Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Good News for You

Small churches can do things in liturgy that large churches cannot.  At Saint Andrew's, every member is a minister.  So the congregation itself preached the Easter sermon.

And they said nothing to anyone.  For they were afraid. (Mark 16:8)


Well, they must have got over it.  'Cuz here we are.

They must have told someone, who told someone, who told someone, who told...

Sister Marilyn.  Who told me that God loves me.  And she gave me a pair of shoes, because mine were worn out.

Someone told Luke Johnson, who told me I didn't have to be a good girl for God to love me.  And he listened, too.  He listened for hours to a troubled soul in seminary.

Today I buy my own shoes, and my insurance pays someone to listen to my troubled soul.  But where would I be, if nobody ever told me the Good News of God in Christ?  What kind of life would I live?

We have promised, with God's help, to do what Sister Marilyn and Luke Johnson and Mary Magdalene did.  We have promised, by word and example, to proclaim the Good News of God in Christ.

Now I know you.  I know that you give.  I trust you to listen.

But will you use words?  Will you say what somebody needs in the middle of the night, when they need the Good News of God in Christ?

And what will you say?  You know, this is a friendly crowd.  No need to be afraid.  You can practice. And God knows, we all need to hear the Good News again this morning.

Don't give us a sermon.  Twenty-five words or less -- leave time for everybody to take a turn.

What is the Good News of God in Christ for you?

[At this point, half the congregation preached the rest of the sermon, most from in front of the congregation, some from their pews, one email, and one private report later of what he had said to his family earlier in the week.  What follows is a sampling.]

As a nine year veteran of Parkinson's Disease, I live with love, hope, faith and a call to service: all gifts from God through knowledge in Christ. -- Anna

God loves me just as I am.  He forgives me when I repent.  Jesus died so that, because I believe, I will have eternal life. -- Jan

Thank God for his grace and mercy.  For he died on the cross to forgive all our sins, past, present and future.  For Jesus tells me that the ultimate love is forgiveness. -- RD

The motto of Lenox School is not to be ministered unto, but to minister.  That led me under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to reach out to those in need and draws me ever closer to the ministry of Christ. -- Larry

Every year when we hear the Easter story, it never fails to fill me with awe.  When Christ went through all that horrible pain and suffering for us, I can't imagine that much love he had for us.  It makes me feel very unworthy. -- Sally

God's presence in my life was re-ignited when I walked up the stairs to this Parish and Neva MacPhearson opened the door for me.  Knock and the door will open.

We are loved; we are forgiven; through God's grace we are free. -- Steve

Christ gives life to my life!  Christ opens my mind and heart to all that is!  Christ frees me from my fears!  Christ is love in me and everywhere! -- Janet

I will not leave you orphaned.
My plans for you are peace and not disaster.
Do not fear.
I have called you by name,
You are mine. -- Helen

The Women at the Sepulchre by Benjamin West, 1805, in public domain
A Pair of Shoes by Van Gogh, in public domain
photo of open door by Richard Croft, used under Creative Commons license


  1. 25 Words - I am, you are, life is - precious. God uses all - experiences; people to reveal the truth, hope, beauty, peace and power of God's transforming Love.

  2. 25 words or less - Forgiveness and Resurrection.