Ain't No Grave & more
Friends... Today, please enjoy devotional tools of several kinds: Music, a Reading, and tonight's Prayer and Communion plans. As always, we thank you for your continued support of First Baptist in your pledges and gifts, and we continue to pray for ALL of you and yours!
Music: This piece of music comes to us all the way from Kodiak, Alaska. Those who traveled there with me remember Ellamy, who was a teacher at Kodiak Baptist Mission when we were there. She is a talented musician, and has given me permission to use some of her music to minister to us here in Massachusetts. Please enjoy:
Reading: Never let a good crisis go to waste, part 4 of 4:
Winston Churchill is credited with having said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste,” though the phrase cannot be found in his recorded speeches, personal notes, or his books. Illinois Congressman Rahm Emanuel did say it in 2008.[i]
It seems to me that that is exactly our call as Christians living in the weeks following Easter, not only this year, but every year. For Easter, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, created a crisis for the first disciples. What did they do with this new reality? We, as we live in the midst of staying in our homes, get more devotional readings from our pastor because of our current crisis – and thus more opportunities to read some of the many resurrection sightings of Jesus in the Bible. Here, then is reading 4 of 4 of those sightings. Read, reflect, and live your own crisis well.
Our last of the resurrection stories I’m going to share comes from the Apostle Paul, who writes in one of his letters to the Corinthians that more than 500 people saw Jesus risen from the dead. We don’t have any direct testimony from these 500 people, but we also don’t have any record of anyone telling Paul that 500 people did Not see Jesus. Jesus showed up to a large crowd, because showing up to a few people still puts the validity of his resurrection in question. But showing up to a big crowd makes it much more obvious – Jesus had risen from the dead. God had overcome death. Fact.
We weren’t part of those 500 people, yet we claim to know Jesus’ resurrection as truth. We believe by faith, but we also have heard the testimony of so many – literally hundreds – who have physically seen Jesus. It would hold up in any court of law, and no doubt Jesus knew that.
Jesus is alive. Fact. Amen.
1 Corinthians 15:1-8, Common English Bible:
Brothers and sisters, I want to call your attention to the good news that I preached to you, which you also received and in which you stand. 2 You are being saved through it if you hold on to the message I preached to you, unless somehow you believed it for nothing. 3 I passed on to you as most important what I also received: Christ died for our sins in line with the scriptures, 4 he was buried, and he rose on the third day in line with the scriptures. 5 He appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve, 6 and then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at once—most of them are still alive to this day, though some have died. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me, as if I were born at the wrong time.
Tonight's Service Reminder:
Prayer and Communion With 1st Baptist of Westwood Thu, Apr 23, 2020 7:20 PM - 8:00 PM (EDT)
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[i] Alan Rudnick. https://christiancitizen.us/churches-never-waste-a-coronavirus-crisis/. Accessed 4/7/2020.
[ii] Ellamy Tiller. Ain’t No Grave. (originally by Johnny Cash and Molly Skaggs). Kodiak, Alaska. Accessed 4/23/2020.