Death Has Invaded Life...But!

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1 Job 3:20-26 MSG November 6, 2016 All Saints Day Death Has Invaded Life...But! We all enjoy celebrating the date of life...one's birthday! However, how many of us celebrate or remember the day death invaded life? When you walk through a cemetery you notice on the grave markers the person's name and then the date or year of their birth and then the date or year of their death. The date when death invaded a friend or loved one's life is a difficult date. I have written in my daily devotional book the dates when death invaded the life of my mom and dad. But instead of writing Dad's death I have written Dad's resurrection day...october 25, And for mom the same...mom's resurrection day April 15, Death has invaded life...but! Those dates are mixed with sadness and joy. I am certainly sad not to be able to see their smile, hug them, share a meal or watch a ball game with them. But...! It is that "but" that I want us to take a look at on this day we remember those whose lives death has invaded. Job, the Old Testament person, had life going well. He was portrayed as a wealthy man of upright character who loved God. Yet God allowed Satan to destroy his business, his family and his health. His life was great but death invaded his life. Job had two options when death invaded the life of his family. They are the same two choices we are given when death invades the lives of our family or friends. page 1

2 Job's grief over death invading his life put him at a crossroads of faith that many of us have found ourselves standing at when death has invaded our lives. He had only two choices: He could curse God and give up on God and life. Or he could trust God and draw strength from God to continue on with his life. Death has invaded life...but! Jesus had a close friend whose life was invaded by death. His name was Lazarus. Jesus went to be with Lazarus' sisters. They were grieving over their brother's death. Jesus gave them a choice to believe or not believe. Jesus told Martha, "I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die." (John 11:25-26NIV) Then Jesus asked the question of faith. Jesus gave her a choice in the face of death invading the life of her brother: "Do you believe this?" She made the choice to trust Jesus' promise of resurrection and life to those who believe He is the Savior. This question was given to Martha while her brother was still dead. Death has invaded life but...jesus is the Resurrection and the Life! Do you believe this? We who believe Jesus is the resurrected Savior will die but will have life forever. Death has invaded Jesus' life..."but the truth is that Christ has been raised up, the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave the cemeteries." (I Corinthians 15:20MSG) page 2

3 Death came into our world through the sin of Adam and Eve. Resurrection came into the world through Jesus. The Apostle Paul described how death invaded life but, "It's resurrection, resurrection, always resurrection, that undergirds what I do and say, the way I live." (I Cor. 15:32 MSG) Death has invaded life...but will you live resurrection in all you do, say and the way you live? Death has invaded life...but there is nothing that can defeat Jesus' love for us. We can proclaim that resurrection assurance that death has invaded life but, "I am convinced that neither death nor life...nor anything else in all creation, will be ale to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38,39 NIV) Death has invaded life and we can allow it to drag us down into the grave of life. We can let grief overwhelm us. We can let anger paralyze us. We can let questions confuse us. Or we can choose life! Death has invaded life but..."this resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike 'What's next Papa?'" (Romans 8:15 MSG) Death has invaded life but you have a choice how you will live life. Death has invaded life but will you let death have the say in how you live life? Or will you allow this resurrection of Jesus guide you in living life? page 3

4 Death has invaded life...but "If you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ---that's where the action is. Seeing things from His perspective." (Colossians 3:1,2 MSG) Death has invaded life but you are choosing to live life with Christ guiding you each step of the way. You are choosing to live resurrection life here and now. Death has invaded life...but there is a living hope we are given through Jesus' resurrection. Peter, a disciple, an eyewitness to Jesus' death on the cross was also a witness to Jesus' resurrection. The cross had invaded Jesus' life but the empty tomb declared the fullness of a living hope! Peter put it this way: "Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we've been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven---and the future starts now!" (I Peter 1:3,4 MSG) Death has invaded life but we've been given a living hope in Jesus' resurrection. That future of hope begins now and will continue on with Jesus forever. Death invades life but death doesn't have the final say. Death has invaded life but we are given that brand-new life of hope and we can live that future hope here and now. Death has invaded life but we are given a choice on how we choose to live life. page 4

5 We have a list of names of family and friends of this community of faith whose lives were invaded by physical death this past year. Each of them made the choice to believe that Jesus is the resurrection and life. They chose to believe that there was nothing that could separate them from God's love in their lives through Jesus their Savior. They have been raised to that living hope...that resurrection life. They have witnessed the truth that even though death invaded their life...there is life eternal! I will read each name and a candle will be lit by a family member or friend of faith. Death has invaded...but he/she has received resurrection life in Jesus forever. We give thanks to God for the lives of these who chose to live life in Jesus, their Resurrection and life. Death has invaded life...but? Will you choose to let the love of Jesus live in you here and now? We have been given a reminder of His resurrection love in the sacrament of communion. (Share words of consecration as related to sermon topic) Open altar for communion as a time to prayerfully remember those family members and friends whose lives death invaded. Then reaffirm your decision on accepting the resurrection love of Jesus into your heart this day. page 5

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