Sermons

Wednesday, March 18 – Letter from the Pastor

By March 18, 2020 March 20th, 2020 No Comments
Dear Church Family,                          Day 4                                       March 18, 2020
I’ve been counseled to not do it.  The first thing my surgeon said when my eyes fluttered open after knee surgery was, “NO MORE RUNNING!”  But with the gym closed what is a guy to do.  I confess that the sunrise was glorious yesterday and today.  I start the run looking directly into its blinding brilliance.  Today it wasn’t quite up from its nighttime sleep.  But the sky was gorgeous and by the end of the trot I was “blinded by the light.”  I also prayed for our church.  I would like to think it was because I’m holy.  It may be because it kept my mind off the pain.  It was good to do either way.  And it made me think about the last sermon I preached before we established “social distancing.”
Genesis 2:8-9 reads, “Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden . . . In the middle of the garden (that was in the east!) were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.’
When Adam and Eve rebelled against God, they were clothed and led out of the garden.  “On the EAST side of the Garden of Eden God placed a cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of LIFE” (3:24).
The Garden of Eden was in the EAST and in the middle of that EASTERN garden was the Tree of LIFE.  Ezekiel in his vision sees the glory of God depart the temple and leave through the EASTERN gate and then sees the day when the glory will return through the same EASTERN gate only to hover over the temple.  Jesus road through the EASTERN gate of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and went immediately to the Temple.  The N.T. tells us we see the glory of God in the face of Jesus.  Jesus rose from the dead at sunrise.  The sun rises in the East.
And Jesus dies on a TREE.  Jesus gives up LIFE on the tree & we gain LIFE from the tree for cursed is everyone who hangs from a tree (Gal. 3:13).  The cross is the tree—TREE of LIFE.  Jesus is the LIFE—THE LIFE JESUS.
And how does our Bible end?  Revelation 22:2 & 14, “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city.  On each side of the river stood the tree of LIFE . . . Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of LIFE and may go through the gates into the city.” The Bible begins with the Tree of Life and ends with the Tree of Life because the Tree of LIFE is Jesus!!!!  And Jesus hanging on a tree is central to the whole story—THE LIFE JESUS!
Every sunrise should stir our imaginations with hope and vision.  During this time let us become more and more PEOPLE OF THE EAST!!!  Or as the Narnia poem goes . . .
Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
There is the utter East.
Or as the valiant little mouse said himself . . .
“My own plans are made.  While I can, I sail east in the Dawn Treader.  When she fails me, I paddle east in my coracle.  When she sinks, I shall swim east with my four paws.  And when I can swim no longer, if I have not reached Aslan’s country (The Kingdom of Heaven), or shot over the edge of the world in some vast cataract, I shall sink with my nose to the sunrise and Reepicheep will be head of the talking mice in Narnia.”   Click here to hear Reepicheep’s Lullaby.
He was determined that come what may, he would look east, walk east, and die facing east.  Let’s grow into EAST PEOPLE during this challenging time.
Peace of Christ
                   mark

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