Apr 2
April 2, 2021, 11:12 AM
 

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April 2, 2021

 

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Death and Hope

The Rev. Dr. William Willmon

 

Paul says that Christ’s people,

“Do not grieve as those who have no hope” (1 Thess 4:13).

We grieve, but not without hope.

Where’s the hope?

 

I know hope is not in our sappy slogans, our merely human progressive strategies. Nothing human is a match for Death.

As the last Pope said, “Only God has a future.”

 

Here’s the brash claim that is Christian hope: Jesus Christ

  1. done in Death. Jesus stood up to hate, refused to cower before government tyranny, broke down barriers, talked back to injustice and then, did decisively that which we can’t: he defeated death. As Paul said, when it comes down to it (as eventually it will for you, even if you are not as ancient as I) “the final enemy to be defeated” is Death (1 Cor 15:6).

 

The Christian faith begins in a cemetery, where God mugged Death: the resurrection of crucified Jesus. Jesus’ disciples didn’t expect it. “It was a good campaign while it lasted, but didn’t get him elected Messiah.” “Poor Jesus, one of the nicest people you’d ever hope to meet. Maybe he’ll live on in our memories. Matthew, you ought to write a book about it.”

 

The women got to the tomb while it was yet dark. The stone was rolled away! An impudent angel, “Looking for crucified Jesus? Sorry. Just missed him, again. He’s probably out in Galilee by this time in the morning.”

 

That night, the disciples fearfully huddled together behind locked doors. (What they did to Jesus, they could do to his followers.) Suddenly, a stranger kicked in the door, stood among them, showed the holes in his hands and feet, and said, “Peace! Like I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted by crucifixion….”

 

“Wow. This Jesus thing isn’t over. It’s just beginning. Death tried to shut him up; God brought him back to us.” And they exploded into the world with good news: “In Jesus Christ, Once-Almighty Death is dead!”

 

Who is Jesus? “I am resurrection and life.” (Note he didn’t say, “I will be the resurrection. I am. Now. When you find yourself at the end of your rope, a dead end, an ICU, or before a man with a gun, fear not. I am resurrection. I am life.

 

While Death is real, terrible, the final foe, Death has been

done in by Jesus. Christians can be brutally honest about

Death because we now know that God is the One who

refused to allow Death to keep Israel enslaved or to have the last word on Jesus.

 

- The Rev. Dr. William Willmon, retired Methodist Bishop and currently Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry and Director of the Doctor of Ministry program at Duke University Divinity School

 

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Easter Services

Sunrise Service @ 7:30 am

in the Apostle's Garden (masks required)

We hope you will join us. When you arrive, drive under the portico, where our communion servers

will provide you with sanitized communion

elements and a song sheet.

 

Parking Lot & Online both @ 10:30

Our Online Sunday Celebration

is on our Website and on Facebook

 

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This Holy Week honor Jesus' gift to us by walking the Stations of the Cross on our nature trail with fourteen scenes depicting events experienced by Jesus on the day of his crucifixion.You can walk the trail alone or in a family group using Guide Booklets that will be available in the kiosk at the edge of the parking lot.

 

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A new sermon series beginning next Sunday, April 11

 

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Please pray for these . . .

 

For all of those in our community

who are in great need and are being impacted in

ways we can't comprehend by this pandemic.

 

Also for these with special health needs

and those experiencing grief.

 

Kathy Kunschik; Greg LaCoss; Erin West; Cookie Paradeaux;

Kerry Rash; Honey Cuellar; Kelly Casparis and Family;

David Voight; Charles Scott; Covid Vaccine (praise); Phillip Reyes; Mary Hinson and family; Leslie Detamore; Rex Dowden; Meghan Rameriz; Guye Rheinlander; Rebecca Chapmon;

Vicki Roberts; Dawn Jester; Bert Cobb;

Susan Pruett; Jackie Cable; Judy Deforest;

Kathy Smith; Tracy Wilson; Dorothy McLendon; Mary Tijerina;

Dawn Shank; David Warren; Richard McDaniel;

Ellen & Manfred Kremkus; Lois LaCoss; David Druham;

Rose Seagrave; (Praise) Jay Monson; Jackson Karlik & Family

 

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SUMMER CAMPS!!!

Mission South and Disciple Oaks is happy to announce

that registration is NOW OPEN for Summer Camps 2021.

(note that Shawn Colson is the

CYF Conference CO-Director)

You can register on our website- https://www.discipleoaksretreat.net.

For a copy of this flyer you can download it on the website. For a copy of the Mission South Summer Camp 2021 Fees and a copy of the CampDoc Registration Instructions check out the website.

Information will also be mailed to all churches soon.

 

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APRIL ANNIVERSARIES

Charles & Joye Blankenship - 04/01

Kristi & Chris Cunningham - 04/09

Leta & Prince Altom - 04/13

Susan & Tom Ballard - 04/16

Bobby & Meredith Williams - 04/16

Tory & Katie Carpenter 04/18

 

APRIL BIRTHDAYS

Derek Wigley - 04/02

Jarret Penter - 04/03

Janet Schlotter - 04/04

Kathy Burns - 04/05

David Cuellar - 04/06

Aubrey Ellison - 04/06

W. C. Carson - 04/07

DJ Warren - 04/07

Crystal Baker - 04/08

Dick Baker - 04/08

Caleb Casparis - 04/12

Adam Jester - 04/12

Nikki Quinn - 04/16

Gregory Ross - 04/16

Sherryn Voight - 04/16

Deborah Wesson - 04/22

Prince Altom - 04/22

Garrison Bach - 04/24

Nancy Roberts - 04/24

Demarcus Richardson - 04/28

Paige Sutphen - 04/29

Kerry Rash - 04/30