May 10, 2015: Knowing that God has changed your life

Posted on : May 7th, 2015 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

We’re coming to the end of the Season of Easter. Only two more Sundays left. Are you still tracking? Are you still thinking and feeling: EASTER! If not, are you at least thinking about New Life for you?

In truth, most of us have given up on Easter weeks ago. Been there. Done that. The music was lovely. The flowers were beautiful. Lovely message. Time to move on…

But, that’s not the way Resurrection occurs in most of our lives. Resurrection takes time.

The first Christians who followed in the Way of the Risen Christ discovered that for themselves. It took a while to really reach “the happy ending” of the Easter story.

In the Bible, there is an interesting way this is presented to us. The resurrection story in the Gospel of Mark highlights this perfectly. Bear with me for a little background or you may not get this. A lot of translations of the Bible end the Gospel of Mark at the 16th chapter – verse 8: “And they (Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James) went out and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come up them and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.”

But then other translations add verses 9-20, which begin: “Now when Christ rose early on the first day of the week, Christ appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons.”

There is a technical explanation for how and why these 11 extra versed have been added to the end of the Gospel of Mark, but none are as meaningful as what “Still Speaking” writer Anthony B. Robinson, suggests: “Maybe it is up to each of us to add or write our own ending, or at least a next chapter, in the story.”

How would you write the next chapter of this story? Has God raised you into new life at any time, in any way in your life? Has Christ’s love and grace transformed your life? Led you to a deeper understanding or peace about who you are and how valued/valuable you are? Led you through the valley of the shadow of death or hopelessness? Blessed you with joy that you never thought would come your way?

We’ll explore that and more this Sunday with the help of some awesome video clips of how three mothers changed their children’s lives – forever.




~ This Sunday’s Scripture ~

Mark 16: 9-20

[The Shorter Ending of the Gospel of Mark]

[And all that had been commanded them they told briefly to those around Peter. And afterwards Jesus himself sent out through them, from east to west, the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.]  Mark 16: 9.


The Longer Ending of the Gospel of Mark – Mark 16: 9-20

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

 Now after Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. She went out and told those who had been with him, while they were mourning and weeping. But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.

Jesus Appears to Two Disciples

 After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them.

Jesus Commissions the Disciples

 Later he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were sitting at the table; and he upbraided them for their lack of faith and stubbornness, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: by using my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.’

The Ascension of Jesus

 So then the Risen Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and proclaimed the good news everywhere, while he worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that accompanied it.

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