Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
“For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, … But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them—though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.” (1 Cor. 15:3-4, 10)
We gather today in worship to hear the familiar story of Jesus’ resurrection. The story of hope which concludes our Lenten journey. A celebration of the story we hear and tell about receiving God’s grace and eternal life through Jesus’ defeat of death. Jesus’ resurrection brings us to the same affirmation Paul states, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain.” (v. 10)
Paul, tells the Corinthians the good news of Jesus’ resurrection, which was told to him, “Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand,” (v. 1) A story which is confirmed by the apostles and by over 500 brothers and sisters, some whom Paul and the Corinthians could have spoken to directly about what they had witnessed. We, as the church, give witness to the resurrection through the message shared with us throughout the ages.
Numerous individuals living in our neighborhoods have their stories of resurrection to new life happening each day. They have stories to tell, some stories of heartache and overcoming great pain, stories of roadblocks preventing surrender, stories of love recognized and amazing grace experienced, and stories of new life which captures the authentic witness of the Holy Spirit telling a story of resurrection from the dead.
Some of us in the presbytery have been joining in a conversation about how we can help our churches deal with a serious AOD problem. During Lent, we have shared our stories and witness, to paraphrase Paul, “we handed on to you which was of first importance to us and what we have in turn received.” We invite you to join us “Into the Light.” Our communities are in the grips of addiction and they need to hear stories that treatment works, recovery is possible and that stories of resurrection exist. As Paul confidently tells us, “Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe.” (v. 11)
Lee McDermott, Contributor
Remember in Prayer: The presbytery’s Addiction Ministry Network and the conversations they are having to restore our communities and renew our congregations and pray for the Spirit’s leading others to join the conversation into the light.