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Sunday, April 26, 2015

04262015 Third Sunday After Easter - The Big Reveal

Sermon Audio

April 26, 2015
The Big Reveal
Last weekend we hosted the wedding of Andrea and Garrett here at Emmanuel.  Saturday morning, before the wedding on the ramp to the front door they had the ‘Big Reveal’.  Simply it was where Andrea and Garrett would see one another for the first time on their wedding day.  These “Big Reveal’s” for the couples are always special and a memory they will treasure for their entire marriage.

Another reveal for families is when a newborn is shared with family and friends for the first time after birth.  Recently a couple shared their reveal with the world in a video that went viral.  What caused the video to go viral was not the parents, nor showing the newborn, but their friend’s reaction to what they saw for the first time.  The couple told their friends they were pregnant, but only shared that one piece of information, not the sex of the baby nor anything else.  Throughout the video people are shown behind a curtain and when it is pulled back the reaction of individuals is priceless.  Some come from behind the curtain and are excited and then what they see their reaction turns into instant disbelief.  It isn’t because what they see is bad, it is because they are expecting one baby.  Unknown to all their friends the couple was having twins and the reaction by most reveals how only after being confronted with the tangible of twins did their friends truly understand what occurred for the family.

So to this morning, we hear from Jesus in the Gospel lesson.  Behind the emblematic curtain before Jesus crucifixion, Jesus is telling the disciples w
hat will occur in the future.  In one sense the disciples are ‘blinded’ to the truth, just like the friends of the couple who were having the baby.  The disciples probably didn’t understand what would be required of their teacher and friend Jesus Christ.  Jesus was telling the disciples about the events on the horizon because He knew the future that was in store for Him and Jesus disciples wouldn’t fully comprehend those events until after Jesus resurrection.

Jesus knew what He was telling them sailed quickly over their heads.  But Jesus also knew the disciples grief would be turned into joy.  From the vantage point of the disciples it was a mystery what Jesus was telling them about the future.  But on the other hand for we gathered here today 2000 years later, we are looking back with the full picture in mind.  It is like looking through a peep hole that has a painting on the other side.  When looking through a peep hole, one only sees a very limited view of the full canvas, whether a picture of a person, landscape or even something each of us may know very well, whether the header on a combine, a seed box for planting wheat or corn or even the head of a sprinkler.  In looking through the peep hole we hone in on the detail, whether of a painting or a part.  For the disciples who are listening to Jesus, they cannot fully understand the future events that Jesus is telling them because they are blinded to the truth, the rest of the canvas of plan of salvation, Jesus death on Calvary.

The reason for Jesus telling His disciples that their grief will be turned into joy is that Jesus sees the other side of the mountain.  The disciples are blinded, because Jesus is looking in the future to Calvary, where He will sacrifice Himself.  Jesus is also looking to the day where the disciples will gather in fear, and Jesus will appear in the upper room and turn their fear and grief into joy.  Jesus is looking to the time we are in today in the church of After Easter.  Jesus is looking not only at the disciples who will run, but beyond His disciples in front of him who will have great grief to us today who gather here at Emmanuel in joy.  Jesus is looking to and at all of us gathered here at Emmanuel today because of two young adults.  Jesus is talking to we the church who baptized Austin and Peri and today in great joy will celebrate their confirmation. 

When we gathered on June 2, 2002 to baptize Peri and May 3, 2009 to baptize Austin we as a congregation celebrated and took responsibility with their parents and sponsors for their spiritual lives.  Today like the disciples joy being fully realized on the other side of Calvary with Jesus in the upper room, we celebrate and have great joy with Austin and Peri.  In our sight in a few minutes, they will shoulder the burden of responsibility as Confirmed members of Emmanuel Lutheran Church. 

But how does this relate to the joy found in the Gospel for us today?  The connection is simple, today we confirm Austin and Peri not with grief, but joy.  For today God Who created Austin and Peri, baptized them with Water and Word in this very font, now kneeling at the altar rail, God confirms them here in our sight.  Today Austin and Peri and all of us look not from the side of the disciples in grief or doubt that this day will ever come.  Today we look in faith with all of us gathered here today in celebration of the victory of Jesus, looking from this side of Calvary at God’s redeemed children Austin and Peri who are taking responsibility for their faith life.

Today we celebrate with Austin and Peri their confirmation of the faith they have been baptized into.  Today Austin and Peri take responsibility upon their own shoulders in joy.  Like countless generations that we celebrate with pictures downstairs of previous confirmation classes, Austin and Peri today step forward and in great joy shoulder their faith.  We celebrate because like Jesus says, “no one will take your joy away from you.”  We celebrate today with great joy because God fulfills His promise we laid claim to on Austin and Peri’s baptism and now we gather to for the confirmation of those promises on their shoulders.

For God’s promises made to Austin and Peri and each of us in our baptism were clear of Jesus Christ love for us and His offer for each of us of eternal life.  Jesus Christ went to the Cross of Calvary freely and offers us life and salvation freely out of His great love for us.  And this is a free gift from God for all of mankind, but especially all of us saints gathered here who celebrate today with Austin and Peri the promise of eternal life for all of us on this their confirmation day.  AMEN.

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