Sermon podcast: Easter Sunday16 Apr 2019 By Bishop John
Bishop John, 21 April 2019.
Press the play button to listen to the recording or click on the download link to download a .mp3 file to your computer.
A very happy Easter to you. Here’s an Easter quiz question for you. If I were to ask you what’s the best known word in the human language, I wonder what you’d say?
Here’s a hint; it’s a religious word. It’s a most remarkable word.
It was transliterated directly from Hebrew into the Greek of the New Testament and then into Latin, into English and many other languages, so it’s practically a universal word. Muslims use it as well as Christians and Jews.
Maybe you’ve guessed by now what it is – if not, I’ll put you out of your misery. It’s the word ‘Amen’!
In the Old Testament it’s an acronym meaning ‘God, King [who is] Trustworthy, Reliable.’ So every time we say amen, we’re affirming that God is sovereign of all and God is reliable and trustworthy.
When we say amen, we’re affirming that we’ve grasped something about the reliability of God.
How can we know that God is trustworthy and reliable, that God is sovereign over all so as to be able to affirm it? Most supremely because of what we celebrate today; the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. That shows that the love of God, by which we were created, through which we are sustained, is stronger than death itself and it will conquer all that is evil and painful in this world.
In a spoiled world, which is facing unprecedented devastation through global warming, we need something reliable. In our divided and confused nation, still wrangling over Brexit and seemingly no further forward, we need something reliable. We need look no further than the trustworthy, reliable and reconciling love of God shown forth in Jesus.
When we have grasped something of that reliability, that trustworthy love, shown forth in Jesus, everything will be put into a different perspective, an eternal perspective, a joyful perspective, an Easter perspective. Then we shall be able to say ‘amen’ with all our heart as we remember that God will go on loving us, no matter what, into all eternity because God is eternally reliable, eternally trustworthy, eternally sovereign.
When we have grasped it, we shall, God willing, be able to say ‘amen’, not just with our lips, but with our whole lives, sharing the confidence of that reliable love with others. If we manage that, then a great cheer of ‘amen’ will go up in heaven as all the heavenly host celebrate the sovereign love of God which is reliable and trustworthy, and that love reflected in our lives as we work for the coming of God’s Kingdom.
Happy Easter. Amen!