“Loving All” Pastor Stephen Sanders 04-18-21 – Part II of the Sermon Series “Easter People in a Good Friday World”



Two weeks ago, we gathered on Easter Sunday. Some gathered in-person by the Children’s building. Others gathered online. We proclaimed the Easter message: Christ is Risen! Though Jesus was crucified and died on Good Friday, Death did not have the final word, for nothing is stronger than God’s Love and Life in Christ Jesus.

Then the days passed. If you turned on the TV or scrolled through your newsfeed, you probably saw reports of disease, death, discord, and division. Theologically, spiritually, we continue to live in a Good Friday world where Sin and Death seem to have the upper hand.

What does it mean for us to live as Easter people in this Good Friday world? Over the next few weeks Pastor Laura and I will reflect on that question. Each week we’ll listen to stories of the early church and learn what it meant for the first Christians to live as Easter people. As we listen to their stories, I believe we can hear a word for our lives today.

Perhaps the greatest issue for the Early Church centered upon a single question: Who was welcome? Who was welcome to receive God’s love in Christ? Who was welcome in the community of Easter people – the Church?

Our scripture passage for this week (Acts 11:1-18) addresses that question.

As you prepare for worship this week, read that story and the preceding one – Acts 10: 1-48.  Listen for how the first Christians struggled with the question of “Who is welcome?” and the conclusion they reached. I believe it speaks directly to how we live as Easter people today.