Summary: We all live our lives in relationship to God on some level. There’s a continuum from rejection of God to being embraced by God. This sermon outlines that continuum, which is often the journey we take to God.
The visuals for this sermon are at http://prezi.com/8fxspeqp4jxn/easter-sunday-the-continuum/
So. Easter. Resurrection Sunday. It’s a great day. A day we remember every year when everything changed.
How many of us were here last Palm Sunday? We celebrated the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, perhaps sensing some of the tension of the crowd that greeted Him that day, knowing that in a few short days those same people would be crying out: “Crucify Him!” Good Friday? Two days ago many of us gathered to mourn. In a sense Good Friday is God reaching out to us with His love. It is love’s appeal to humanity to be reconciled to God
Whether you were or elsewhere for these important services in the Christian calendar, or if this is the first service you’ve been to for a while…you have a response to the story of Jesus.
You have a reaction to the incarnation, the birth of Jesus, the life of Jesus and the death and resurrection of Jesus.
You have given thought to the events of Jesus Christ’s life, and you have, through your response, whether or not you realize it, placed yourself on a continuum of sorts.
For many of us this continuum will seem somehow very familiar, because in one form or other this has been our journey.
This is where I started. Before knowing anything about Christian faith, I dismissed it. This was due to my upbringing as an atheist.
The very concept of God, let alone the possibility that God exists, was rejected out of hand. It didn’t even merit a conversation. Those who believe in God were believed to be foolish.
Primitive. Unenlightened. Gullible. Definitely not to be included in any social circle my family was a part of. Those who risked speaking of God or of faith were mocked before their words were done.
So God as a concept was rejected. I affirmed this 100%. The idea of God as personal on any level…this I admit to never having considered. Perhaps that’s understandable.
When a person’s idea of God is a grey-haired old man dishing out summary judgment from the clouds…that’s really easy to mock. When someone’s idea of God is that He is cold, aloof, law-loving, distant and impossible to please…that’s easy to dismiss out of hand. And so I did.
I had lived in a household, in a family social circle, and interacted with friends, all of whom had no time for or interest in God. There was no reason to think anything about God.
At 17 I had never been to church; I had received no Christian instruction. If it was possible to have had less than zero interest in God, that would have been me.
But I started to have doubts. Those doubts came as I started to bump up against Christians…first a vice-principal who would scold me for acting out or being late or absent from class, and then would offer to pray with me, and then invited me to a Bible study.
Then I met a girl whose family wierded me out by the way they lived and the way they thought, and by a distinct and disturbing groundedness and joy that they had.