurrection of Jesus in 1st Corinthians 15.
Sooner or later, we are going to be hearing some of most poignant and emotionally wrenching and yearning poetry in all of the world’s literature. Ezekiel 36.24-27 and 37.1-14; Isaiah 11.1-9 and 65.17-25; Revelation 21.1-4. This poetry will hopefully get us in touch with the yearning we all have, to a greater or lesser degree, for a different, kinder, gentler and more just creation. It’s going to ask us what we can truly hope for, and into what kind of creation we should lean and live.
In preparation for this Sunday, I invite you to give some serious introspection to the question: “If I could change one aspect of the creation (other than myself), what would that change be?”
Is He risen? Is He risen indeed? Is He? What then shall we hope for, be and do?
Your brother, Brooks
Rev. Brooks Harrington
Methodist Justice Ministry of First United Methodist Church, Fort Worth
750 West 5th Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76102
“Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute. Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and the needy.” Proverbs 31: 8-9