Help me get ready for Good Friday / Resurrection Sunday

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mattrose
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Help me get ready for Good Friday / Resurrection Sunday

Post by mattrose » Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:52 pm

I have been considering what to share this weekend for our special services

I will be sharing at a Maundy Thursday service
I will be sharing at a Good Friday service
I will be sharing at a Resurrection Sunday service

We'll be doing an actual footwashing service on Thursday (I'll share a devotional on John 13:1-17 beforehand), but I'm still working on Friday & Sunday. I had an idea the other day and wondered if my idea might be improved by through dialogue here on this site. My idea is to share '7 Stories of Sacrifice' on Good Friday and '7 Stories of Victory' on Resurrection Sunday (Power of the Cross --> Power of the Resurrection).

The trick is figuring out which stories to tell. Here's what I have so far.... but I'm open to other recommendations

7 Stories of Sacrifice
1. The cross (obviously where I'll start, followed by other examples of people following Jesus' example)
2. The story of Paul (his willingness to suffer for the Gospel)
3. The story of Polycarp's Martyrdom
4. The story of Telemachus
5. The story of St. Patrick
6. The story of the Anabaptists
7. A challenge to our group to continue the story of sacrifice

7 Stories of Victory
1. The resurrection (obviously where I'll start)
2. The story of Pentecost (the Spirit of Christ lives on)
3. The story of Paul (dramatic encounter with the risen Lord changes his life)
4. The story of Wesley (bringing life into 18th century Christianity... I am a Wesleyan after all)
5. The story of China (once Christianity was banned, it really started to thrive)
6. The story of Asbury (the revival that happened there)
7. A challenge to our group to continue the story of victory

Anyone have any better stories I might tell? Any of them seem weak?

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Homer
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Re: Help me get ready for Good Friday / Resurrection Sunday

Post by Homer » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:52 pm

Matt,

Regarding "sacrifice" it seems to me we read John 3:16 and do not take into account that God gave. I can easily envision giving my life fo either of our sons. I can not envision allowing one of them to die for me. And having either of them die for an enemy of mine is impossible. But God gave His Son for his enemies! Now that is sacrifice.

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Re: Help me get ready for Good Friday / Resurrection Sunday

Post by morbo3000 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:29 pm

"The Bible" on The History Channel forced me to have a conversation with my boys about Abraham's being called to sacrifice his son. It's one thing to read about it' another thing entirely to see a dad loving his son, luring him (so to speak) up a mountain to be sacrificed to a god who has instructed him to. Hard to understand a god who requires a blood sacrifice. Wrestling with that is worthwhile. If for no other reason than to put ourselves in the shoes of people we share the gospel with who wonder why this god would require a sacrifice, and his son would tell his disciples to eat his flesh and drink his blood.

[caps of deity in lower case intentionally. not out of disrespect for God.. but telling the story from the perspective of someone who doesn't know to call this god, God.]
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mattrose
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Re: Help me get ready for Good Friday / Resurrection Sunday

Post by mattrose » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:34 pm

http://reknew.org/2013/03/penal-substit ... ed-to-vent

I think Boyd did a good job, in the above video (from today) highlighting the potential problems of the penal substitution view of the atonement.

Just to clarify, my devotional on sacrifice is not about penal substitution, but about Jesus' willingness to suffer and die (in some sense, for us). I want to emphasize the POWER of sacrifice (verses the supposed power of violence).

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jriccitelli
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Re: Help me get ready for Good Friday / Resurrection Sunday

Post by jriccitelli » Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:58 am

Matt, I believe in peace, and I want to have peace for my family and for my neighbors. This is Gods will also.
I believe in protecting the peace and protecting others from harm.
After reading your post, what came to my mind is the millions of men and family’s who gave their own sons and daughters to protect causes of freedom, and who ask only one thing – respect freedom – I was thinking of the beach in Normandy actually when I read this, not to mention our own Civil war and those who fought purposefully to set the slaves free.
(there are hundreds of books filled with courageous Christian martyrs among the stories of world battles)

True, China, persecution and martyrdom establishes a strong committed Christianity (and freedom can produce a weak, lukewarm, pathetic Christianity), yet to say; ‘allowing others to outlaw Christianity, close all our churches and outlaw the Bible’ would somehow lead the way to a healthier Christianity would be going off the deep end. I know you are ‘not’ saying this, but I always like a balanced theology when I hear a sermon, as a suggestion and respect for our military and service people.
It is a little late to suggest anything for Sunday (but I know our Pastor is working on his today also), still I would say; if I was in the audience I would be listening for the balanced perspective of love, meaning love also means laying down your own life for another. In one sense we lay down our life for the Gospel, that is we do not deny the Author of the Gospel when we are challenged to deny Him, or challenged to deny Christianity (i.e. Peter and rooster), but the work of the gospel is to make love real.

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mattrose
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Re: Help me get ready for Good Friday / Resurrection Sunday

Post by mattrose » Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:00 am

I was pleased with how last nights devotional went. I did switch out Patrick for Mother Teresa.

jriccitelli,

While I am thankful for the troops... and while they are a great example of sacrifice... my theme was kingdom sacrifice. I, personally, feel that military efforts are sacrifices for worldly nations or principles like freedom, but they are not specifically kingdom sacrifices. In fact, in my opinion, the very method of the military is in pretty stark contrast with kingdom principles.

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jriccitelli
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Re: Help me get ready for Good Friday / Resurrection Sunday

Post by jriccitelli » Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:47 am

In fact, in my opinion, the very method of the military is in pretty stark contrast with kingdom principles.
The only benefit to pacifism would be that - pacifists would then come face to face with evil, rather than standing behind what others have protected them from all along. The effects of tyranny and dictatorships and evil may need to be ‘experienced’ before one should suppose that you really want this for your family and friends. Those behind the lines often will never know the enemy that is kept at bay by those who have protected them at the front. Do you think the reason there is no one standing outside the door right now with a knife is 'because of' worldwide pacifism?

Is working 60 hours a week to feed and shelter your family a kingdom sacrifice, or a worldly principle?

Is loving and caring for your children, family, community, and nation a kingdom sacrifice, or a worldly pursuit?

Aren’t our daily sacrifices also a part of our life in the kingdom, giving of time and money, and love?

Are acts of service ‘not specifically kingdom sacrifices’?

if so, why cannot dying or being injured in battle be a great example of Kingdom sacrifice?

It seems to me a child caring for an elderly parent could be an example of kingdom sacrifice.

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mattrose
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Re: Help me get ready for Good Friday / Resurrection Sunday

Post by mattrose » Sun Mar 31, 2013 1:54 pm

jriccitelli wrote:
In fact, in my opinion, the very method of the military is in pretty stark contrast with kingdom principles.
The only benefit to pacifism would be that - pacifists would then come face to face with evil, rather than standing behind what others have protected them from all along. The effects of tyranny and dictatorships and evil may need to be ‘experienced’ before one should suppose that you really want this for your family and friends. Those behind the lines often will never know the enemy that is kept at bay by those who have protected them at the front. Do you think the reason there is no one standing outside the door right now with a knife is 'because of' worldwide pacifism?

Is working 60 hours a week to feed and shelter your family a kingdom sacrifice, or a worldly principle?

Is loving and caring for your children, family, community, and nation a kingdom sacrifice, or a worldly pursuit?

Aren’t our daily sacrifices also a part of our life in the kingdom, giving of time and money, and love?

Are acts of service ‘not specifically kingdom sacrifices’?

if so, why cannot dying or being injured in battle be a great example of Kingdom sacrifice?

It seems to me a child caring for an elderly parent could be an example of kingdom sacrifice.
Again, I am not saying that soldiers don't make great sacrifices. Nor am I saying that generally good guys haven't aided the world by defeating generally bad guys via violence. What I am saying is that defeating evil with violence is not a kingdom worldview. Instead, Christians are to defeat evil with good. If by 'pacifism' you mean NOT FIGHTING then I am not a pacifist. I'm a peacemaker. Peacemakers fight with prayer. They fight with truth. They fight with enemy-love. But they never fight with weapons. They never fight with that kind of might. Why? It doesn't make peace. Violence begets more violence.

There is nothing contrary to the kingdom worldview in working a 60 hour week to provide for your family. There is nothing contrary to the kingdom in caring for your earthly family, community and fellow earthly citizens. A willingness to die for your fellow people, too, could be a kingdom sacrifice. But violence is never a kingdom act. It may be possible to serve in the military without a willingness to act with violence.

On Veteran's Day or Memorial Day I am more than happy to express thanks for those who have had a willingness to serve others by joining the military... and especially those who have died in doing so. BUT ON RESURRECTION SUNDAY I will praise those who went the way of the cross. I will praise those who refused to return evil for evil. I will praise those who said no to violence and yes to a kingdom kind of sacrifice.

I believe in 2 kinds of kingdoms: The Kingdom of God and the kingdoms of men. The Kingdom of God is beautiful in its non-violence. The kingdoms of men vary. Some are better than others. I want the better ones to win. I think they serve a temporary and good role in the present age. But recognizing their positive role is different from equating them with the Kingdom of God.

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RICHinCHRIST
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Re: Help me get ready for Good Friday / Resurrection Sunday

Post by RICHinCHRIST » Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:10 pm

Amen to that preacher! I'm stealing this, "I'm not a pacifist, I'm a peacemaker". Beautiful!

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Re: Help me get ready for Good Friday / Resurrection Sunday

Post by jriccitelli » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:26 am

Rich before you steal anything you might be warned;
For the one in authority is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God's servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. (Romans 13:14)
And Rich, are you saying amen to allowing someone to assault a woman or child?
(as in; How do you plan to stop such an attack?)

Matt, Jesus means for us to ‘refuse’ aggressive behavior, and to not be aggressive. We don’t invoke violence, but we can stop an aggressor from violence. And we should neither use excessive force or violence on an attacker, but still total pacifism would be illogical.
Jesus would not stand by as someone attacked a child in his presence, the situation may not have presented itself but I think a lightning bolt or a millstone would be an option although I prefer to imagine Jesus showing some good grappling or restraint holds (maybe a quiet takedown or a hip throw with a wrist locklift)
(Remember; all judgments not rendered here ‘will be rendered’ postmortem by Jesus, but Jesus did not come to put an end to civil society, but he advocated a nonviolent peaceful ‘lifestyle’ and attitude)

Matt are you saying we should not have police or a military?
What nation (that possesses anything worth taking) does not have a military or a police?
Are you saying we should expect unbelievers and atheists to defend and man police stations for all us Christians?
Why should only unbelievers be expected to help protect and keep society civil?
Who do you call when your car gets stolen?
Do you think the peace officers are just going to go find the stolen car and politely ask the thief to give back the car?
This thinking does not work in this world, Jesus is not unknowledgeable or uninterested in order and rule. God puts a high respect on military and Jesus shows no dissatisfaction with the services of police and soldiers in scripture (and neither will I).
Peace

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