Sermons and Classes
THANKS: Our thanks to everyone who helped in the highway clean up Saturday. Showing the community we care and being a part of serving the people of this area is important, and we appreciate everyone who helped do the work and for Richard Hoyt who has managed this work.
NEW CLASS: Our Wednesday night class is starting a new study. For the next several months we will be studying the miracles of Christ. Did they have a purpose? Were they really miracles? Were they just random acts of compassion by Christ, or was there a plan and a purpose behind each miracle? In today's world of all kinds of claims about miracles and miracle workers, this is an important study. Come and be a part of the class meeting at 7:15 each Wednesday.
CHRIS LANG'S FAMILY SAYS HELLO: The Marcussens and Claytons were at a workshop at Ohio Valley University April 6 – 9 and spent time with Chris, his wife, and kids. Chris is an important part of the work at OVU, and very active in the work of the Lord there. They have a very cute new baby and all seem to be doing well. They say hello to their family and to the church here.
A. The world Christian community considers it basic.I. EASTER — SPECIAL BECAUSE IT IS BASED ON THE PASSOVER.
1. Celebrates the resurrection of JesusB. Established by Council of Nicaea in 325
2. Preceded by Lent — 40 days of fasting, prayer
3. Maundy Thursday — celebrates last supper — John 13
4. Good Friday — Reminds us of the death of Christ
1. First Sunday after full moon following equinoxC. The word “Easter” is from “Eostre” an Anglo Saxon goddess. It is not a Bible word.
2. Many cultural practices have evolved.
A. Word here is Pascha (Passover) — Exodus 23II. EASTER — SPECIAL — IT RECOGNIZES THE RISEN CHRIST.
1. Passover Lamb, unleavened breadB. We celebrate “Easter” every Sunday — 1 Corinthians 11:25.
2. 1 Corinthians 5:6 – 8 — Christ is our “Passover Lamb.”
3. Luke 22:7 – 20 — The Lord's Supper established
C. Having a special annual celebration is what today is
1. Romans 14 — Special celebrations are not wrong.
2. Gives the Jewish connection to the Bible's message.
A. John 1:1–14; Colossians 1:15 – 23 — Jesus was divine.III. EASTER — SPECIAL BECAUSE IT REMINDS US WE HAVE HOPE.
B. Only Jesus rose from the dead — Acts 2:24; 1 Corinthians 15:25 – 26.
1. 2 Timothy 1:10 — Christ destroyed death.
2. Not seen in any other religious system.
A. 1 Corinthians 15:14 – 22
1. For atheists, death is the ultimate tragedy.B. Old age reminds us there is no future in this body.
2. Reincarnation offers no real hope.
C. The resurrection means something better is coming.
1. Revelation 21:1– 5D. Do you have hope?
1. Easter is a time of rebirth — have you been reborn?E. Revelation 22:12 –17
2. Acts 2:38; Romans 6 — we have a choice.
a. Be reborn or stay in this body — giving up hope
THE BACK PAGE
In studying for today's lesson, I was amazed at the Easter customs that have evolved around the world. Some are beautiful, some are funny, and some remind us of how easy it is to stray from the real meaning the Bible has for an event, and how mankind can contaminate that meaning.
In Greece, for example, flags are hung at half mast on Good Friday. On Holy Saturday the Eternal Flame is brought to Greece by military jet and distributed to waiting priests who carry it to their congregations. A midnight service is held called “The Service of the Resurrection” with all participants holding a white unlit candle. At midnight all the lights are extinguished except the Eternal Flame which is burning on the alter. At midnight the priest calls out “Christos Anesti” meaning Christ is risen and the flame is passed from person to person until all the candles are lit and great joy and celebration take place including fireworks and noisemakers.
On the Isle of Patmos a special ceremony of “The Washing of the Feet” is held on Thursday. On the Isle of Corfu the body of a patron Saint named Spyridon is carried around to perform miracles, and on Saturday ceramic pots are thrown out of people's windows to throw away evil. On the Isle of Crete a doll is made of old clothes from each house and burned symbolizing the burning of Judas. In Leonidio in Peloponnese on the night of the resurrection ot hair balloons are released by churches symbolizing the freeing of man from the sins of the world. This is just a sample, and Greece has an official information site available called “Easter Celebrations Around Greece.”
In some places such celebrations degrade into sinful activities, but in many places people have their faith recharged once a year by the special emphasis on Jesus and what he did for mankind. One purpose of our worshipping together each Sunday is to do the same and to grow and learn. We urge you to join us.
— John Clayton