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The Gospel Reading.


Mark 16:1-8

1When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb3and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”
4But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
6“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ”
8Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.


When I Became a Christian.

by Adrian Plass

When I became a Christian, I said, Lord, now fill me in. Tell me what I'll suffer in this world of shame and sin. He said, Your body may be killed and left to rot and stink. Do you still want to follow me? I said, Amen! - I think. I think Amen, Amen I think, I think I say Amen, I'm not completely sure, can you just run through that again? You say my body may be killed and left to rot and stink, Well, yes, that sounds terrific, Lord, I say Amen - I think.

But, Lord, there must be other ways to follow you, I said. I really would prefer to end up dying in my bed. Well, yes, he said, you could put up with sneers and scorn and spit, Do you still want to follow me? I said, Amen! - a bit. A bit Amen, Amen a bit, a bit I say Amen, I'm not entirely sure, can we just run through that again? You say I could put up with sneers and also scorn and spit, Well, yes, I've made my mind up, and I say, Amen! - a bit.

Well I sat back and thought a while, then tried a different ploy, Now, Lord, I said, the Good Book say that Christians live in joy. That's true, he said, you need the joy to bear the pain and sorrow, So do you want to follow me? I said, Amen! - tomorrow. Tomorrow, Lord, I'll say it then, that's when I'll say Amen, I need to get it clear, can I just run through that again? You say that I will need the joy to bear the pain and sorrow, Well, yes, I think I've got it straight, I'll say, Amen - tomorrow.

He said, Look, I'm not asking you to spend an hour with me, A quick salvation sandwich and a cup of sanctity, The cost is you, not half of you, but every single bit, Now tell me, will you follow me? I said, Amen! - I quit. I'm very sorry, Lord, I said, I'd like to follow you, But I don't think religion is a manly thing to do. He said, Forget religion then, and think about my Son, And tell me if you're man enough to do what he has done.

Are you man enough to see the need, and man enough to go, Man enough to care for those whom no one wants to know, Man enough to say the thing that people hate to hear, To battle through Gethsemane in loneliness and fear. And listen! Are you man enough to stand it at the end, The moment of betrayal by the kisses of a friend, Are you man enough to hold your tongue, and man enough to cry, When nails break your body - are you man enough to die? Man enough to take the pain, and wear it like a crown, Man enough to love the world and turn it upside down, Are you man enough to follow me, I ask you once again. I said, Oh Lord, I'm frightened, but I also said Amen. Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen; Amen, Amen Amen, I said, O Lord, I'm frightened, but I also said, Amen

Poetry in Scripture


Psalm 30

1I will exalt you, Lord,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
2Lordmy God, I called to you for help,
and you healed me.
3You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead;
you spared me from going down to the pit.
4Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people;
praise his holy name.
5For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.
6When I felt secure, I said,
“I will never be shaken.”
7Lord, when you favored me,
you made my royal mountainstand firm;
but when you hid your face,
I was dismayed.
8To you, Lord, I called;
to the Lord I cried for mercy:
9“What is gained if I am silenced,
if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
10Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me;
Lord, be my help.”
11You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise you forever.



He is Risen


1 Corinthians 15

1Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas,and then to the Twelve. 6After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles,8and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
9For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.11Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.
The Resurrection of the Dead
12But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27For he “has put everything under his feet.”Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ.28When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.
29Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them? 30And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? 31I face death every day—yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord. 32If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised,
“Let us eat and drink,
for tomorrow we die.”
33Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”34Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.
The Resurrection Body
35But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” 36How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. 39Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another.40There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. 41The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.
42So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.45So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall webear the image of the heavenly man.
50I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—52in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.54When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
55“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.57But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.


Follow Along with our Guatemala Journey



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Faith of Theology: Ray Kurzweil's journey towards the end of dying


[theme_button type="theme_button medium" link="http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/18/4852338/ray-kurzweil-immortality" window="_blank" ]Ray Kurzweil's journey towards the end of dying[/theme_button]

What do you think? Should we try to stop people from dying?

Faith of Theology: Why Christian parents should not want good, happy, safe kids


[theme_button type="theme_button medium" link="http://erlc.com/article/why-christian-parents-should-not-want-good-happy-safe-kids" window="_blank" ]Why Christian parents should not want good, happy, safe kids [/theme_button]

So how does a Christian whose life is committed to following Jesus think about sin in the life of their children? The initial reaction is to confront the child about their sin. Followed by letting the child know you are praying that God will use this to teach them that they need to ask forgiveness for sins committed. Parents must discipline and teach their children that sin has consequences.


Faith of Theology Is Here!

Grow in Your Faith and Grow in your Theology: Read today. (Short articles to push you into a deeper relationship with God.)

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Music of the Week: Light Society


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Light Society is a worship band out of Summit Church in Orlando, Fla. While their self-titled debut record has already drawn comparisons to Gungor, All Sons and Daughters and Hillsong United, the 10 tracks uniquely present their own worshipful landscape to the listener, offering both congregational anthems and songs that inspire quiet reflection. Songwriter Joshua Pearson describes the record as "a collection of songs that lend themselves to unifying themes of pain, fear and struggle, but aim to maintain a focus on glorifying the One who is both the beginning and the end—the one true God who will eventually set the world inside us and around us to right."