Sermon for Sunday

                      Sunday, April 20, 2014


Easter Sunday


Hurried Grace


Psalm 103: 8-18

II Corinthians 12: 7-10

Matthew 28: 1-10


  • It had been a really, really harsh long and protracted winter in the Rockies. Snow had piled up deeper and deeper; temperatures had plummeted to well below 0 and stayed there. The rivers were frozen solid and roads were impassible. People who lived in the higher elevations struggled to survive.

Red Cross had been called in to help but the conditions made getting that help to the people in the most need extremely dangerous and difficult. After several days of hard, grueling work, one helicopter crew had finished for the day. They took off from their landing site and flew over a previously un-noticed portion of densely forested ground. As they flew over they noticed a small log cabin. The cabin was almost covered in snow. With the exception of an exposed part of the roof and the upper portions of a couple of windows, the only thing visible was a wisp of smoke coming from the chimney. The crew became concerned that whoever lived there must be critically short of even basic food and supplies. They looked for a place to set down but could only find a small area several hundred yards away. They set down and made the harrowing and difficult trek on foot through knee deep snow. After several hours of struggling, they reached the cabin. Tired, wet and out of breath, they knocked loudly on the cabin door. They knocked a couple of times before a little old bent and frail woman answered. The man at the door exclaimed loudly, “Mam, we’re from the Red Cross.” The woman was silent for a moment, smiled, and said, “I’m sorry but we just can’t help this year” and closed the door.

  • If ever there was a word to describe the efforts of this helicopter crew it would be Grace.
    • GRACE : Kindly, charitable interest in others; kind, forgiving, or compassionate treatment of or disposition toward others; a kindly act.
    • To put forth this kind of effort under these kinds of harsh conditions to check the safety and well-being of someone they don’t know, certainly falls under the definition of grace.

God’s Grace is exactly like this: He searches for us, finds us, and offers His Grace.

That kind, forgiving, and compassionate Grace!

The lord is compassionate and gracious,

Slow to anger, abounding in love.

As high as the heavens are above the earth,

So great is His love for us. . . .

From everlasting to everlasting

His love is with us.

And His love, that knows no beginning and knows no end,

Love which is everlasting,

Is encapsulated in His Grace.

That wonderful, amazing grace,

That made the difficult and dangerous trek

From the Manger of Bethlehem,

To the dirty, dusty, crowded streets of Jerusalem.

From the upper room, His last meal,

Washing their feet

Sharing a loaf of bread and a cup of wine

With His faithful followers.

Offering grace to the very one’s

Who will betray Him,

Abandon Him,

Deny Him.

Up the Via Delarosa,

Bruised, battered, beaten, bloodied,

Carrying a heavy wooden cross,

The very cross He would die on,

All the way up the hill to Calvary.

On that hill,

Cruel nails driven into His hands and feet,


Because that wonderful, beautiful, amazing grace

Would have held Him there!

A ghastly crown of thorns thrust down on His head,

Blood and sweat and anguish

Flow freely down.

Flowing freely,

Generously mixed with His grace.

Grace offered through the anguish and pain,

Offered to everyone,

In every age,

In every country,

Of every language,

Of every social, political, and economical


Those words of Grace that will change everything –

Father, forgive them.

Grace that offers US Forgiveness!

Grace offered in the midst of our betrayal,

Our denial,

And our abandonment!

Grace offered when the storms of life come,

When the sin is piled high and deep,

And the only visible sign,

Is a wisp of a prayer,

Offered in our desperate need,

Heard in heaven,

Given in the grace-filled words,

. . . . forgive them.

And from the hill of Calvary

To a borrowed tomb,

Grace led the way!

Now look at the Easter Story :

On the first day of the week, early in the morning,

We see His disciples,

And those who love Him,

Making their way to that most un-gracious of places,

A tomb!

A tomb where grace and truth have been buried.

Where the light of the world was extinguished!

A tomb that is now a reminder of what Might have been,

Of what great things could have happened,

Of all the hopes and dreams of those who gave up all to follow.

A tomb now filled with heartache and pain,

With broken hopes and shattered dreams!

And yet there comes,

With heartache and pain,

With broken hopes and shattered dreams,

Weak and weary,

In the midst of the darkness and gloom of a graveyard,

Those who remembered the Grace.

Those who have not yet completely abandoned that Grace.

They come with their own grace,

Their own love,

Their own compassion.

With heavy hearts,

And slow steps,

Weak and weary,

They come!

As they come,

The earth moves,

A light shines,

A voice speaks,

Their hearts are troubled,

And they turn and hurry away.

But in their hurried escape,

They hear another voice,

A voice familiar,


And filled with Grace.

That wonderful, beautiful, amazing Grace!

Astonished and amazed,

They stop!

And they receive,

One more time,

A simple act of Grace,

Offered in their weakness

And their weariness,

Grace –

Grace offered in just one simple word,


Here, in this one simple

Grace-filled word,

Is the truth of Easter.

Jesus meets us

When and where we least expect Him!

As we are hurrying from one mistake to another,

One betrayal to another,

One denial to another,

One more moment to abandoned and bail,

One more storm of sin and regret,

He stops us!

Astonished and amazed,

We stop!

And we receive,

One more time,

A simple act of Grace,

Offered in our weakness

And our weariness,

And our hurriedness

Grace –

Grace offered with a smile and one simple word,


                   Pastor Art























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