Theme – The Tie That Binds – Considering Church
Understanding what ties/binds believers (the church) together. First encounters following resurrection, apostles training, continued throughout the book of Acts, reveal to us the ties that bind. – “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12
Parting Words/Life Calling – Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:16-20 (will look again at this passage on June 7)
Divinity School Accelerated Intensive (Chosen Disciples/Followers Prepare to Lead Church)
Apostles now take a 40 day intense seminary doctoral class preparing them to lead the Believers, the church. In this time he takes everything he taught and did, with the enlightenment of the now infilling of the Holy Spirit (John 20:22), and opens their minds to fully understand his words and actions from past three years.
The First Lesson – Peace
First Words from God (through angel) and then From Jesus (and again to Thomas)
To women (don’t be afraid) and to men (Peace be with you). In our passage today, as well as last week, we see each initial words be words of peace. Proclaimed to all – Angel said this to the women and then Christ said same. Christ said to disciples and then again to Thomas.
The Explanation of Peace – not a change in situation -followers receiving this ‘peace’ are not returning to ‘peaceful situations’ – they are returning to same scary/chaotic circumstances they were living in prior to proclamation of peace.
External Living Through An Inner Assured Peace
For thus says the Lord: Only when Babylon’s seventy years are completed will I visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart,
Peace is the Catalyst of our Seeking Journey
Sometimes we need to be reminded/shown the peace, sometimes others need to be reminded/shown the peace.
Author Anne Lamott Talks of her worst, and best, days of life, in the midst of a drunken stupor, walking by a small church and wandering in to hear the choir singing inside and being confronted by a Peace she had never experienced – this was the beginning of her believer journey.
The Practice of Peace
Peace is Our Core Determinate – It guides how we respond, how we react, how we deal with pain and turmoil, how we survive crisis and disaster, how we interact with others, how we love, how we disagree, how we live.
Peace Cannot Share Space with Turmoil, Hate, or Anger (plus pride, arrogance, insecurity, self centeredness, selfishness, etc.) – Possibly the three most dangerous detractors from Power, Politics, and Religion.
Peace is Necessary to Fully Know and Communicate Jesus to the World