Lectionary Year A
September 1, 2002
Matthew 16:21-28

Contemporary Address


This sermon I, a Presbyterian, prepare for First Christian (Disciples of Christ) Church. They are a healthy congregation, recently having finished construction of a multi-purpose building with gymnasium on the last of their several small parking lots. They are a downtown congregation, but off street parking abounds on Sundays and evenings thereabouts. Many of our little capital cityís leaders go to First Christian Church, many country clubers, many local government and civic leaders, too. Their youth activities and young adult group(s) are widely publicized. They broadcast their Sunday morning worship service live on local cable TV. Many of their leaders and other members, as well, are aging.


We can hope a timely dealing with a topic of nearly universal concern could bring hope into the hearts of the auditors of this sermon this week. It intends to raise conscious awareness of deathís realities and, just as much, of resurrectionís promise.


Anticipating Jesusí Death and Our Own
The proverbial things of certainty = taxes and death

I. Jesus Anticipates His Death and So Do We
Jesus predicts His suffering and it comes true as agonizingly as He anticipated.
You and I know, too, we are going to die. We might agonize over this topic as much as did our Savior in anticipating His.

II. Death Happens
Jesus dies. Jesus died a heinous death, a crucifixion. As much as Jesus anticipated His suffering and death, He nevertheless continued to live and serve right up to the last breath. Many examples in literature give us advice to live more than dying even and especially in the midst of the reality of deathís certainty. The Bookshelf software I use gives several dozen such quotes from poets, authors, playwrites, etc.
We will die, too. Have you made plans for your funeral? It is a very sensible, sensitive, considerate and responsible thing to do. I recommend you and I do so and I volunteer your pastors to assist you in the exercise.

III. Resurrection Happens, Too
We, though we werenít standing with Jesus and the disciples that day, have not tasted death yet and the coming of Christ in His Kingdom has begun. It comes in and through us as the Church. The Church as the Body of Christ on earth today, is His presence in ministries and mission.

We will die, thatís for sure. However, now we live. Letís make living exciting. We do so by living with Christ, our living Savior and by relying on His living with us.

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