Duration 6 Weeks
As we live out our lives of faith, we meet Jesus along the way. Sometimes this is a strong sense of His presence, while other times we are left unsure. During this post-Easter sermon series, we will hear stories of faith where people meet Jesus in ways that challenge their faith, redirect their paths and surprise their hearts. Jesus does the same for you in the most unlikely ways; living in the season of Easter, let’s Meet Jesus Again.
St. Stephen was a waiter… literally. He served people, primarily the poor. But through his service, he met Jesus again, and his faith came alive. Such passion could not be contained. This was not a lukewarm faith with a half hearted commitment. Once you meet Jesus again, your life is never going to be the same. For St. Stephen, meeting Jesus again resulted in him having the dubious honor of being the first Christian martyr.
The Ethiopian Eunuch is an outsider. He is not of the same people group as the Jews in Canaan. He works as an official in a foreign power. He is wealthy enough to have his own scroll, but doesn’t have a community to help him interpret what the Word is saying. Even this outsider has a place. The LORD sends Philip along a road who encounters this most out of place man. It doesn’t take long for the Eunuch to be baptized and brought into the family of God.
Paul was a zealot of the law. Blameless. Born of the right family. Raised in the right manner. Living a life or prestige and honor. And all of it is worthless compared to Jesus. When Paul encountered the risen Lord, everything, everything, changed. Friends became enemies. Valuables became worthless. Even living might invite death, and for Paul there’s no other way.
“Those people” are not welcomed here. “Those people” are not like us. We don’t mingle with the likes of “those people.” Peter wrestles with the notion of who is in and who is out. The classic description of the Jewish people doesn't hold true for Peter and the new Christian movement. The goal is no longer to live so that we can say that we have made ourselves righteous in the sight of the LORD; but rather, live so that others may say we serve a righteous God.
Do you have the right thoughts (orthodoxy)? No? Well, then we can't possibly have anything in common. Did you really vote for that political party? I do apologize, we simply can’t be seen together. We have always found ways of creating lines to exclude. Denominations are proof of our sin, not our righteousness. But God did the very best to show us that He loves us all. All means all. One of the biggest struggles in our faith journey is that there are other people on the Way with us.
Science is not an affront to God. Being intellectual is not a sin, as being ignorant is not a virtue. The LORD God is not contained within the limits of human understanding nor is He confined to that which cannot understand (God of the Void). When we think we have covered all the bases and God is finally under our control, He does a new thing. We cannot begin to fathom all that is infinite and, yet, He sends His son to us that He is well known.