Connect to Resurrection: encouragement


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Happy Easter! Don’t be confused. Easter was last week but the series of Easter continues till the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. Technically this is the second Sunday of Easter but this is just well…boring! With the resurrection of Jesus, the resurrection is more than an empty tomb on Easter morning! It is a transforming power that is able to bring us out of the tomb of our sins into the glorious presence of the risen Lord! This presents us with some uncertainty and confusion. At times, we do not feel we can get out of the tomb, buried under a mountain of guilt and shame. If this is new life then why do we feel so dead and overwhelmed? We wonder after Easter if the resurrection is real and if it is for us. Our new sermon series Connect to Resurrection is designed to help us find the power that Christ came to share with all of us. Our first sermon of this series is Encouragement. Have you ever thought about this word? It is the opposite of discouragement. We all understand discouragement, it is a loss of courage. It is the veil of darkness being thrown over a shining light. Encouragement is the opposite. It is the darkest moment being pierced by the brilliance of hope! It is the pit of failure being filled with the buoyancy of strength. Our scripture is Mark 16:1-8. It is the moment when the women find the angel at the empty tomb. As you can imagine, they are frightened and bewildered and they must have tried to keep it to themselves but all believers know the power of resurrection. It is not just a moment, it is a force of strength that continues to build in them and us. We pray that you will find the strength that raised Jesus from the dead as you confront the circumstances of your life! It will lift you from the deficit of courage into the fullness of knowing that the joy of the Lord is your strength. 

Mark 16:1-8 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’” Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. (NIV)