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Summary: This message looks at how we deal with tragedies in our lives.


It was a tragedy, and worse than that it was a tragedy that could have been prevented. But really isn’t that the way of most tragedies?

So here we are, week four of our Walking Dead series, so far we have looked at 10 lepers who were healed and given their lives back. In many ways the lepers were the walking dead, when they were diagnosed they were declared legally dead, their spouse was allowed to remarry and their estate was divided amongst their heirs. And Jesus miraculously intervened and literally gave them their lives back. In week two we looked at the story of Lazarus and how he had been dead for four days when Jesus called him out of his tomb and gave him his life back. When he appeared in the door of the tomb with his grave clothes hanging off him, he must have scared some of those folks half to death. For many he would always be one of the walking dead, “Look there goes Lazarus, you know he was dead and then Jesus made him alive. That is so wrong.”

And then last week Pastor Ben took us on an awesome ride to the Valley of the Dead Bones, even sounds like a great name for a horror movie.

If you are new to Cornerstone or visiting today you might be wondering, what’s with this Walking Dead stuff? Halloween is finished. Well, through October and November we are looking at stories from the Bible where people have been given their lives back.

When we are familiar with the bible it’s easy to normalize these stories, but they aren’t normal. Dead men aren’t called out of their tombs; people with incurable diseases aren’t suddenly and miraculously healed, valleys full of dry bones don’t suddenly begin to move.

The title of our theme comes from a Television show that set in a post-apocalyptic world populated by Zombies or Walkers as they are called in the show. The hero of the show is Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes who joins with a small band of survivors who are trying to stay alive while at the same time solve the mystery of what has happened to the world as they knew it and whether or not they will be able to reverse the Zombie Apocalypse. In honour of the geekiness of the entire show each week I am wearing a themed T-shirt.

Lest you think that Zombies and the walking dead are something not to be taken serious. The CDC, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has an entire section of their website dedicated to Zombie Preparedness and has produced a 40 page Graphic novel on that theme. Granted the CDC claims they aren’t actually preparing for a Zombie Apocalypse, they are simple using the concept as a teaching tool. Or so they say.

It was a tragedy, and worse than that it was a tragedy that could have been prevented. But really isn’t that the way of most tragedies?

So let’s recap the story. Paul is on what is often referred to as his last missionary journey and he ends up making a brief stopover in Troas, which if we bring up our trusty map we discover is located here in what is now called Turkey. After being there a week Paul is ready to move on to Assos by land. But before he leaves we are told Acts 20:7 On the first day of the week, we gathered with the local believers to share in the Lord’s Supper. Paul was preaching to them, and since he was leaving the next day, he kept talking until midnight. It is interesting to note that the church has gathered to celebrate communion, not on the Sabbath which was Saturday or the last day of the week but instead on Sunday the first day of the week. The day that is referred to as “The Lord’s Day” and is commemorated because it was the day of the resurrection. And because he was leaving the next day Paul wanted to spend as much time as possible bringing the church up to speed and teaching them all they would need to know as believers. And so we are told that he talked until midnight. A couple of weeks ago I was in Moncton as part of a task force on New Church Development and I roomed with AJ Thomas the pastor at Deep Water Church. And we talked until after one in the morning. But the difference is that we talked and here it said that Paul talked. This wasn’t a discussion, Paul was downloading as much information as possible for the believers.

And as we continue on in the story we read Acts 20:8-9 The upstairs room where we met was lighted with many flickering lamps. As Paul spoke on and on, a young man named Eutychus, sitting on the windowsill, became very drowsy. Finally, he fell sound asleep and dropped three stories to his death below.

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