RECAP: THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE based on John 11:17-27
All of us have experienced heartbreak and disappointment. But sometimes, it just makes no sense. We follow after Jesus, but instead of things improving, things at times just continue to go wrong. We end up feeling like Fantine in Les Miserables, who, when life continued to dump on her, sang her famous song “I Dreamed a Dream,” where she sang, “Life has killed this dream in me.” We become disillusioned, defeated, discouraged, and question all of our reality. And we begin to get really angry toward God. We might say things like, “God, what are you doing? Why are you allowing this to happen? I have been faithful to you–this is not fair!” And it can truly cripple our faith.
Imagine what Martha, Mary, and Lazarus went through. Lazarus loved Jesus, and surely Jesus would heal him! But instead, Jesus remained where he was and did not come to the rescue. Imagine where Lazarus was in his last few moments: “Jesus, where are you?” Yet, Jesus did not come.
Sometimes, even though it does not make sense, Jesus allows things to die in our lives. If we are not careful, it can lead to an angry or unhealthy view of God. Sickness, pain, and evil are a result of this fallen world. And yes, as difficult as it is to say, sometimes God does not intervene. But loss sometimes brings to the surface things that are buried that need to be dealt with. For the disciples, it was their own fear. For the sisters, it was the belief that following Jesus means a perfect life according to their own standards. For the crowds, it was false expectations of the Messiah. For us, it might be the idea that Jesus is a genie, that he will grant our every wish. But Jesus wants us, despite what we see and feel, to believe in the one who is above it all. What do we need to release to God? Our worry? Doubt? Dreams? Plans? Broken Heart?
We also learn from this story that God welcomes our realness. Martha said, “Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Translation: “Where were you, Jesus? You don’t care! You abandoned him!” Mary met Jesus with her tears, saying: “I don’t understand! Why didn’t you come? I am hurt!” We might feel similar things: “God if you love me, then why am I sick? Why is my family going through this?” But Jesus NEVER rebuked the sisters for being real, nor will he turn us away when we are real. We don’t have to put on a mask and pretend that all is okay to be seen by God. God wants to meet us right where we are. And when we are honest with God, he then can meet us at our pain and loss. He will weep when we weep, mourn when we mourn. He knows what we are going through, and will cling to us in the midst of the struggle.
Jesus is the resurrection and the life. He can resurrect that which has died within us and bring it back to life. Yes, there is the promise of eternal life for all who believe and put their trust in Jesus. But Jesus can also restore the broken dream, revive that which has died within us, and reorient those who have lost their way. There is hope that we can cling to–that God can bring back to life not just our souls, but bring new life from the ashes of death in our lives.
So how do we respond when we are in this place? We need to believe–not just in our head, but in our hearts. To know not only God is speaking truth and life, but orient our lives in light of what we believe. Then, we need to roll away the stone, allow Jesus to call forth new life in us, and see what he can do!
Questions for Reflection
1) Do you have something in your life right now that causes you deep pain? Have you released it to God?
2) What is holding you back from being real with God? Release it to him!
3) Do you allow Jesus to truly minister to your spirit? Or do you keep him at arm’s length?
4) Do we truly believe in our hearts and actions? What stone needs to be rolled away?
This Sunday, Pastor Ryan will continue the “I AM JESUS” series with the sermon titled, “The Way, The Truth, and the Life,” based on John 14:1-17. Jesus said he was the sole way to heaven. How do we live in this world that believes all paths lead to heaven? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for March 1 – 7
March 1: Isaiah 65:17-25 What is the vision of the resurrection?
March 2: Daniel 12:1-13 Who is redeemed at the resurrection?
March 3: 1 Corinthians 15:51-58 What is the hope of the resurrection?
March 4: Matthew 24:29-51 When will the resurrection happen? How are we ready?
March 5: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11 What is the blessed hope? How do we become ready?
March 6: Deuteronomy 4:1-14 How was Israel encouraged to be faithful in the Way?
March 7: Deuteronomy 4:32-40 How was Israel encouraged to be faithful in the Way?
This Week’s Events:
Wednesday, March 2–Worship Team @ 7:30 pm
Saturday, March 5–Leadership Team Meeting w/ David Steele (open to all church) @ 3 pm
Saturday, March 5–Sadie Rose Pancake benefit @ 4 pm
Sunday, March 6–First Sunday Breakfast @ 9:15 am
Sunday, March 6–Listening Session @ 9:45 am
Friday, March 25–Gospel Hymn Sing Concert Benefit for the Whitmore Family @ 6:30 pm
The Leadership Team asks for your continued feedback! If you have any questions, need clarification, or anything, please contact Pastor Ryan or John Wright. We both will be happy to answer any questions you may have. As Pastor, I am proud of how the Leadership Team has handled everything so far, as well as the study and preparation they have undertaken serving on your behalf. I am also thankful for the team’s commitment to being transparent and filled with integrity throughout the entire process. Our goal and aim is to follow the Lord’s leading for Beaver Creek and to strive to keep our church whole. Here are the following scheduled updates:
Saturday, March 5–Leadership Team meeting with David Steele, General Secretary of the Church of the Brethren at 3 pm. It is open to all members who would like to come and listen. If you have a question you would like asked, please submit it to the office by Friday at noon, and we will make sure it is added to the list of questions.
Sunday, March 6–Listening session & update, 9:45 am. This is an opportunity to hear reflections from the Leadership Team about the meeting with David Steele and previous meeting with David Sollenberger, Moderator of Annual Conference. It will also be a time to hear hearts once more and answer any specific questions.
More details will be sent via mail to all members as to what will follow.
Whitmore Family Relief
Thank you all for your help so far! Through Sunday’s offerings, over 33,000 dollars have come into the church to help the family! It is truly amazing to see how we as a church and the community have come together to help our friends!
We will host a Gospel Hymn Sing Concert benefit on Friday, March 25 beginning at 6:30 pm (doors open at 6 pm). We will collect a love offering for the Whitmore family. Some of the guests include Michael Hoover (Elvis), one of the Crestmans, and more!
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
As we look at the ability to reopen in the coming weeks, we are in need of both worship leaders and children’s stories. We are looking for one person each week, rather than a month at a time. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Tammy Stine (children’s story).
Call to Prayer & Discernment
Let us continue to pray for our nation in the following ways:
1) National return to God
2) Repentance of personal sin
3) Repentance of corporate sin
4) Healing for the brokenness of relationships
5) Our leaders
7) Guidance for our congregation in the days ahead
The Christian Education Team is looking for volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour for next year. If you are willing to help, even if it is just for a Sunday, please reach out to her and let her know.
Four Ways to Give!
1) Mail your tithe into the church office
2) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
3) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
4) Drop off in the offering plate on Sunday!
Continue to Keep in Prayer our members in Skilled Care Facilities: Mary G Miller, Shirley Miller, Stanley Suter & Carolyn Wine
John Bennington (health)
Sandy Bennington (health)
Samantha Cooper (health)
Patsy Dastoli (health)
Elijah Tucker Dean (health)
Natalie Dodge (health)
John Fix (addiction)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Darlene LaPrade (health)
Barbara Meadows (health)
Alda Miller (health)
Betty Miller (health)
Marty Moore (recovery)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Pidge Rhodes (recovery)
Lottie Ritchie (health)
Abbie Shiflet (health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Whitmore family (various)
Mary Whitmore (health)
Tom Wilfong (health)
Winne Wilfong (recovery)
Charles Wright (recovery)
Owen Wright (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB