Sunday, April 20, 2014
April 27, 2014 - Second Sunday of Easter
Breaking Open the Scriptures Scriptures for April 27th: Acts 2:14,22-32; Psalm 16; 1 Peter 1:3-9; John 20:19-31 Theme: New Life, New Hope; Song: To Thine be the Glory UMH 308 Acts: Throughout the Easter season, we will be reading from the book of Acts. It is a testimony of how knowing for themselves that Christ has arisen makes a difference. It totally changed the lives of these twelve men. The spirit was with them in order to change the lives of others. They needed to tell the world who Jesus was for them, so that others could see who Christ is for us all. So we start out with Peter’s sermon of how good God is. Peter was preaching hope to a hopeless world, and they needed to hear that message so badly that they responded. If Christ could overcome death, then surely we have to strength to deal with our lives also. If God showed his love for Christ, then he will show his love for us also. The good news is that the message of hope did not stop with those who witnessed Jesus for themselves. We witness the power of Christ for ourselves. We still have hope in a God who loves us. 1 Peter: It is customary for new Christians to be baptized just before Easter. They have been studying all year to understand what it means to be a Christian, and the first of Easter, they get their chance. But they, like all of us find that the test are not over, once you confess Christ. In many ways, the test just begin. That is why Peter is giving us words of encouragement in order to withstand the trials of life. To make sure that God gives the glory in all things – even the things that challenge us. the trials and temptations don’t change, but the way that we deal with them does. Because of Christ we have hope that things will always get better. Because of Christ we have to strength to endure when they don’t get better. Most important we have the faith to make things better for ourselves. Once we are baptized, our lives should be a witness to Christ to the rest of the world, our actions should demonstrate our trust in the Lord in all things. It is our faith that brings us salvation says Peter. Questions: When was the last time that you witnessed to others about what Christ has done for you and what Christ can do for others? Does springtime bring a renewal of your spirit? How do you pass that on to others? How does faith in Christ help you in times of trial? Do trials make your faith worse or better? What would those who see you think about the strength of your faith?