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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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Sins Forgiven Through Christ

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 3Now by this we may be sure that we know him, if we obey his commandments. 4Whoever says, “I have come to know him,” but does not obey his commandments, is a liar, and in such a person the truth does not exist; 5but whoever obeys his word, truly in this person the love of God has reached perfection. By this we may be sure that we are in him: 6whoever says, “I abide in him,” ought to walk just as he walked. (1 John 2:1-6, NRSV)

So if you say that you abide in Jesus you need to walk the walk that He did.

And if you do not do as He did you are a liar and do not follow after Jesus.

Meaning you must love everyone where they are and forgive them for how they have wronged you.

You must lift them up and clean them off and send them on their way better than when you found them.

So how do you do on this? Are you a follower of Jesus or a liar?

 

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Lost Sheep, Lost Coin

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. 2And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” 3So he told them this parable: 4“Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? 5When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. 6And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 7Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. 8“Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? 9When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ 10Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:1-10, NRSV)

This chapter is about lost things. Things that someone has lost and how they can be found.

It is also sometimes known for being about repentance.

If it is about repentance, how does a sheep repent and how does a coin repent?

You see I want to say these stories are not about the sheep or the coin. They are major players in the story but they are not the main ones.

The first story is about you and the second one is about a woman. They are about the people that lost the things. The shepherd, or you, look high and low for the sheep that wondered off leaving the rest of the flock to fend for each other. And the woman turns the house over looking for the lost coin.

How far would you go to find something you lost?

And what would you do once it is found?

 

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God’s Tangible Word of Life

We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us— we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. (1 John 1:1-4, NRSV)

What is joy? And beyond that what is complete joy?

Is it not having any problems or worries? Because that doesn’t exist.

Is it being happy all the time? Well, life will always give you a reason to be down if you let it, and happiness is really a choice.

Complete joy is knowing the love of the lord is something God gives to you freely because He wants to. Not because you earned it, or deserve it, but because He wants to be in a relationship with you.

God gives us life eternally with Him because he wants to and that my friends is joy.

Do you know this joy?

 

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The Boy Jesus in the Temple

Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor. (Luke 2:41-52, NRSV)

Why did you have to look? Did you not know I would be in my Father’s house?

Jesus was teaching in the temple at age 12 with authority the Pharisees did not have or understand. He was amazing everyone with His grasp on who God is.

Do we want to know all of the answers?

Or can we live in the knowledge that our Father has all the answers?

Do we look for Jesus?

Or do we think we know where to find Him?

 

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Where are you looking?

finished_cross_lens1Today marks the beginning of April, and we are well into the season of Spring. Spring when everything comes back to life, there is resurrection and new life all around us!

Just a few days ago, we gathered together and most of us probably read the story of Jesus’ resurrection from the gospel of Luke. Here we heard of the women going to the tomb to finish the preparation of Jesus’ body, and the stone is rolled away and He is not there. Amazed, two “men” say to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” Or “Why are you looking for Him here, when He told you He wasn’t staying long?”

Jesus told the disciples and all following Him all along, He would die and would rise again. Why did they not believe it?

Why do we not believe it?

Where are we looking for Jesus, that we won’t find Him?

Or where are we looking for a savior where He will not be?

What we know about our savior and this passage helps us remember where Jesus is and what He will do for us.

All things we give up will be replaced.

Did you give up something for Lent? And it was hard at first, but then you made it through to Easter and all was good. You realized you could live with out chocolate, soda, meat, or what ever it was. God gave you the strength to persevere and make it through. What else are you holding onto in life that you could give up to God and have Him replace it for something even better? Where are you looking that could be reformed?

We can always be reborn!

Being a born again christian is not something we Lutherans talk a lot about. But being born anew is something that Martin Luther said happened everyday when we wash our face and remember our baptism. We remember the love that God has for us, and that death and separation from Him through sin are only a confession away. And in that we are reborn and made anew in His image. Our gracious God gives us a new beginning every day! What are we holding onto that is keeping us from the life God intended for us? Where are we looking to find hope, when it is releasing our sins and looking to Him?

What is lost can be found!

We have all wandered off like the sheep, or rolled away like the coin, or walked away from the family like the younger brother. But Jesus never gives up looking for us. He never stops looking for those who wander away. He is always searching for the lost. Even when it gets dark and lonely, God will not give up. Nothing will separate us from the loving kindness of God. He will continually look for us. Where have we wandered to look for hope? Maybe we should turn around and realize God has been searching for us.

The women go looking in the tomb. The disciples come running, to find an empty hole. We look for Jesus where we expect Him, or where our fears, stresses, guilt and shame tell us to.

Where are you looking for Jesus?

Is He there?

 

 

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lost

“Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven. What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost. (Matthew 18:10-14, NRSV)

When a shepherd losses a sheep, they leave the rest on the mountain and go looking for the one that is lost!?!?!?!?!?

Really! they leave the rest of the flock in the open country for wolves and other hunters to come and take them down with no protection and go looking for the one lost one!

Well there is safety in numbers, but a wolf or pack of wolves could come in and take them down…

But the point here is the love the shepherd has for all the sheep, and how He will do anything to make sure the fold is complete.

When we wander away He will be looking for us. Until we are no longer wandering lost, and we are found!

So know that when you feel lost, in order to find Jesus, and your way again, all you need to do is turn around and He will be there waiting and looking for you!

 

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