Theme for ALL of Easter
“Love one another, even as I have loved you.”
The lens for all else in this Easter.
Themes for Each Sunday:
Easter 2 April 28 Doubting Thomas
Jesus loves even those not present, those not able to trust God, not able to believe without seeing. Jesus calls us to love, tend and feed them, too.
Easter 3 May 5 The Light surprises and gives new visions
No matter our lives, even if dedicated against God, God’s light will come and blind us, give us new visions, people to care for us as we recover from the blindness of encountering the Light, send us out to share the light with others.
We may need a code to protect us, but the Light will be heard!
We may think we can ‘go fishing’ (return to normal) but Jesus has so much more planned for us. The light must be shared and heard, by all. Jesus’ love cannot be squashed or squelched or set aside.
Easter 4 May 12 Jesus the Good Shepherd, calls us to care for each other.
Jesus leads us out to green pastures, still waters, through the greatest darkness of life (the shadow of death), comforts us, shows us with words and guides us with miracles of healing, and even though we suffer the greatest ordeals, Jesus’ blood washes us white, even though we die, Jesus brings us to new life.
So we are to be and do for others.
Easter 5 May 19 Jesus Story for ALL, even Gentiles and Rulers!
Jesus’ Story and his love is for all, even those we think are out of bounds, beyond consideration, those we think are ‘unclean’!
Even the rulers of the world, politicians, despots, tyrants, or even benevolent rulers.
Easter 6 May 26 For Women, We Heal All
Jesus Story is also for Women, HS will teach us new things, Jesus heals so also we to heal one another, even on Sabbath, i.e. despite all expectations not to heal or even help others.
Easter 7 June 2 As One, Love All Even our Enemies so that all believe
So that we may be one, Jesus does all this.
So that we may be one, we love our enemies.
So that we may be one, and so that the world may know God’s name and believe.
May 5 Surprises, Visions Easter 3
The light will surprise us and give us visions of Jesus.
No matter who we think is our enemy, even if it be Christ or his followers
No matter our enthusiasm against God, God can and does use us, and all people.
God brings light, it blinds us, we remain in darkness until someone comes to lead us home, to safety, to a period needed for the journey through the darkness of being blinded by God’s light, to the other side, when we can see clearly, believe assuredly, act confidently to give everything, so that others may encounter the Light of Christ, the Love of Christ, the Hope of Christ.
We may need a code, to protect the Gospel, to save the authors, carriers, listeners, and believers from death. But we will worship and praise God on this real world, this dirt of dirt, in all seasons, cold or hot, dry or wet, growing or dying, planting or harvest, surviving or being active.
I am going fishing. We will come along. A return to usual labours. God will use that, too.
God will come to us, redirect our efforts, bring such success we cannot continue, and God will redirect us to fish with the story of Jesus, with the Love of Jesus, among the people.
Acts 9:1-6 [7-20]
Saul thinks he is right, very assured, very judgmental, just oversaw stoning of Stephan.
The Light of Christ enters him darkness of ruining lives, the light is too much, blinds Saul.
Stylized: three days Jesus dead, Saul in darkness, immediately (no Paul reports he spent three years in the wilderness studying before he began preaching.
Takes another follower of Jesus, to bring the light back to Paul
For Jesus has chosen to use this inspired, persistent, driven man to bring Gospel to the nations.
Intro to Revelation needed: a code known to Followers of the Way, so that political Thoughts could be shared, and messages of the forbidden faith, without authorities knowing, so the writings could be shared, read, written back and forth. Most of this literature never made the canon, but Revelations did: a vision of how God uses the events of the world to ensure God’s message carried in the story of Jesus could be shared everywhere, no matter what.
This kind of writing, this code, was well known and used widely decades before the Gospels were written, before the Gospels could survive. Even so we’ve remnants of lost Gospels: the Q source, and others.
Challenge: we have not fully deciphered the code: but generally all creatures represent real people, rulers, kingdoms,
and those gathered around the throne, represent various Xn Churches.
Great words of encouragement for people under great persecution, after WWII, refugees heard this with great hope.
Today, for us, inspiration to rekindle our faith, hope and love for Christ and for one another.
Our plans: I am going fishing. We will go with you.
And God has plans for our plans. Love one another as I loved you,
Love me more than these:
feed my lambs, tend my sheep, feed my sheep.
Fish on the right side of the boat. Mission field, the harvest, most needed, most plentiful on the right.
Jesus feeds the fishermen, and the recognize him. Dare not ask who he is.
They dare not ask, know, but they wonder and doubt, and do not dare.
May 12 Good Shepherd Easter 4
Jesus is the Good Shepherd, We are called to love one another as Jesus love us:
We are to be Good Shepherds to one another
As Jesus is able to bring the young girl and Lazarus back from the dead, so Simon Peter is able to bring Dorcas, Tabitha, back to life after she dies!
Our love can be as life giving as Jesus’.
Handle with care!
The needs for life, abundant life, of a sheep, (green pastures, still waters) the good Shepherd provides for us.
More: in the dark valley of the shadow of death (the greatest evil) I need not fear, the shepherd’s tools: rod and staff, comfort us.
Table along with my enemies! My cup runs over!
Goodness and mercy shall follow me all my days. I dwell eternally in God’s house.
There are those who will survive the Great Ordeal, the silence of Beale Street in every generation. They will be gathered at Christ’s throne!
The will be washed white in the blood of the Lamb!
Shelter, food, water, no scorching by sun, but water of life, and tears wiped away!
We, like the Jews, want to know plainly, though Jesus has told and done enough. Like doubting Thomas we want to put our hands in Jesus’ side and feel the nail marks in his hand, but that is not enough. The HS must transform our hearts, teach us to know Jesus’ voice.
Voice and sheep and shepherds and gathering in and gathering to go out to green pastures and still waters.
They will never perish, die but not perish! No snatching, not from God. Jesus is God, one and three persons.
May 19 For ALL Easter 5
Jesus’ Story for ALL, Even Gentiles, Rulers
already, not faith as a gift, but earned by repentance!
“See, I am making all things new.”
To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.”
We will be known as followers of Jesus, by our love for one another.
IN our love, Jesus and God will be glorified.
What else can we do?
May 26 For Women, too. Easter 6
Jesus’ Story and Love, for Women.
A) H.S. will teach us OR
B) Jesus Love Heals; thus we heal one another.
A women, if you judge me to be faithful, come and stay with me. Response of faith: to provide what is needed: hospitality for travellers, for homeless.
Revelation 21:10, 22–22:5
An exclusion: no unclean, only those written in the Book of Life
there no other light needed than the Light of God, no night, no darkness, no abominations, nothing unclean.
All chaff will have been burned away.
John 14:23-29 HS will teach you everything!
Those who love Jesus, keep his word, [and opposite, not love: not keep]
Advocate, HS, will teach you everything
Do not be troubled, or afraid;
rejoice I will return to Father, foretold you so that you may believe.
Gospel (alt.): John 5:1-9 Heal one another
Our travails last and last: this man’s for 38! years!
And in a heartbeat Jesus heals him.
Love one another as Jesus Loves us means HEAL one another, even if the stink of rot has surrounded the illness or circumstance of sin for decades, for generations even!
June 2 Be One: Love your enemies Easter 7
Jesus Story is for even our enemies. Love even our enemies so that we may be one.
Good News for those oppressing, even jailing us. Jesus’ Story Good for Everyone! Even if we remain in jail to live it, to love even one’s enemies
Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21
Testimony for the churches, but everyone comes, everyone calls, the thirst come. Grace with all the saints (God makes us all saints!)
All in order that we may be one, with the love of the parent, God, for the son, Jesus.