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Easter Sunday

By Stuart Mains

April 9, 2023

Thank you for checking out this sermon. If you are moved by what you hear and are in the Boston area, consider visiting in person!

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Well, happy Easter everyone. There was four people that are happy that it's Easter that said Happy Easter back. Happy Easter everyone. It's great to be with you. My name is Stewart and in a few minutes you'll meet my wife Ashley and we are the mains family. We help lead this congregation here in downtown Boston, and we love that you're here. I was talking to somebody during fellowship time before the service began, and they said, this is a big step for me. This is one of the first times I've been in a church setting like this in a long, long time. And I know for many of us here that's the case that we've come back to church on Easter. It feels like the right thing to do, to come to church on Easter. And you've made the first step of being here. And I just want you to hear how excited we are that you decided to come and worship with us this morning. We are so grateful you are here and you made that first step. Amen. Here's a picture of my family. I have four redheaded kids. The oldest is Elle. Then next to her is Kaden.

He's seven. Then in my arms is Savannah, our four year old. She is as rambunctious as she looks right there in the picture. And then my one year old Kevin, who has become likened to Jack Jack in The Incredibles. If you've seen that movie, that is his personality. He is always on the move. But Easter is a big day in our house. I don't know how you guys roll, but we make these Easter baskets and it's all about which candy you're going to get. I don't know if you have a favorite Easter candy, but here is the top ten as rated, I believe, by BuzzFeed, of the favorite Easter candies. I don't know if you can see that, but the top five are Reese's peanut butter eggs kinder chocolate candy eggs. How many of you guys know what kinder chocolate candy eggs are? They're these little chocolates that have little toys inside, and they position them perfectly at the grocery store. So my children ask for them every single time that we go. Starburst Easter jelly beans. Now, there are other companies of jelly beans, but Starbursts are the best. And then Lint hollow milk chocolate bunny.

How many of you guys like the chocolate bunny? Yeah, there's one chocolate hollow bunny person right there. And then the category now, this is a polarizing issue. The Cadbury Easter eggs with the cream filling inside. How many of you guys like those? All right, we're going to do a little group participation here. Get ready for the cheering for the one that you like the best. Okay, before we go into those, we'll do what number eight is, because this is just an Easter time favorite. How many of you guys like peeps? Click.

There it is. Peeps. I heard five of you like Peeps, so that's not a crowd favorite. Okay, how many say, my favorite thing is the Cadbury egg cream egg. Not great. How many of you say it's the hollow Easter egg? Easter bunny. Not too many favorites there. All right, what about the starburst jelly beans? Anybody like the kinder eggs? Would that be your favorite? Okay. And last but not least, the Reese's peanut butter eggs. There you go. That's obviously not what Easter is about. But Easter has gotten so commercialized in America that oftentimes we can forget what Easter is all about. In one Corinthians 15, verse 14, the apostle Paul says, and if Christ has not been raised, if there was no resurrection, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. I mean, Paul doesn't pull any punches. He says, if there is no resurrection, then what are we even doing here? Earlier on in the same book, at First Corinthians One, verse 18, he gives us clarity on what the message of the cross is. It says, for the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.

Today we are coming to celebrate the greatest crescendo moment of our faith, the moment that changed the course of so many of us. It changed the course of the world. Jesus dying on the cross is the pivotal moment. He came down onto this earth. He only had a ministry for three years. I don't know how many of you knew that, but from 30 to 33 years old was his ministry time of healing and giving and loving and sacrificing. And then he was crucified for no fault of his own. He was completely faultless, and yet they crucified Him. But all of that was great. But if he did not resurrect, then it didn't matter. There are many people that have done incredible things, but they've never risen from the dead. And so if Jesus, who did all these miraculous things, did not resurrect from the dead, then it doesn't matter. Our faith is useless. And we come into the story here in Matthew 28. The Sunday morning after Jesus was crucified. He was crucified on Friday afternoon around 03:00. The Scriptures say he gave up his spirit and we come on Sunday morning at dawn. In Matthew 28, verse one, it says, "After the Sabbath, at dawn, on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary," now would you want to be the other Mary? "Went to look at the temple. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, and going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the woman, do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here. He has risen just as he said, come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples he has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him. Now, I've told you. So, the woman hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to his disciples. Suddenly, Jesus met them. Greetings, he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee. There they will see me. You see, Jesus is coming onto this scene after being dead and these two women, Mary, are coming to, it was the Sabbath, the day before so they couldn't prepare his body in the way that they wanted to the traditional way. And so they were coming to prepare his body and Jesus isn't there. They are stunned to see an angel. Now, whenever we see angels in scripture they are scary, powerful, light beings. It oftentimes when an angel of the Lord comes to somebody, some human the angel has to start off, do not be afraid because there's a natural fear when you see the presence of God. I thought it was interesting that they rolled back the stone and he's just hanging out, chilling on top of the stone as if kind of like, yeah, I did that kind of swagger to him. And she comes up, both Mary's, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary. And Jesus body is nowhere to be found. And what does the angel say? He says, Come and see. Come and see. See for yourself. See that Jesus is nowhere to be found. See that Jesus has risen from the dead. It's exactly like he said he would. So they walk in. They probably did some inspection of looking at the cloth that was there and seeing, no, he's nowhere to be found.

And then what does the angel of the Lord say? Go and tell the disciples. The same thing happens when Jesus interacts with the disciples. He says, Come and see my wounds, then go and tell where I'm going. This is a theme throughout Scripture that God is constantly saying come and see how good it is, how powerful I am, how amazing I am. And then once you taste it, go and tell. Go and share. Go and talk about how amazing I am. But we live in a come and see world where we are constantly being bombarded by advertisements. Forbes says that you are being advertised at 4000 to 10,000 times a day as an average American. If you're on your phone all the time or you're on social media all the time you're on the higher end of that. We are constantly having things vie for our attention. Alex Hermosi, an influencer as well as a multimillionaire. He says, Attention is the new oil. It's the new commodity. Can I get your attention? We live in a world that is vying for this come and see. Billions of dollars are being spent to get you to come and see.

AI has changed the game when it comes to what you're coming and seeing. There was pictures that were posted on Twitter last week of Trump being arrested. Go to the next one. These are fake. These were created by AI. He was never running away from the cops like that, you know, the next one is of the Pope on a motorcycle. The next one was done by Balenciaga, the clothing company. Get the Pope in a puffer jacket. On TikTok now they have this filter called Bold Glamour. How many of you guys have heard of the Bold Glamour filter? There was not that many yeahs. Because no one wants to admit that they use it on their videos. And what this is, it is a filter where you can go from looking like this, where I look like this is a hostage situation looking picture, right? I don't look good. I'm not tan. I don't know why one eye is squintier than the other eye. There's some problems there to looking like this. I got a tan, my eyes look better. Here is a video of a girl doing this showing herself before and after. Says this filter has to be illegal.

That's what she looks like. Before, that's after. It changes dramatically. Here's another video of a before and after.

Obviously that was not the real one, but it says on there that the little caption there was. I don't understand why people feel like they're getting catfished I don't understand why they're being catfished by this app. It is remarkable what AI can do. This idea, this filter that we've known about for years with Photoshop, how they modify what models look like or celebrities look like. It's hard to come and see and actually see the real thing. Oftentimes, even when people interact with celebrities in public, they don't always recognize them as themselves because they've been so done up by filters and by Photoshop that they don't even recognize the real thing. The UK and France has just passed a law saying that you must share that you used touchup or filters when you start to use these things for commercials, because they're so effective that they're causing mental health issues in people as they're seeing the celebrities use these filters or people use these filters and they can't tell the difference between what's real and what's fake. The interesting thing about this is that we can get catfished by a lot of different things. The catfish that she's talking about is the idea that you could be someone that you're on a profile, a dating app or something like that, saying, I look this certain way.

And yet when you come to the person, it's a completely different story. There is a thing that I'd like to call, I'll coin the phrase being Christian catfished. Being Christian catfished. The christian of America has played on our come and see need, the desire that we have for miracles, the desire that we have that God actually placed in us to see something remarkable. The Christian world at large has played on this and started to kind of fabricate the ways that you can come and see. And yet it's hurt millions and millions and millions of people. And maybe why you haven't been at church in a long time is because you've been jaded by the church experience that you've come to church thinking it was one thing, and then you get to the door and it's a completely different situation. You come in thinking you understand Jesus, and then you come into the doors of the church where you should be able to hear about Jesus, and yet you feel like you only get one side or maybe even a false narrative of who Jesus is. This idea of come and see can very quickly make you feel like I've been catfished by Christianity and I no longer want to go and try it there.

One of the things that we can feel is the come and see of Christianity is that, you know what? It's not that hard to be a Christian that can be taught and peddled by ministers all over the place, that Christianity is easy. And we go to passages like Matthew eleven, verse 28. That's in the Bible where it says come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. We read scriptures like that. And, yes, I believe Jesus wants us to experience that kind of life, a life where in Him, as we are walking through the challenges of life, that we are able to turn to Him and that he is able to give you peace through all the challenges that you go through in your life. Amen. But it doesn't mean your life's going to be easy. It doesn't mean that there won't be challenges. You know, eight verses earlier in Matthew eleven, verse 20, it says, then Jesus began to denounce the towns in which most of his miracles have been performed because they did not repent.

So he had just been in these towns and these cities and he was performing these miracles, but they wouldn't change their life. And so he's sitting there going, no, you're missing the point. In fact, it uses the language. He renounced those towns. And if you read the passage of Scripture, he has a lot to express about what he feels and the hurt that he feels by these people not responding to his call. It's not an easy life being a Christian. It is the best life. It is a life that you can have peace. You don't have to worry about where you're going for eternity. You can live a life as a disciple of Jesus Christ and honestly, in repenting and stopping the sins that we committed before knowing Christ. There is an easier way of life that comes from not sinning. Amen. But it doesn't mean that it's going to be easy. I've seen this a lot. When we sow the Bible with people is that we see challenges still happening in our lives. I liken it to the analogy of if you realize that you have a sickness or you have cancer and you needed to get cut out of you.

Sometimes people with cancer don't even realize that they have cancer before they need to go into surgery to get it cut out. They don't feel any different, they don't feel bad, but the doctor says it's time to go in. If we don't surgically remove this cancer, then you will not be able to live. You'll die. And so you go into surgery and you wake up and you're in more pain initially than when you went into the surgery. But because you had the surgery, you will live. In the same way, it may even get more difficult following Jesus initially. Keyword initially, but if you stick with it, if you continue on, if you walk the way Jesus is calling you, it is the greatest life. And you can have this Matthew 11:28 peace that he's talking about. But do not be catfished by Christians that say it's going to be easy or they water down Christianity. They water down what it means to be a disciple. They water down the concept so much to where you don't even have to really do anything to believe in God or have a relationship with Him.

The idea of being catfished in the church by you're going to have so much more money, you are going to be so much more taken care of. You're going to have prosperity throughout your entire life if you follow Jesus. Jesus was homeless. Jesus did not have all kinds of money. If your bank account is lower than you want it to be, then you know that you're in good company with Jesus. If you look at your bank account and you're disappointed, then you're like Jesus, his bank account was very low. But following Jesus, your bank account is not going to necessarily increase. This prosperity doctrine can draw people in that everything is going to get better. And yet sometimes it gets more challenging and we can walk away from God versus understanding that, yeah, it may be challenging at times, but it's worth it. It's worth it. This idea of come and see is what the angel is saying, is what Jesus is saying is that there is actual, authentic, real good relationships that you can have in this home. So many of us have turned away from the relationship with God because of hurts and pains that we've had with people. The representation of Christianity through people has not added up to what we've seen in the Scriptures. And so we look at the concept and the idea of being a Christian and we love it, but then when we come and see the individuals and how they're living their lives or how they're treating us or other people, we go, that's not what I see in the Scriptures.

And so we run away. We run away from a relationship with God and yet God is saying, Come and see. Come and see what I have in store. There's churches nowadays that they will plant people in the back of an auditorium like this on a baptism Sunday. They will plant staff members in the back to when you say, hey, anybody that wants to get baptized, they start running down from the furthest back wall, straight through the aisles. Chanting And Cheering I want to be a Christian. I want to do it coming down the aisles to try and get other people excited about getting baptized too. Or another church has planted inside the vents. They put gold dust into the vents so that when they do worship, they turn on the vents and then gold dust comes down and they go, it's an act of God. God is here and God is present. There's gold dust all around. That is not the Jesus that we serve. We don't serve a God that is looking for us to come up with fabricated things to come and see. You've come to a church where we're not going to fabricate.

We want to be excellent, we want to make sure that you're able to connect with God, but we're not trying to fabricate something that's not present. We want to have a relationship with God and we want to help you do that as well. As you come and see, do not be overawed by the lights and all the things that can happen at church that can be almost an indoctrination of kind of this consumer church. Be willing to look deeper at God's word and say, what is God's scriptures actually say about it? The Bereans in act 17, we won't turn there. But they looked at the Scriptures after Paul, the Apostle Paul preached to them to see if what he was saying was actually accurate. If you want to come and see what God is doing, he is doing something miraculous in this church, I promise you. But you're going to have to back it up and we're going to have to back it up with what the word of God says. And if you can see in the scripture and you see it in a living color, there's a come and see moment right there.

Jesus is directing his disciples, come and see the miracles that have happened. Come and see the ways that I've been healed. The angel is telling Mary, come and see that he's no longer here. What would it take for you to come and see and recognize that God truly is God. What would be your come and see moment? We in this church have seen miraculous relationships healed and restored, relationships that were on the verge of divorce, that have been completely transformed. We've seen addicts completely turn their life around. You are surrounded by members of our congregation that have a story, and it's the reason that they're still here, because they came, they saw, they looked at God's word and they said, I got to make some radical change in my life. And they were able to do it because God was standing with them. We have a congregation of men and women all around you that have come and they saw what God can do. But will you, will you choose to come back? Will you choose to continue to see the miracles of God? God has so much in store for your life. We have a series in our congregation called it's a Bible study series, or some people call it The Foundations of Faith.

And it's a foundational Bible study series of about eight studies. And it goes through it's for anybody that is looking to deepen in their faith or it can help convert you if you're not a disciple already. And what it is, is it goes through and helps you understand the word of God and the importance of the word of God or baptism, what's baptism for and what's it all about. Repentance gets thrown around in church a lot and what does that mean and what does it look like to actually repent? We're going to have a second here to be able to fill out the connect cards. And I want you to be able to check that box if that interests you. If you've never studied the Bible, we want to study the Bible. We have hundreds of people studying the Bible across the Boston area right now in our churches, and we are so excited to teach you what God is doing. You are not here by chance. God has said, come and see. I'm going to bring up Ashley to share.

So this morning was eventful in our house, like he said, and usually what we do is I hide their Easter baskets and then we do kind of, oh, you're getting warmer. And we just kind of do colder, hotter until they find the baskets. But thanks to Bluey, for all the parents that know Bluey, they did this little scavenger hunt and I was like, I'm going to try it this year because we have four kids, we have all these baskets. Let's do something fun. And honestly, we just kind of bypassed the Easter Bunny. That's just our choice. We're like, we got to get credit for these awesome gifts that we're giving you. So I hid these baskets and I wrote ten clues. So when they walked downstairs, they got their first clue, and that clue led to the next clue. And then to the next clue. It took them about ten minutes to find these Easter baskets, but it was so exciting to see because they had to work together, they had to follow the specific clues or else they were not going to find these Easter baskets. I hid them pretty well. But in a similar way, I think God has hidden these clues on the paths of our lives to lead us to Him.

The final destination is not necessarily church, even though church is great, but our final destination, this gift that God has prepared for us is heaven. And the only reason we're able to get there is because Jesus died. Jesus raised from the dead, and he did all of this to get you to desire Him, to pay attention, to desire heaven to want to be with Him for eternity. One Timothy Two Four says, God wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. And I believe that there are these clues that he has specifically put in your life. Our clues aren't the same because us in our individual life, getting to heaven is not going to look the same as the person next to you. But God is so intentional. He created you. He knows you so intimately, and he has put all these clues of, okay, this is the path that is going to get you to heaven. And some of you have been at this a while. My kids at, like, Savannah, my four year old kind of forgot that there were Easter baskets. She just started, like, playing with toys along the way.

She was over it. She didn't really realize what she was doing. And some of us have been looking for these clues or trying to hear God or see God just in our lives. So we're on Clue, like six, seven, eight, and we're kind of doubting, like, is this leading anywhere? Is this actually leading me to heaven to be with God? Because this is getting hard along the way. Some of them, they really had to work together to figure out I did, like, little riddles that they really had to literally work together to figure out where that next clue was leading them. But I think similarly, we're going through life and there are hardships or something didn't go the way that we wanted it to, and we're stuck. And we need the people around us to say, is this what God is doing? Is this what he's forging in you? Is this where he's preparing you to go? But he literally does these things and is trying to. Some of you are here today. And this is his clue to try to pivot your entire life, to change the entire direction of your life. So that even though it is great to be here on Easter, but he also wants you to come back next week.

He also wants to meet with you on a random Tuesday morning, at night, in the middle of the day. He wants this relationship with you, and we have to be patient enough and persevering enough to hear Him to come and see all that he has planned for us.

As you come and see, there is an initial response of being just blown away. But very quickly after you come and see, there is a natural response to say, I've got to go and tell people what I just saw. The angel immediately says, you're going to see this amazing thing, but go and tell the disciples. Jesus, immediately after them seeing his wounds being healed, say, I've got to go and tell all that I've seen. In verse seven, it says, then go quickly and tell the disciples. Right. Verse ten, go and tell. What are you supposed to tell? That he has risen. That he's going to Galilee and that's where you can go to see Him. Jesus constantly is calling his disciples after his resurrection to go and tell everybody about what you've seen and heard. And he brings this point up over and over again. What are you supposed to go and tell? That he has risen. That he is risen. That he is alive. As you are a disciple of Jesus Christ, as you're standing here today, as the members of our congregation are here, do you truly believe he's alive? Do you truly believe he's alive?

You're kind of quiet out there. It's darker in the audience, and so you're getting a little sleepy in the audience. But do you believe that he's alive? Do you believe that he actually rose from the dead? Because if you believe something as wild and crazy, then you have to tell people about it. You have to share it. You can't keep it in. You've got to talk. I thought that and I heard this somewhere, and it was wrong when I looked it up, that negative press or negative reviews are much more likely to give a negative review than a positive review. That's wrong. You're 72% more likely to give a positive review than a negative review. If something is awesome, you want to tell people about it. You want to let it out, you want to express it. Too many of us are holding back the truth of what we believe because we're intimidated by what it will mean if we share it. We're scared that the world won't understand what we mean when we say that Jesus is actually alive and that we believe it, that we be thought of as though we're just some kind of disillusioned person, especially in the city of Boston, one of the least Christian places in America.

It can be intimidating to go into your workplace and say, I actually believe this stuff. And yet, if you do believe, we've got to tell people about it. We've got to express it. We've got to let God know that he's risen, that he's alive, and that he's worth following. The second thing that they keep bringing up is where he's going? Where he's going? Where is he going to be? As we look throughout Scripture we recognize that where he's going and where he's going to be is in the church. In Matthew 18, verse 20 it says for where two or three gather in my name there I am with them. Where he's at? Where does he come together? When you worship Him, when you talk to Him, when you connect with him? I thought this was interesting that gen z's were surveyed by the Barnard Group and it said that 73% of gen Z's want to grow spiritually 77% of Gen Z's believe in a higher power 83% are certain or they think, I love how they put that together. They're certain or they think a spiritual dimension exists. Look at this last one though says 22% of them think they will find it in the church.

Think they're going to find it in the church. They've been catfished, they've been catfished by Christianity. They thought it was one thing and it was a different thing and they said that's not where I can find God. Jesus is saying, go tell people where you can find me. Go tell people where I'm going to be. Go tell people where I am, where you can be with me, where you can connect with me. People want spirituality. You want spirituality and yet too often we think I don't know if I can find it in a church. You can, you can find it right here but you need to respond. You need to connect, you need to reach out. You need to express it. In a household with four kids if you don't express your needs, you don't get your needs met. My youngest Kevin knows it and he is the loudest of the bunch because he knows if he doesn't express then we're not going to probably know his needs. He doesn't know how to say I don't want so he says no but that's his don't want. And so you hear don't want bunt but no but, no but.

All the time throughout the day he's expressing I don't want that. I do want that, I don't want that. We in the same way with God have got to be able to express our needs to Him to express and reach out and share with the church. I want to connect. I need help in my life. Many of you have come from Instagram or online or found us some way. I want to express to you we want to help you but we don't know who you all are. We love you before we know you but we don't know you yet. It takes you reaching out, it takes you expressing, it takes you sharing. For some of you the go and tell is that Jesus has risen and that he's changed your life. For others of you the go and tell is I need help. Please, will you help me? Will you teach me? Will you show me? I'm not trying to live a bad life. I don't want to be a bad person. I'm trying to be a good person, but I don't know how to do this. Will you help me? We must come and see and go and tell.

Come and see. Go and tell. Come and see. Go and tell. It's shared throughout scripture from the beginning of time. God's saying, come and see how good the Garden of Eden is. And then go and express it and spread all over the world what I've done through my son. Come and see how good taste what is good in the Lord and go and tell of his deeds. I want to bring up Ashley for a chance here to share as we close out.

You know, when you have authentically experienced something, it's hard to keep quiet about it when it has really changed your life. And I'm sure a lot of you are here today because the people that you know or that brought you out felt like, I have to tell you what my life is now with God. And I've spoken many times about when I used to experience chronic pain. About ten years ago, when I started having kids, I started getting migraines every single day. And it was the worst pain of my life. I didn't know how to escape it. Medications weren't working. And I genuinely feel like I'm standing here today as a completely different woman. I wouldn't be standing here today before you. I don't think we would be in this congregation. I don't think I would be here if it wasn't for these things that I learned that I was able to overcome. And sometimes, because I've spoken about it so much, there was like a psychological book that I read that started talking about just dealing with and expressing emotional pain and the anger that we can stuff inside. And so it was manifesting itself in physical pain for me.

And I've spoken about it so many times that often I can start to feel insecure that when you share about the same thing over and over again, even though it was so authentic and it worked for you, that when people experience pain, I can't help but talk about it because I so badly want the same result. I so badly want people's lives to change. And I think as a Christian, we can say some of the same things. If you've been here multiple weeks, we talk about these Bible studies. Why? Because it has literally changed our life. It has changed our entire perspective on God. The way we think, the way we act, the things we're willing to invest in, how we build relationships, the things that we're willing to purge out of our hearts. Why? With a purpose of connecting with God. It is not this cliche that we just don't have any other answers and so go pray about it. But prayer is on the daily, changing our lives and changing our perspective. And so as we think about just going and telling, it's not only for our own hearts, but that once we're able to experience that change, once we're able to experience that healing from God, he desires for us to go tell.

There are billions of people in this world that he is trying to save every single day, and we have to be the ones to go and tell it.

We have friends that we've told this about, especially the ones that are going through their own stuff, and whenever they are sharing, it's a tough time or they're going through something with that chronic pain, the initial response that Ashley and I both have is there's this book. There's this book that you can read and it helps with scriptures that tells you how to be healed, but you can only do that so many times before people go, shut up about the book. I don't want to hear about the book anymore. It's the same way at times with God and what has been healed in our hearts. As Christians, we can feel that sense of rejection when we try to share with people the things that we want to go and tell of what God's done, and yet we're not getting the kind of responses that we want to hear. I want to share with you that Jesus didn't call them to stop going and telling just because people didn't want to hear it. There were people that they went and told that didn't believe it. There are people that they went and told that didn't believe it at first and then later on believed it.

There are people that went and told that ended up going away. There was no Internet at the time. Information was slow and they would go away. They heard it, they didn't believe it, and they went far, far away and they didn't know it was true for years later. But Jesus still called them, go and tell about it. Tell them all that's gone on. If you're feeling worn out with going and telling, I want to encourage you. God is doing amazing things. And there are hundreds of thousands of people here in the city of Boston and the surrounding area that have not been told, have been catfished by Christianity and have not been told about what it means to have a relationship with God. Have confidence in what you know, have confidence in what you believe. Go and tell everyone about what Jesus has done. As we close out right now, we're going to transition to communion. And this is a time of reflection on the sacrifice that Jesus made, that Jesus died on the cross so that we could come and see a new thing so that we could come and see and interact with God in a completely different way than the people were interacting with them up into that point. That there was no chasm any longer, that there was no barrier in the relationship because Jesus died on the cross. And this is a time of reflection, of how we as disciples of Jesus Christ, are going to go forward in living this life. If you have not made a decision to be a Christian or have not made a decision to become a disciple, you do not have to take the communion, the bread and the blood, as it signifies the blood of Christ, the grape juice and the bread which signifies his body. But we do this every week in remembrance of Him, as he called us to do it. Let's pray for communion. Dear God, thank you for this time to be together in the opportunity to talk about your resurrection. God, we know that before the resurrection was a cross. We know that there was so much suffering and pain that went into the sacrifice you made on Friday in order for there to be a resurrection on Sunday. God, we pray that you would allow us right now as we take the bread and as we take the cup, God, that we're able to remember what it means, the commitment that we've made to you as disciples of Jesus Christ.

her, as we give, I pray that you can move in our hearts to really feel the gratitude for everything that You've done for us, so that we're giving from a place of gratitude. It's never from obligation, but it's always just in awe. Of you and everything that you've done for us. We love you so much. It's in Jesus name that we pray.


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