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Tag Archives: body

Running to the Tomb

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. 4The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. 6Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. 8Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10Then the disciples returned to their homes. (John 20:1-10, NRSV)

Now had how does Mary Magdalene know Jesus’ body is gone? It says she went to the tomb and saw the stone had been removed. And upon seeing the stone missing she ran to tell Peter and the disciple Jesus loved.

But the disciples run to the tomb, racing each other like they are saying I’m going to beat you. And the other disciple wins but doesn’t go in and Peter just runs in, kind of like, ha I beat you!

And they see that Jesus is gone, but the wrappings are still there. They had no clue what had happened or what was happening, but they knew that Jesus’ body was gone.

And so they went home.

Seriously? If someone came and told you that your beloved friend was no longer in the tomb where you had placed his dead body, you would probably go and check it out, and if it were true, what would you do? Go home and act like nothing happened?

I would be looking for the body or trying to discover what had happened. I wouldn’t just go home.

How many times do we just go home, when we really should be looking for Jesus?

 

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The Last Supper

22While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 23Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. 24He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” 26When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 27And Jesus said to them, “You will all become deserters; for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ 28But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 29Peter said to him, “Even though all become deserters, I will not.” 30Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, this day, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.” 31But he said vehemently, “Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And all of them said the same. (Mark 14:22-31, NRSV)

Even though I must die I will not deny you.

How many times each day do we deny Christ?

Maybe not in our words, but in our actions?

And how many of us are just like Peter? Vehement that we will die for Jesus, but when the time comes we don’t?

Jesus just gave the disciples the meal we celebrate weekly, well we used to celebrate weekly, and some of us still are, while others are waiting to be together again. But aren’t we all together in this? We are all a part of the body of Christ and therefore connected to God and to each other. We are in this together, and we are always together.

Know that even when we deny Christ that Christ is always with us.

 

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Semper Reformanda

On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther nailed his 95 Thesis to the door of Wittenberg Church.

It was the beginning of the Reformation.

The change of the understanding of who we are as the body of Christ. Martin Luther did not want to start a new denomination, or break away from the church catholic. He wanted to reform areas he knew were not aligned with the Holy Scripture in practices of Dogma in the church. He wanted to change the practices to match what was said in the Bible. Radical!

And is this a bad thing? To be in line with the Bible? How many things do we do today that are not inline with the Holy Scripture?

Ecclesia semper reformanda est is a Latin phrase first used by Karl Barth in 1947 and it means “the church is always to be reformed.” Barth derived this from a saying of St. Augustine an early church father. It means that the church must always reexamine itself, in order to maintain purity in doctrine and in practice.

A variation by Barth on his own phrase is Ecclesia reformata semper reformanda. This means “the reformed church (is) always to be reformed”. Meaning our need for change or evaluation is never down.

We need to not be complacent in the way we do things, but always evaluating the best practice. We must be willing to follow Christ where He is leading us, regardless of where we have been, or if we see we need to do something differently. We need to always be focused on Christ and where He is leading us.

To help all of us do this we will be doing a rededication process here at St. John’s starting on Reformation Sunday.  We will individually look at our lives and as a whole we will rededicate our lives to Christ and commit to follow where He is leading us. We will reform ourselves to the body He has created us to be so we might truly be His hands and feet in this place, at this time.

 

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Transformed Lives

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. 3For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, 5so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. 6We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; 7ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; 8the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness. (Romans 12:1-8, NRSV)

We are all the body of Christ. I pray each week that we will be united as the body of Christ, that what joins us together would be enough to keep us together and the things that we have created that separate us would be pushed aside. Here in Romans 12, we read one of the three passages about the body of Christ and the many members that make it up. We all have our role to play and we need each other to make this work. We can not fight each other but must be united in the ministry that God has given us.

We all have a gift to us and we must use it for the betterment of society. Martin Luther said a Christian shoemaker doesn’t show his faith by putting crosses on his shoes, but by making the best shoes he can for everyone. We use our gifts for the glory of God and for the betterment of society. We are all in this together and we should work with each other.

Let your life be transformed by God and show His love to all the world.

 

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The Council at Jerusalem

The whole assembly kept silence, and listened to Barnabas and Paul as they told of all the signs and wonders that God had done through them among the Gentiles. After they finished speaking, James replied, “My brothers, listen to me. Simeon has related how God first looked favorably on the Gentiles, to take from among them a people for his name. This agrees with the words of the prophets, as it is written, ‘After this I will return, and I will rebuild the dwelling of David, which has fallen; from its ruins I will rebuild it, and I will set it up, so that all other peoples may seek the Lord— even all the Gentiles over whom my name has been called. Thus says the Lord, who has been making these things known from long ago.’ Therefore I have reached the decision that we should not trouble those Gentiles who are turning to God, but we should write to them to abstain only from things polluted by idols and from fornication and from whatever has been strangled and from blood. For in every city, for generations past, Moses has had those who proclaim him, for he has been read aloud every sabbath in the synagogues.” (Acts 15:12-21, NRSV)

Once we hear about the many wonders the Gentiles are doing then we know that God has given them the Spirit. And so they do not need to uphold all of the law of Moses, but we should write to them to abstain only from things polluted by idols and from fornication and from whatever has been strangled and from blood.

Again we do not all have to be the same, and follow the same guidelines, but we have to follow the same Lord. Who calls us all from different places in different ways to be who we are a gift to the body of Christ!

 

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Gifts

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses. For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:4-13, NRSV)

We are all amazing bodies that function together to let us type and move. We do so many things without thinking about them and forget how amazing the fact we are able to do anything is. And that is how the church is.

The church is the body of Christ and all of us are a part of it. We each have a gift to use in the body.

All of us can’t do the same thing, we all have something special to do.

It is a gift. Use your gift for God.

 

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one

I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:1-6, NRSV)

We are to be united in what holds us together.

There is one body.

There is one Spirit.

There is one calling.

There is one Lord.

There is one faith.

There is one baptism.

There is one God.

There is one Father of all.

We have this in common, so nothing should keep us from being in unity!

 

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