Inviting Folk to an Online Easter

Easter Reimagined (LMAP)Easter 2020 worldwide looks different. Not the message, but indeed the form.

The Easter message of death followed by life in Jesus is a glorious message of hope and perhaps as relevant and important for all to hear in the midst of a pandemic. If life matters, as it clearly does given the extraordinary measures that are being taken worldwide to stop the spread of this virus, then now is the time to proclaim the Easter message!

What has changed is the form. The opportunity to physically gather together with others to proclaim that ‘Christ is risen, he is risen indeed’ is not possible. And so we gather online and in many new and creative ways. Never before has there been such an opportunity for folk to connect into Easter without having to put a foot outside their front door. What an opportunity.

Anyone (with an internet connection) can step into church without the fear of having to make small talk, or the worry about what to do or where to sit, or the concern that they might ‘out’ themselves as someone who might just possibly be open to considering Jesus or his message. They can sit hidden behind their screen, undetectable to those who are proclaiming the Easter message.

How can we invite folk to join us online?

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Talk – How Can I be Sure? (1 Cor 15:1-19 and John 20:24-31)

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Foundational to belief of Christianity, is the historical reality of the person of Jesus and with that comes his well-documented life, teaching, death and resurrection.

Whilst it is true that belief in the existence of Jesus may be a no brainer and acknowledging his death traditional – to allow his teachings to shape the way we live, or to hold to the idea of a resurrection – for some is a step too far.

There are a chorus of Atheist voices who have spoken loudly against religion. That is not new, every age in history since and including the time of Jesus has seen opposition to organized religion – and at times, sadly, the opposition has been well placed.

In a series of short talks, we look at what the ‘new atheists’ say about the resurrection, before examine the resurrection for ourselves. The hope that we might be able the weigh up what is said and reordered in scripture and history and make our own decisions about faith.

Read the Bible Text – 1 Cor 15:1-19; John 20:24-31

Talk Outline – How can I be Sure?

– Ken Noakes

 

Sermon – Why, What, When of Forgiveness (John 18 – 20)

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Easter is a special time for many around the world – a time to reflect, to be thankful, to lift our minds and hearts above the day to day and to appreciate the world we live in.

Arguably, more than any other event in history, Easter has shaped our world. The coming of the man Jesus and then his arrest, trial, crucifixion and then resurrection stunned the world. What Jesus taught about life, love, good works, sin, justice, forgiveness, hope has shaped cultures, governments, legislation, education, tradition and so much more. Yet his death and resurrection transformed people’s lives and gave a personal hope beyond the grave. Love him or loath him, he has left his mark for the benefit of generations across history.

In this trilogy of Easter talks, we walk with Jesus through the pages of John’s Gospel from his arrest to his resurrection.

– David Shead

Read the Bible Text – John 18:1-27

– David Shead

Read the Bible Text – John 18:28-19:42

– David Shead

Read the Bible Text – John 20:1-31

Sermon – Who says I will be judged?

LMAP - Easter2019 - CoverPhoto

We all like and want justice – yet justice is not possible unless there is judgement (vindicating the good and condemning the bad). In Jesus you have a judge – who is just, right and good. Can we say the same about our own judgements?

Read the Bible Text – John 5:16-30; John 12:44-50

Talk Outline – Who says I will be judged

– Ken Noakes

– David Shead

A Strangers Letter

Dear Church,

I received your invitation for the Easter Services in my letterbox this week. There was a nice note attached which seemed genuine. You are that church that I drive past on the way to the shops – with the tower – and the old sandstone? The sign out the front seems very friendly.

You seem to be an inviting church. I have been thinking about your invitation. Should I come?

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What does it mean?

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Amazed and perplexed they asked ‘What does this mean?’. You see, in Jerusalem that day there were Jews representing many nations and languages and yet each one heard the proclamation of the Holy Spirit in their own language. They were bewildered because the disciples of Jesus could speak in their own vernacular – and they made perfect sense! How strange to hear something so clearly and yet not understand.

Have you ever found yourself looking at what God is doing and wondering: ‘What does this mean?’ I have!

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Imagine a World Where Death Wins…

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In some ways it’s not hard to imagine a world without Easter. Even though most are pleased to enjoy the blessing of a long weekend, most live without Easter making any difference to their lives.

It’s not that the public holiday is the issue. Many of us enjoy other public holidays, without making much difference to our own lives. If our theme was  ‘Imagine a world without the Adelaide Cup’, we’d probably think we’d be all the better for it!

When Tom Playford was premier during the war years, he shut down the racing industry. Apparently the Prime Minister of the day had issued the instruction to close non-essential services because of the war effort, and Playford thought racing fitted the category (this was reportedly not what the PM had in mind, and the industry was reinstated a year later).

What would happen if we shut down the Easter ‘industry’?

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