They had been saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?" When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. –Mark 16:2-3
The earliest ending of the Gospel of Mark stops dead with silence and fear. Later Christians added more verses to make the point that the original Gospel author made without words: the women who went to the tomb Easter morning were on ajourney beyond the tomb of fear and despair toward resurrection hope. And so are we.
looking for God’s abundance, instead of getting stuck on what seems scarce
choosing honesty over comfort
remembering the resurrection: we don't know the future...what we do now makes a difference
from isolationto relationship
All who believed were together and had all things in common. –Acts 2:44
Life is too hard to live alone, so Jesus gave us the church and all our relationships. Cooperation and community are signs of the reign of God. They are soul-food. When in doubt, start a new relationship or strengthen an old one. When overwhelmed, build a team.
reaching out, instead of hiding out
valuing people for who they are, not what they do for you or how they make you feel
setting aside time to listen to other people, as an act of leadership and love
from inertiato action
“Very truly, I tell you, the one who trusts in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these…” –Jesus to disciples, John 14:12
A shark must swim to breathe. The most dangerous direction for a sailboat to go is nowhere, because then it’s at the mercy of the water currents. Worship, like the life of faith, is about participation not perfection. Jesus heals the paralyzed, gets the lame walking, turns spectators into servant-leaders, and raises the dead.
praying, because prayer can be action, just like action can be prayer
paying attention to impacts and outcomes, instead of attitudes and intentions
making a plan, sharing it with someone, and asking them to hold you to it
from self-denigrationto self-love
Everything we do, beloved, is for the sake of building you up. –2 Corinthians 12:19
Receiving love is often harder than giving love. Giving yourself grace, love, and rest often feels selfish, but it’s a risk worth taking. Otherwise, life turns into a big hustle, trying to prove we’re worthy of love and belonging. Jesus died so we may live.
saying no, setting boundaries, and asking for what you need and want
finding your “happy place”—meaning, cultivating your own passions and interests, separate from your spouse, children, work, or church—and supporting your spouse and others in doing the same
focusing on what you/others learned, instead of what you/they did wrong
Baptism into Christ's death and resurrection initiates people for these journeys. The bread and wine of communion--and the community gathered around the Word of God--feeds us for these journeys.
You can trust the Holy Spirit to draw you and this whole world toward hope, action, relationship, and self-love.
Thanks be to God.
Pastor Clark Olson-Smith
Sunday Worship 9:15 am Wednesday Worship 7:15 pm 563-242-4102 Church Office Hours Mon-Thur 8-1