Resurrection, November 10th 2013, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Vallejo, CA
November 10th St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Vallejo, CA
Job 19:23-27a Psalm17:1-9 2 Thess 2:1-5, 13-17 Luke 20: 27-38
When we confess the Apostles’ Creed we say the words, “I believe in the resurrection of the body.” When we say that about the body, the renewal of our congregation and renewal in our communities are included. Cities too: watch out Detroit is coming back!
When we receive the body and blood of Christ in communion, then we become the body of Christ. When we believe in the resurrection of the body, then a resurrection experience also happens in our congregation. A congregation experiences a kind of death when the pastor leaves. It is true that Pastor Barbara left St. Paul’s, but because of the power of the resurrection, you will not die, but live and declare the marvelous works of the Lord. You’ll get through this transition period. God still has great things for this congregation to do in the divine plan of salvation.
One aspect of the renewal brought by the power of the resurrection is our waking up, getting up, and standing up in the new life of this congregation. But as individual persons we also receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ our Lord. More than just receiving noble blood, we now have divine blood flowing in our veins. We become sisters and brothers of Jesus Christ and children of God. Like with Adam and Eve, we can now also rejoice that we are flesh of Christ’s flesh and bone of Christ’s bone and Christ, the Word, becomes flesh in us. So as everybody Christ, we have received his body and so you and I also have the promise of the resurrection of our bodies. We will receive wonderful new physical bodies when we wake up beholding God’s face and receive new life in Christ. The way we live, move, and have our being in God, Jesus says, we will be alive in God, who is not a God of the dead, but of the living. Imagine being with and having relationships with Abraham and Sarah – and don’t forget Hagar, her Egyptian maid, and Keturah, whom Abraham married after Sarah died. We will come alive in the God of Abraham, the God of Sarah, and the God of Keturah, and of David, and of Mary and Joseph, Peter Paul, James and John.
So let us even now in living relationships come alive in the power of the resurrection so we experience renewal ourselves, renewal of our congregation, and renewal of our communities.
Resurrection of the body means getting into the Nitty-gritty, the power we have together to get the flame of faith burning again, so that the divine creative fire takes what is nothing and inhuman and makes something flourish from it, makes the community, like a field full of dry bones, get back to life and flourish in our full humanity before God once more. That’s where community organizing comes in. Surya, you’re the community organizer, pull us down out of theology and plant our feet on the ground. Amen.
In conclusion, remember that Jesus said, “If two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my Name, there am I in the midst of them.” —Matt 18: 19, 20.