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Sermon March 31 2013

Sermon March 31 2013

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Come Awake!
Come Awake!

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Published by: Chain of Lakes Church on Apr 02, 2013
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Coming awake to the resurrection means we live on—in this life and the life to come.Mary Magdalene and Peter both proved that. Mary was a peasant girl suffering from MentalIllness who grew up in a fishing village called Magdala. The village doesn’t exist today, butMary’s story lives on. Peter was a simple fisherman who grew up in the village of Capernaum.Jesus chose this emotional and tempestuous man to be the rock on which he built his church.Here it is almost 2,000 years later, and we’re still talking about his story. They came awake.For us coming awake means we celebrate with confidence our eternal fate. And it meanswe celebrate when heaven breaks out on earth. So whether we live or whether we die—we areawake. What a marvelous way to live.We’ve already heard two stories of people who came awake to the resurrection. In thissermon I’m going to share a few more stories of coming awake. God wants all of us—asindividuals and as a community to come awake.If you’d like to learn more about heaven I encourage you to use the devotion in the brochure that is in the bulletin. Every week I share a devotion that ties into the worship theme.Heaven is a topic that is explored throughout the Bible. In six readings I’ve given you a varietyof readings on heaven. I encourage you to use this devotion each day. I think you will be blessed if you do. In the middle of this brochure is a place to take notes. I believe that God willsay something to you in this sermon that you’ll want to write down. On the back is a place for our congregation’s prayer requests.During worship last Sunday Mary Ann Archer stood up during Friendship Time to sharea story. She had seen a television piece on the Piers Morgan show. The show shared the story of how Robbie & Alissa Parker reached out to Peter Lanza, father of Adam Lanza. Robbie andAlissa Parker are the parents of Emilie who was killed by Adam Lanza in the Newtown
 
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shootings last December 14
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. Mary Ann was deeply touched by this story and she shared thatwith us during worship.I spent some time this week becoming familiar with Robbie and Alissa Parker’s story.SLIDEThey have three daughters. They lived in Ogden, Utah, just north of Salt Lake City beforerecently moving to Newtown Connecticut. Robbie works as a physician’s assistant in a hospital.Robbie was one of the first parents of the Newtown victims who spoke publicly. Youmight remember what he said. He fought back tears and struggled to catch his breath as hespoke of his daughter.SLIDE“She was beautiful. She was blond. She was always smiling. I’m so blessed to be her dad.”Then he said something that changed the trajectory of the story.SLIDE“We want everybody to know that our hearts and our prayers go out to them[everyone who was suffering]. This includes the family of the shooter.It’s not often that a victim will publically reach out and pray for their perpetrator’sfamily.A meeting was set up between the Parkers and Peter Lanza. That meeting took place inJanuary. A couple weeks ago the Parkers went public with their story.In addition to the Piers Morgan show they gave an interview on CBS television. You canfind it easily if you do a Google search. The interview is powerful. I watched it a number of times this week.We don’t have Internet access here, or I’d show you parts of the interview. Let me sharesome excerpts. As you read and listen to these words, think about coming awake to theresurrection.
 
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The Parkers were asked:SLIDEReporter:How could you meet with them and talk to them. Didnt you want to pound him [Peter Lanza] on the chest, didn’t you want to scream at him? Didn’t you want to say‘How could you let your son do this to my daughter?’SLIDERobbie Parker: From those first moments we quickly came to the realization of whathappened. To a degree we came to peace with some of it. We knew we couldn’t undo anything.The idea of wasting any energy on anger for somebody or someone or point blame on somebodyseemed like a waste of energy when we could be better parents to our girls.Alissa was asked to share her thoughts about the Lanza family. She said this:SLIDEAlissa Parker:I’m never going to understand what they did. It’s not my burden to carry.I feel the father made mistakes, but he doesn’t get a pass, but he’s not ultimately responsible.Were their missteps? Possibly.Alissa Parker made a choice of not carrying the burden of the Lanza family’s mistakes.Shortly after Emilee was killed Robbie said this:SLIDERobbie Parker:“We hope this is something that doesn’t define us but instead helpsinspires us to be better, more humble, more compassionate people.I don’t know of their faith background, but in listening to the language they used in thisinterview I’m sure that they have a very deep faith. Living with humility and compassion arewords that followers of Jesus Christ frequently use.Let’s be honest. It would have been so much easier and convenient for the Parkers tomake the Lanza family into monsters. We could understand that. When people are hurt deeplythey want to lash out at something. The Parkers could have made the Lanza family intosomething horrible upon which they projected their anger. We could understand if they hadgiven in to bitterness, or resentment, or even plotted revenge.

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