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Posts Tagged ‘resurrection’

When I first read the Bible through for myself, as a teenager, I remember thinking, now I’ll find out what the “good news” is. That was the one urgent matter to me, because I didn’t buy the idea that anybody, especially God, could think Jesus’ execution was good news. I understood what it was trying to get at, and I’m deeply moved thinking that Jesus would give his life for us, but pressing the metaphor, to almost any degree, makes it fall apart for me.

What I discovered that year was what Jesus said the good news was – “the kingdom of God is near”. I’ve been chewing on that single assertion for 40 years. And despite the evidence to the contrary, I can’t help myself – I really do trust that Jesus knew what he was talking about. I see it on every page of the Bible – how near to us the reign of God is. As near as the breath of our bodies.

I love the stories of God’s promise to give us life, and new life, and more life. And Ezekiel’s vision in the valley of dry bones is one of the very best. I understand what it’s like to be an old, dry bone. That’s why the promise of the Spirit is so sweet.

These Bones Gonna Rise

Preached at Mt. Comfort Presbyterian Church on 27 May 2012.

(The file is a Windows Media Audio file – if you have problems, right click and download the file to listen.)

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Resurrection can be one of those confusing, embarrassing things. Not Jesus’ resurrection, of course. The problem comes when we start thinking about ours. Most people I know opt for the “death is a doorway into the next life” explanation and bypass the resurrection altogether, because why mess with this old body when you can get a new model with wings?  I don’t seem to have a lot of company, but I am comforted by the thought that when I die, I will be really truly dead. I actually think that’s the way God intended it from the beginning. But the idea of a bodily resurrection when God is ready to make good on the promise and make all things new is also incredibly comforting. A God big enough, smart enough, and powerful enough to reassemble not only my body, but my experiences, my memories, and my emotions is big enough, smart enough, and powerful enough to make good on every promise.

The Last Word, 1 Corinthians 15:1-27

Preached at Mt. Comfort Presbyterian Church on 8 April 2012. (The file is a Windows Media Audio file – if you have problems, right click and download the file to listen.)

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