Easter Service of the Year 2003
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4-20-2003 Sunday Service of the Church Within #342
Today's Service is offered by: Pastor Daniel J. Megow
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Welcome by: Pastor Daniel
Greetings my Beloved Sisters and Brothers, and welcome once again to the Church that is Within.
Happy Easter Everyone!!! For Today's Easter Sermon, I have chosen to begin with segments of all of our past Church Within Easter Services
followed by This Year's
(From: The Urantia Papers - Paper-188 Section-5)
The cross is that high symbol of sacred service, the devotion of one's life to the welfare and salvation of one's fellows. The cross is not the symbol of the sacrifice of the innocent Son of God in the place of guilty sinners and in order to appease the wrath of an offended God, but it does stand forever, on earth and throughout a vast universe, as a sacred symbol of the good bestowing themselves upon the evil and thereby saving them by this very devotion of love. The cross does stand as the token of the highest form of unselfish service, the supreme devotion of the full bestowal of a righteous life in the service of wholehearted ministry, even in death, the death of the cross. And the very sight of this great symbol of the bestowal life of Jesus truly inspires all of us to want to go and do likewise.
(From: The KJV Bible - John 20:11-17)
But Mary stood without at the sepulcher weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulcher, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
(From: The Urantia Papers - Paper-193 Section-0)
"And now you should give ear to my words lest you again make the mistake of hearing my teaching with the mind while in your hearts you fail to comprehend the meaning. From the beginning of my sojourn as one of you, I taught you that my one purpose was to reveal my Father in heaven to his children on earth. I have lived the God-revealing bestowal that you might experience the God-knowing career. I have revealed God as your Father in heaven; I have revealed you as the sons of God on earth. It is a fact that God loves you, his sons. By faith in my word this fact becomes an eternal and living truth in your hearts. When, by living faith, you become divinely God-conscious, you are then born of the spirit as children of light and life, even the eternal life wherewith you shall ascend the universe of universes and attain the experience of finding God the Father on Paradise.
"I admonish you ever to remember that your mission among men is to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom--the reality of the fatherhood of God and the truth of the sonship of man. Proclaim the whole truth of the good news, not just a part of the saving gospel. Your message is not changed by my resurrection experience. Sonship with God, by faith, is still the saving truth of the gospel of the kingdom. You are to go forth preaching the love of God and the service of man. That which the world needs most to know is: Men are the sons of God, and through faith they can actually realize, and daily experience, this ennobling truth.
My bestowal should help all men to know that they are the children of God, but such knowledge will not suffice if they fail personally to faith-grasp the saving truth that they are the living spirit sons of the eternal Father. The gospel of the kingdom is concerned with the love of the Father and the service of his children on earth.
"Among yourselves, here, you share the knowledge that I have risen from the dead, but that is not strange. I have the power to lay down my life and to take it up again; the Father gives such power to his Paradise Sons. You should the rather be stirred in your hearts by the knowledge that the dead of an age entered upon the eternal ascent soon after I left Joseph's new tomb. I lived my life in the flesh to show how you can, through loving service, become God-revealing to your fellow men even as, by loving you and serving you, I have become God-revealing to you. I have lived among you as the Son of Man that you, and all other men, might know that you are all indeed the sons of God. Therefore, go you now into all the world preaching this gospel of the kingdom of heaven to all men. Love all men as I have loved you; serve your fellow mortals as I have served you. Freely you have received, freely give. Only tarry here in Jerusalem while I go to the Father, and until I send you the Spirit of Truth. He shall lead you into the enlarged truth, and I will go with you into all the world. I am with you always, and my peace I leave with you."
(from: The Church Within Easter Service 1997)
Why are the Resurrection and subsequent appearances to many so important that even 2000 years later, the large portion of Mankind Celebrate them? Is it because He survived Mortal Death? Many would say so. But to me the true significance is that Jesus showed us, that WE can survive mortal death. If we faithfully choose Father's Will to the best of our ability of recognizing it, we need no longer fear for nor doubt our OWN survival of this life in the flesh.
Already we have survived this Life in the flesh, already have we begun our life in "The Kingdom of Heaven" once we choose in our Soul to accept Father's Will over the will of our own limited human Ego... once we stop telling God what we think we need and joyfully accept that which He offers us... Once we have realized that God's Will for us is so much more Grand than we could ever imagine for ourselves.
(from: The Church Within Easter Service 1998)
I think I was 8 or 9 the first time I thought of the Resurrection of Jesus Before I thought of the Easter Bunny and the search for goodies... and I was brought up in a very religious Catholic home. Up to that point, the significance of the Resurrection was more than my young mind could grasp. But all of a sudden I thought about Jesus surviving mortal death. I thought that was more significant. Quite frankly, I didn't think much about redemption of sins at that age, what Really touched me was that He was "out there" somewhere and I could talk to him and he would, if I was sincere, listen to me. I could be in Communion with him because of his Resurrection! Ya know... that's Still the most significant thing about Easter to me.
(from: The Church Within Easter Service 1999 by: Minister Jill Megow)
Who is your Father? Your Dad? Today, when so many are especially focused on their spiritual beliefs with the celebration of Easter, I hope you will take time to ask yourself that question and find your Very Personal answer... your Own Personal Resurrection.
All faiths, all doctrines genuinely seek to help you know your Father in Heaven. Your Father knows where you are this morning, and He is with you. He Loves You!
(from: Church Within Easter Service 2000)
Easter with a Child:
Oh BOY! Now I get to be the Easter Bunny!!! Childlike joy Renewed while watching a child find treats... later...
"...and Easter is Really about celebrating Jesus rising up again on the third day after he died."
"Then Why are there Easter Eggs?"
"Well, you've seen little chicks coming out of an egg... I think the eggs are about new life... and Jesus showed us that there is New Life after we die."
"Then Why is there Easter Grass and colored candy?"
"I think they're to celebrate the coming of Spring and all the new growth. New Grass and Flowers and Leaves start coming out from what looked like it had died in the winter."
"Then Why is there an Easter Bunny?"
"Maybe to remind us that there is someone Good and Wonderful that we cannot see with our eyes that puts good things in hard to find places for us to Find."
"Then Why can't we Celebrate and have Easter Every day?"
"That's a good Question."
(from: The Church Within Easter Service 2001 by: Minister Judy Girard)
The resurrection to which Easter calls us is our own. We must prepare to find God wherever and whenever God is. We must be prepared to find God in some very unexpected places. To see God in ways we never expected to, to hear God in words we thought we would never hear and maybe don't want to hear. We must open our hearts to fit around God and stop shrinking God to fit into our puny little hearts and minds. We must release the voice and presence of God. We must let God out of the tomb and into our lives. This demands that we let go of those social phobias, which keep us protected from one another. It means that we will reach out to one another to everyoneto gays and women and men and immigrants and illegal aliens and prisoners and the poor and blacks and yellows and browns and strangers and children. It means listening to those to whom we do not usually listento women and angels in particular (those voices that are strangely lacking in most religious traditions). It means emptying tombs and contending with those whose beliefs are different from ours, and with whom it is not apparent that we share anything.
(from: The Church Within Easter Service 2002)
May Your Own Spirit this day experience a New Resurrection
a New Life.
"Church Within - Easter 2003"
April 9th 30 A.D.---The First Easter
April 20th 2003 A.D.---The 1,973rd Easter
Sometimes the date for Easter Sunday falls in late May
sometimes it comes in April
the actual day of the month varies. The only given seems to me to be that Easter always comes in the Springtime
Only but a few short weeks ago, all of our Fruit Trees, Vines and Bushes appeared at first glance as though they were lifeless skeletons
they looked almost as if they were dead. This morning as I strolled the gardens, every single one of them---Tree, Vine and Bush---was bursting forth with New Growth, New Opportunity for the production of Fruit. They are all So Much Bigger and Stronger and More Vigorous than they were last Spring at this time
It's almost impossible to recognize them as the same ones. With proper care, they will this year undoubtedly produce Fruits Far more Abundantly than in years past
The appearance of death was only an Illusion
the Life Within continues on.
This is what I believe Resurrection is like.
Resurrect my Spirit this day from the Winter of my earthly discontent.
You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal
The Creator's Infinite Love to all of You,
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