Sunday, April 16, 2017

What Have You Seen?

Resurrection Sunday
with John 20:1-18  @FirstUMCBville  @kerrfunk
Today’s scripture includes eyewitness reports of the empty tomb.
What have you seen? Empty linens that were full on Friday.
Peter & the other disciple go home.
• Mary Magdalene is in 2 scenes. What did she see? First she tells Peter & other disciple that the tomb is open, then shortly afterwards, she interacts with Jesus.
I have seen the Lord!
• Miracles happen so that people bear witness.
“All I can do is say, Here’s how it went. Here’s what I saw. I’ve been there and am going back. Make of it what you will.” (Peace Like A River, Leif Enger)
Consider the man born blind in John 9. Don’t know how Jesus healed him, only that he did. All the blind man wanted to do was tell that Jesus healed him.
• Baseball fans? The movie Field of Dreams was released 28 years ago this week. Has anybody ever been there? What did you see? I've been there. When I meet someone else who's been there, we share a fun connection.
Imagine traveling far away. Could be couple hundred miles, could be international. Imagine you bump into someone who’s wearing WV t-shirt. Instant connection. One of us. Shared experiences draw people together.
Shared negative experiences draw people together, too. I have a bond with other people who have torn their ACLs. My wife has a bond with other people who have taken care of their spouse recovering from ACL reconstruction.
• In Jesus we have shared experience with God.
What have you seen? Over 800 drug overdose fatalities in WV in 2016. Recent news includes a motorcycle fatality on Friday, just ten miles from here. A few days ago and the US dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb on Afghanistan. Syrian refugees and even hungry people in Bville. People suffer. Creation groans.
And Jesus suffered, knew all kinds of griefs and pains. One of us.
Paul writes in 6th chapter of Romans that the shared experience we have with Jesus gives us new life. Jesus died, we die with him, and, still united with him, as he received new life, so shall we. Victory over death, no longer slaves to sin.
• What have you seen? New life now. Over the last 15 years, global malaria deaths decreased by 60%, in large part due to The UMC’s Imagine No Malaria / Nothing But Nets program the last ten years. Making a difference.
Hungry people in Bville are fed. The Greater Bville Community Outreach was formed.
I am personally a transformed man because of the power of God and community.
• What have you seen?
Look, consider, tell, praise, give thanks.

• into Communion liturgy

John 20:1-10 (NRSV)
20 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. 2 So 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.” 3 Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. 4 The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7 and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples returned to their homes. ò
John 20:11-18 (NRSV)

11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; 12 and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her. ò

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Behold the Man

• Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday
with selections from Matthew 21, 26, 27  @FirstUMCBville  @kerrfunk
• Remember the one about the five blind men (who had never seen an elephant) that were asked to describe an elephant? (rope, tree trunk, tent flap, wall, snake)
• In our readings today we have several chances to “Behold the Man.” To see Jesus. What do different people see?
Crowds (Palm Sun): Jesus the hero, the exalted one, the king. Right?
Judas (Matt 26): This is not the leader I expected. This is embarrassing. Turn the other cheek? Wasteful? Foolish.
Peter, James, and John (Matt 26, in the garden): Spirit is willing flesh is weak. I am tired and distracted and confused. Much effort.
Pilate (Matt 27): Aligning myself with Jesus is political suicide, a real threat and hindrance to my career.
Jesus himself (Matt 26, in the garden): deeply grieved for what’s coming.
Willing to face what comes, for God, willing for the people.
• Last week DS Hayes on Philippians 2, Selfless Jesus, humble. Have his attitude.
Eyes of faith fixed forward together
Regardless of pain, Jesus focused on task, the ultimate yes to God.
Jesus says the ultimate yes for the Church as well.
• What do people see of Jesus in you?
Teacher, good man, son of God, savior?
• Jesus was unique in history and irreplaceable in salvation
He reconnects me with who God made me.
• Response: yes God, thank you God.

Prayer for Passion/Palm Sunday 281
• Hymn 295 In the Cross of Christ I Glory

Matthew 21:1-9 (NRSV)
21 When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.” 4 This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,
5 “Tell the daughter of Zion,
Look, your king is coming to you,
    humble, and mounted on a donkey,
        and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; 7 they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!
    Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!”