What’s YOUR Easter Story? (4/27/14)

Posted by on Apr 29, 2014 in Sermons | 0 comments

Our sermon during the services on Sunday April 27 was given by Kimberly Dybeck.  Kim is a seminarian student who is serving an internship with PUMC.  During her time with our church she has coordinated our small groups and has been a huge inspiration.  In a few weeks, her education will take her to another internship assignment, but we will always be grateful that she became part of our family.  We were also blessed that she had the opportunity to share her first sermon with us…

Kim’s sermon was entitled “Seeing Jesus Again,” and the scripture was from John 20:13-28

Resurrection Story

Last week (Easter Sunday), Kim and her husband were in Germany. On Easter morning they were awakened by the sound of church bells.  Not the electronic Carillon type we have in our church, but BELLS!  The kind you’d hear in a Gothic cathedral.   Not a bad way to wake up on such a special day.  And of course they wanted to go to church.  But, being in Germany, it didn’t come as much of a surprise that all of the services that morning would be conducted in German!  And while Kim’s husband speaks fluent German, translating constantly to his non-German speaking wife would be a bit of a distraction.  So, they found a church which was giving a service in English later in the evening.

Upon attending that service, they noticed two things:

  1. This “American English” service was anything but American.  English speaking people from all over the world were there; all sorts of accents and garb.  All of them celebrating the resurrected Lord.
  2. Because of the differences in time, the service they ended up attending coincided with our own service at PUMC. Joined by prayer the the Spirit, it was almost as if they were in two places at the same time.

It was a special Easter that they will always remember…

Yo Adrian!

In the movie Rocky, a beaten and bruised Rocky Balboa is given the championship belt.  He painfully lifts it over his head and cries out for his wife.  He is the winner.  He was beaten, but he was on top of the world.  If we were to write the script about Jesus, we might have gone for such an ending.  Send him back to the scene of the cross; to the Sanhedrin; to those who cried “Barabbas”; to those who shouted “Crucify Him!”  We would have wanted a winner rubbing it in.

But that wasn’t Jesus’ story.  He had defeated the worst that Satin and the world could throw at Him.  He could have gone anywhere, been anywhere, been with any person after He broke from the tomb.  But He wanted to be with His disciples.  He wanted to give His friends a Resurrection Story that they could keep and share forever.


To Mary…

When he appeared to Mary before anyone else, Jesus gave her a resurrection story.  She was the one who gave the news that He was Risen!  Forever, she will carry the grace of receiving the news from an angel.  Of speaking to a man she thought was a gardener.  Of being the first to see the risen Lord.  Of hearing Him softy speak her name, “Mary.”

To the Disciples…

Fearing for their lives, the disciples remained secluded behind locked doors when Mary rushed in with the news.  But it wasn’t until several hours later when Jesus slipped through those locked doors and appeared to the Disciples Himself.  The disciples’ resurrection story was one of fear that turned to peace.  Sadness that turned to Joy.  Jesus came to them and said “Peace be with you!”  With the creating breath of God, He gave them the Holy Spirit.  And the disciples took it in.  They received the gift that their risen Savior was offering.


To Thomas…

For some reason,Thomas wasn’t in the room when Jesus appeared to the disciples.  We may never know why he wasn’t there.  Maybe he was afraid.  Maybe he was confused and wondering why he trusted Jesus.  Maybe he was ashamed of Jesus.  But Jesus appeared later just to convince and re-assure this one disciple.  He showed Thomas his side.  He made Thomas feel his wounds.  Our stories may be shameful.  We may have made mistakes we don’t want to include as we try to create our own “Rocky Story.”  We may feel dead inside.  Worn out.  Hopeless.  But Thomas received the resurrection story that God does in fact break through death.


So What’s Your Story?

So what’s your Easter story?  Where have you seen the resurrected Christ in a special, personal way?  We may be carrying around burdens of shame.  We may be trapped by painful memories.  We may not be like Rocky hoisting the victory belt over our heads.  We may want to hide.  Even victories come with scars. 

But God…  But God breaks through. Easter reminds us that the Bible constantly repeats the phrase, “But God__”. 

But God can give us our own resurrection story.   He calls us to let people come close enough to us so that they can be touched by the story He gives us.  God give gives us a resurrection story so we can share it others.  God’s love still raises us up today; He still breathes His Spirit into us.  But it’s up to us to receive that Spirit and tell God’s story with our own story. 

May we all join with Mary and proclaim, He is Risen!  “I have seen the Lord!”






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