I would love to hear how some of you preachers started out your Easter sermon this year.
To set up a sermon on Peace from John 20, here’s the route I chose…
I was blessed this week to have an annual physical with my physician in Nashville.
It was so much fun.
Apart from having tremendous eyesight and perfect bloodwork, for which I am grateful, there are a couple of things he brought to my attention.
First, I have put on some pounds since last year. When I got on the scales, I thought they were playing an early April Fool’s joke on me.
Second, I drink way too much caffeine.
Third, I am having a reflux issue he wants me to pay attention to.
Finally, the doctor had a couple of suggestions regarding my exercise routine.
As I said, so much fun.
Now. Let’s say I go back in March 2019. I get on the scales and I’ve put on some additional pounds (not muscle).
Let’s say that my caffeine intake is still too high.
Let’s say there are still reflux issues.
Same things as 2018.
And let’s say he asks me, “Matt, did you do what I told you to do last year?” What’s my answer more than likely going to be?
If I were him, you know what I would say next?
“Matt, if you aren’t going to do what I suggest, why do you come?”
I would have demonstrated a wasted trip to the doctor. Why go? Why listen to him? Why pay someone to tell you how to be healthy if I am just going to ignore him and still wonder why I am lethargic or breathe heavy when I run or can’t focus sometimes? If I am not going to do what he said, what’s the point? If I go back next year and nothing has changed – or, if things have even gotten worse – it would have been a wasted trip. He will have wasted his efforts on me. I will have wasted insurance dollars.
I wonder how many of us come back to a service on Easter Sunday morning feeling the same way we did last year, spiritually?
I wonder how many of us, those who are here every time the door is open and those of us who come every now and then, come and express our belief in the resurrection – but never see any change? We never have any real peace? We talk about the “Prince of Peace” a lot. But do we ourselves never really have it?
Could it be that the answer is right under our noses, but we simply do not pay attention to it? Could it be that the way God intended things to be are right here – crystal clear – but we have wanted to listen to the ways we think are right?
We wonder what is wrong with our lives, with our souls, with our spiritual well-being – with our emotions, with our relationships, with our peace, with our church, with the emptiness of our lives – and we come back year after year after year, ignoring what we’re told plainly in the Scriptures?
What about you? How did you start off your Easter sermon this year?