Sermon of April 22, 2012–“United Nations”

What a great Sunday of worship!!! We were really blessed this week with some great sharing of the Good News of Jesus’ resurrection. First, our pianist/organist/choirmaster Linda Dulaney accompanied Randy and Amanda Steele on “I Walked Today where Jesus Walked” by Geoffrey O’Hara. You can listen to the song here: I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked.

The sermon is entitled “United Nations.” The scripture text is Luke 24:36-49, an appearance of the Risen Jesus:

24:36b While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”24:37 They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 24:38 He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 24:39 Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”
24:40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 24:41 While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 24:42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 24:43 and he took it and ate in their presence. 24:44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you–that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 24:45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 24:46 and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 24:47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.24:48 You are witnesses of these things.

We met here in this dark alleyway. The Bricklayer's Arms, Leeds, U.K. See why I was suspicious?

“United Nations”  begins with a definition of the church as catholic, as in, universal. To illustrate some cultural differences and some of my own prejudicial follies, I told a story about meeting the Leeds Christian Union folks under a streetlamp in 1993.  Some more information regarding temptations came from Johnny Cash’s autobiography called Man in Black. The book is an honest study at how we fall into temptation through the most innocent of deceptions.  Finally, I ended the sermon with one a very moving personal experience of being at Mary’s house in Ephesus, Turkey, and experiencing what it means to be part of the church universal. You can find the audio of the sermon by clicking here: United Nations.

Mary's house, Ephesus.

My hope and prayer is that this sermon is a blessing to you, wherever you are listening to it.

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Joseph

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