Saturday, March 22, 2008

Who are you looking for? John 20:1-18

Just the mention of Christmas stirs emotions within us. Images of a babe in a manger, gifts beneath the tree, Christmas carolers quickly come to mind. Each summons a sense of warmth and wonder. Easter’s images are more difficult; a rugged cross on a barren hillside, the darkened sky and quivering earth, an empty tomb. But, without the pain of cross and the miracle of the resurrection then Christmas looses its meaning. We will share two worship experiences on Easter at First Baptist Church of Oklahoma City. At 7:30 am we gather for a sunrise service that breaks the quiet of the early morning with the wonderful pronouncement that “He is Risen!” Our 10:30 am service is our larger, more exuberant service. We’ll look at John’s resurrection account found in John 20:1-18. It asks the question, “Who are you looking for?” It is no secret that many choose to go to church on Easter that rarely otherwise wander into its hallways. I think that they know that there is something of value in the Easter message, but they have not found the kind of relationship with God that impacts their everyday lives. The John resurrection story portrays what happens when one who was earnestly looking for Jesus finds him. Jesus’ voice strikes a cord deep within her heart. My hope is that in tomorrow’s worship service we can help folks hear that voice for themselves. My hope that you will look for the kind of relationship with God that can give you the sense of hope and peace you long for. If you go looking for Jesus and listen for his voice, then you will find him.

Because He Lives! Tom

1 comment:

Joey said...

Sorry I didn't make it to the sunrise service this morning, but I look forward to the 10:30 service. I think it's true that we find Jesus most easily when we seek him and expect him.

However, I'm also struck by other resurrection passages in which people encounter Jesus and don't expect him. He simply shows up in their lives. I'm thinking, for example, about Cleopas and friends on the road to Jericho. Jesus surprises them and reveals himself to them in their confusion.

Easter seems to be about the unexpected presence of Christ--outside the tomb, on the the Jericho road, in the locked room.

I seek after the resurrected Jesus every day, yet I still find myself surprised at each encounter.