AND THE MAN BECAME A LIVING SOUL:  THE STORY OF THE APOSTLE THOMAS

A Sermon by Pastor Chico Martin

April 23, 2017

Lections Acts 2:14a, 22-32; Psalm 16: 5-11; 1 Peter 1:3-9; John 20:19-31

 “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you have not now seen him, you believe in him do and rejoice.” –1 Pet 1:8

 

Peter speaks the truth, doesn’t he!  You and I, like the original readers of his letter, “have not seen Jesus.” We “were not eyewitnesses of his life here on earth,” yet it’s fact, isn’t it, we “still love him!” We “believe in him and rejoice with joy!”[i]

Therefore, when Peter, quoting the prophet Joel, says at Pentecost, “And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved,”[ii] we can be confident that by praising Jesus, we obtain the promises of God and escape the wrath of the Day of Judgment.[iii] A new age has arrived,[iv] and God confirms the status of Jesus “by raising him from death and exalting him to his right hand.”[v] Continue reading

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EASTER PEOPLE: Pascha, April 16, 2017

A Sermon by Pastor Chico Martin

Gospel Reading: John 20: 1-10 (The Empty Tomb)

 

Christ is Risen! What an awesome and glorious gift is made for each of us to behold!  The Resurrection Day!  The day that marks our adoption as sons and daughters of the heavenly Father!  Today, Christ delivers all of creation from darkness into light:  with every breath we take, we give Glory to God.  We praise him for the perfect splendor and beauty of this day, for all the majesty and unending joy he has prepared for us!  We are made whole; we are made holy!  Behold, Christ is Risen!

The story of this morning begins with a woman.  Her name is Mary Magdalene, and she is beside herself.   She has devoted herself to the way of her teacher, Jesus, the only rabbi who includes women in his society.   Jesus is the man she has come to believe is the Messiah, the deliverer of her people from the oppressors of the world, and yesterday she stood with a small group of his followers and watched as this man Jesus died, hanging on a cross, another victim of this world of suffering and injustice.  Mary Magdalene is heart-broken.  A night has passed, a sleepless night, and she arrives before dawn at the tomb, Continue reading

Jerusalem Greets Its Deliverer:  The Man of Sorrows, Palm Sunday, April 9, 2017

A Sermon by Pastor Chico Martin

One way we can understand Palm Sunday is from a child’s point of view, so I want us all to think back to school days.  I know several of the folks in this congregation went to school in one room buildings that were heated with wood stoves.  Maybe you had electricity, and maybe there was a ceiling fan to circulate the heat.  Probably there was no indoor plumbing.  You walked to school, at least until high school, when if you lived too far away, you might have boarded in town for the school term.  There weren’t school buses, or cafeterias. Things were different then.  But there was one thing I am guessing we all share:  a memory of vocabulary lists and spelling tests.  Every week there was a new list of ten or so words we had to learn.  And the words we learned, or didn’t learn, have shaped us to this day.   Continue reading