Summary: Sermon for the Second Sunday of Easter
Second Sunday Easter
John 20: 19-31
"Does Easter Make a Difference
A pastor tells the following in the Augsburg Sermon Book for the year 1985: "I’ve never seen such a crowd in church, the woman exclaimed’. I didn’t know her, but apparently she was impressed by the number of people here for Easter worship. Then, as she was shaking my hand an-’ moving toward the front door, she added, "Do you suppose it will make any difference?"
I held on to her hand so she couldn’t get away, "What do you mean?" I said ’’Will what make a difference?"
"Easter," she shot back. "Will Easter make any difference for all these people, or will life tomorrow be the same as it was yesterday?"
That lady’s question is truly a profound question. "Will Easter make any difference for all these people, or will life tomorrow be the same as it was yesterday Will Easter make any difference in your life? Has this week been guy different for you because of the Easter event last Sunday?
Easter is truly a religious holiday. Oh, sure we have the Easter bunny and the tradition of buying new clothes, but in the final analysis Easter has not been commercialized, it is truly a religious event and has this religious event made any difference in your life?
I would like to suggest this morning that Easter does, can and will make a difference in our lives in at least 3 areas, one, we now live in the living presence of the living Lord, two, there is now a profound sense of peace in our living because of Easter, and three, life is marked with a purpose because of the Easter experience. I would like to look at these three areas this morning to see how Easter "does make a difference in our lives."
One: Living in the living presence of Jesus through the Easter event does make a difference in our lives.
Maybe the best way to explain what this means is to tell you a story about a clown which was found in the Emphasis magazine, as you listen, think how Jesus can be like that clown in your life.
"Once, a hospital children’s ward was the most depressing ward because the children had little hope. That little hope was reflected in the faces of the nurses.....nurses who requested a change in station, another assignment. Even the parents and friends found it difficult to enter and stay with these failing lives.
One man changed that by dressing like a clown. The nurses were apprehensive, some of the parents were offended, but the children laughed. The children sensed the clown loved them from his heart and hoped for them. The clown hoped that today was not the end of the world. He had a powerful influence on the children because he gave them hope.
The nurses began to work with the clown, and they began to laugh and smile. The children began to love the nurses’ and parents, they in turn began to love the clown.
Then one day the clown didn’t come to the hospital. His life had failed. However, he lives on in that hospital ward, lives on in his smile which is still there because he gave those children hope. Someone else is wearing his silly costume and smile, but most important--someone else is bringing hope through through love."
Living in the living presence of the living Lord, living in the power of the resurrection, living in Christ means we are people who live in hope and victory. Hope that because He lives, we, too, will live. Live in a way which brings hope to the world of brokenness. Hope that lives, people, events, circumstances don’t have to be that way, we don’t have to live in the brokenness of this world, there is that possibility of change, of renewal, of a new life because Jesus Christ has risen. His living presence through the Holy Spirit in this world means we are not people who live in despair, but people who live in hope. Hope that through His presence, his power in our lives God can make winners out of us losers. Life doesn’t have to go on in the same way, Easter can make a difference.
If we open our eyes, we can see all around us living proof of this hope this renewal, this change in the lives of people. People have felt the forgiving power of Easter, the hope that they don’t have to live with guilt, so their lives are changed. People who have sorrow, who have experienced grief have the hope and the promise there is more to death than pain, these is the promise of the resurrection, the promise of new life for their loved one, and the promise that Jesus will heal the pain of death, the sting of death in their lives. People who live with illness have the hope that Christ’s presence will either heal them, or give them the courage to live their lives with this brokenness and that somehow in spite of their brokenness, God will use them to minister to the people around them. We could go on and on, but I think you get the point. Easter does make a difference, because the risen Lord is living with us and he does bring hope, change, renewal, courage and strength, into our lives.