Saturday, April 13, 2013

April 21, 2013 - Fourth Sunday of Easter

Breaking Open the Scriptures Scriptures for April 21st: Acts 9:36-43; Psalm 23; Revelation 7:9-17; John 10:22-30 Theme: all of creation has responsibility to worship God; Song: Marching to Zion – UMH 733 Acts: The whole purpose of the book of Acts is the demonstrate the workings of the Holy Spirit in the beginnings of the early church. Whenever the book mentions an important step of the Spirit, is also tells of a sign and wonder. The story of Tabitha precedes the disciple’s early interactions with the gentiles. known Jesus personally. But the scripture also says that she was a woman who was dedicated to the church and gave much. So of course when she dies, there is she is raised from the dead. The point of the story is that the holy Spirit was at work in Tabitha during her life. It was her faithfulness and her service that restored her life. She shows us what is in store for us, if we are faithful also. Revelation: Last week we looked at the host of heaven. We looked at all of the heavenly figures that were present around the throne. It shows that all of creation is responsible for the praise of God. This was a vision not of the future, but of each and every day. But as we enter into chapter 7, we see that the faithful people are also a part of the heavenly choir. A number no one can count from all over the world are present to praise God. Life has not been easy for these people, but they made it through all of the trouble, they are now dressed in white. Once again, we need to be reminded that this is not the future, but this is today. We have a chance to praise God with all that we are, we have a chance to wear white to represent the struggle, but most importantly, it was the sacrifice of the lamb which allows us to celebrate that we have been redeemed, so that we can stand before God and sing his praises. Questions: What service do we give to God? How will people react when they come to our funeral? Will they be sorrowful of relieved? How does the holy Spirit bless the work that we do on behalf of God? What miracles have happened in our lives to show us that God is about to do greater things? What does it mean to praise God with everything that we are? How have we been redeemed from the hard times in our lives? Do we hear the praise of God within creation? Do we hear the praise of the heavenly angels?

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