He is risen

Posted by Fr. Tere on 03/24/2016

Easter 2016

Welcome to our visitors to our site and to our Church as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Savior, Redeemer, Brother, Lord, and Master. If you are not of the Anglican tradition, our service might seem a bit strange, but this is the traditional way the Church worshiped for the first 1,500 years or so after Jesus’ death and resurrection. The people would meet, often in the largest home in the area. They might or might not have an actual meal together, but at some point, one of the leaders would read Scripture from the Old Testament. They might sing or say together a Psalm. If available, they would read letters to the Church from Paul, or James, or Peter, or others. Before the Gospel accounts were written, one or more would recall moments from Jesus’ life and teachings and tell the meaning of his death and resurrection. Following this, the people would pray together for the needs of themselves and others, then the leader would ask God the Father to bless the cup and the bread, so they would share together the Body and Blood of Jesus, as all Christians were commanded to do – until he comes again.

That very simple beginning is the template from which our services grew. The particular form we use is based on the writings of the English Reformation, and explicitly on the Book of Common Prayer 1662.

Just relax into it – all the words are on the program. You can sit, stand, or kneel – there is no absolute posture, no requirements. Enjoy yourself. Let yourself be drawn into the music and the dance designed long ago that allows us to pray, to hear, to respond, to receive, to be with Jesus in his risen form, and to allow the Holy Spirit to do his work in us.

If you are not a Christian, not baptized, not a believer, please open your mind, your heart, your ears, and participate as much as you feel comfortable. If you’re here to please someone else, thank you for caring for their desires – relax and enjoy. We won’t force you to do anything.

We are celebrating an absolute impossibility, something so ridiculous that no one would ever believe it, if it were not true. When talking about Jesus being God, C. S. Lewis said,

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. ... Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God.                                                      Mere Christianity

It's the same with the resurrection. Because Jesus was neither a lunatic nor a fiend, however crazy it might seem, Jesus died and rose bodily from the grave to live forever – because he said that was going to happen. There were contemporary reports of sightings and conversations and meals with him. He was the same Jesus they knew, but he wasn’t the same – he was in his forever body. And he promised we would have bodies just like his. He was immediately proclaimed as Lord and quickly his Church circled the known world.

The work of Jesus was not to give us nice things to talk about or to ponder. God didn’t come to us in the person of Jesus to make us feel better. He came to turn us and our world upside-down, the way we were created to be. Man was created perfect, living in a paradise, with a perfect body and a perfect mate. There was nothing lacked, nothing hidden, nothing hated, nothing lost, nothing mortal, nothing decaying, nothing dying.

Adam and Eve made conscious decisions to do the one thing that their Creator had asked them not to do. He told them what would happen if they disobeyed – they would experience death, which up to this point was not known. Out of the millions of things that God allowed them, they decided to do the one thing God said was not allowed. Doesn’t that sound like every child you’ve ever known? Or, even more unfortunately, most adults you’ve known? We might have the best of everything, but we want more or we want the thing we should not have.

With their conscious decision, Adam and Eve destroyed their own perfection and the perfection of all of Creation. They were the keepers, protectors, and the ones allowed to use God’s perfect Creation, and they chose to deface it and make it subject to death.

That’s where we live right now – we are going to die – period. No ifs, ands, ors, buts – we are born to die and begin to decay the moment we’re born. We are also born dead spiritually – we are not in touch with our Creator. We might know we are missing something; we might know what we are missing. But we won’t know who we are missing without God coming to us, letting us know he is here and that he loves us – desperately, without end.

Because we live upside-down – we worship lesser things and keep our eyes on ourselves and our wants – we have no way of knowing the world is actually designed to be right-side-up. And we cannot imagine what living right-side-up would be like. Our vision is like that of child, who envisions the people of Australia walking around upside-down or falling off the earth because they are in the Southern hemisphere.

Jesus came to tell us about the right-side-up world. And the world hated him because we are used to being another way. When he was crucified and died, it appeared that the world had won. The one who challenged our preconceived ideas was dead. But he was raised from the dead – and the entire universe flipped over. Now we know we are upside-down in a right-side-up world – and we are uncomfortable and, in many cases, we rebel.

Jesus rose from the dead so the way is now clear (sin is forgiven; death is destroyed) for us to be right-side-up. He is that Way – if you want flipped over, ask him. Ask him to change you forever so that you can discover and become all that God created you to be.

Alleluia. Christ is risen.                                       The Lord is risen, indeed. Alleluia.

church building

Christ our Redeemer 

204 S.W. 104th Street

Oklahoma City, OK  73159

Tel. 405-795-7301   leave message

Email: 

[email protected]

Our Worship Schedule:

     Holy Eucharist Sunday 10 AM

Children's Sunday School 10 am 

Nursery available at the 10:00 AM service.

      Holy Eucharist Wednesday 6:30 PM

Other activities:

Bible Study - All are welcome

Sunday 9 AM

Tuesday 7 PM

Thursday 10 AM

Lions of Christ our Redeemer - All are welcome

Men's breakfast, Bible study and fellowship

Third Saturdays 8 AM

   Nursing Home visit - All are welcome

Hymns, gospel message, & fellowship

Fourth Sundays 2 PM (Call for directions)

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