May 10, 2020

Mother’s Day

Passage: John 11:17-27

Bible Text: John 11:17-27 | 5-10-20
Sunday Morning livestream (5th Sunday of Easter/Mother’s Day)
CCLI: 2734287
CVLI: 504214253

Introit by Nick

Greetings and Announcements

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mid Week devotions are now Wednesdays at 10 am.

The May 14th Food distribution is on. We will have 50 bags of food to hand out to families in need. So if you know of someone who could use a bag of food during this difficult time, have them swing by the church this coming Thursday, May 14th from 5-7 out at the Hut. It will be drive by service only. First come first served.

June 1st. As of Friday afternoon at 5 the State of North Carolina moves to Phase 1 of allowing people to go back to work. What does that mean for our church? Simply this, we are eagerly looking forward to coming back together for worship, but it is going to take a lot of planning to keep everyone as safe as we can. Not to worry, the worship committee is hard at work already. Our goal is to be back to worship at Central UMC on June 1st! June 1st is the goal. Be eager to pick up your phone and say, “Yes,” because we will need volunteers to help make that happen.

No Confirmation today because of Mother’s day.

Opening Hymn:# 158 “Come, Christians, Join to Sing”

Praises and Concerns
Praises:
Mike Carrick came home from the hospital Tuesday afternoon after brain surgery this past Sunday.

Praise/Concerns:
North Carolina moving to Phase 1 of allowing people to go back to work.

Concerns:
Frick Garner

Vernon Tysinger

Greg Kirkman

Lucille Surratt

Virgie Goodwin

Bobby Buie

James Hopkins

Barbara Carrick

Prayer: Psalm 84
84 How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts!
2 My soul longs, yes, faints
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
to the living God.

3 Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O Lord of hosts,
my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
ever singing your praise! Selah

5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.[b]
6 As they go through the Valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength;
each one appears before God in Zion.

8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah
9 Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of your anointed!

10 For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
12 O Lord of hosts,
blessed is the one who trusts in you!

 

[Refrain:]
Dance, then, wherever you may be;
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.
And I’ll lead you all wherever you may be,
and I’ll lead you all in the dance, said he

I danced on a Friday and the sky turned black;
it’s hard to dance with the devil on your back;
they buried my body and they thought I’d gone,
but I am the dance and I still go on.

[Refrain:]
Dance, then, wherever you may be;
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.
And I’ll lead you all wherever you may be,
and I’ll lead you all in the dance, said he.

This morning’s Scripture comes from the Gospel according to John, chapter eleven verses 17-27. Would y’all please dust off your Bible, or look up the verse in a separate window or tab online. Again, the passage is John, chapter eleven verses 17-27; John 11:17-27.

John 11:17-27 English Standard Version (ESV)

17 Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles[a] off, 19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. 20 So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.[b] Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”

Today is Mother’s Day weekend. There is a story I have told before that takes on a new meaning for me today. Now, some of y’all know I am a graduate of the University of Alabama. There is a lot of pride at the University of Alabama about their football history. Specifically, as it revolves around one coach in particular; Paul “Bear” Bryant. In the late 70’s and early 80’s Bell South made a commercial with Bear Bryant. The commercial focused on keeping in touch with family. At the end of the commercial Bear Bryant says, “Have you called your Momma today? I sure wish I could call mine.”

https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/video-bear-bryant-wants-you-to-call-your-mama/

This story hits me a little harder today. This is the first Mothers’ Day without my Momma, and what’s worse because of Covid 19 we cannot have Holy Communion either. I cannot call my Momma and I cannot break bread with her at the Lord’s table. Many of you still have your Momma’s with you in this world and you can call them. I sincerely hope you do. Alas for me, I sure wish I could call my Momma. I think there are a lot of y’all out there who wish you could call your Momma’s this Mother’s Day. O what I wouldn’t give for that comforting call during this time of fear and disease, panic and pandemic. How nice it would be to talk to my mother again. Maybe some of y’all know what that’s like. Maybe some of y’all know how that feels.

I wonder if that’s how Mary and Martha felt. It had just been four days since they laid their brother’s body to rest. They were wrapped in the shrouds of grief and despair. They knew of a wonderful man who could heal all manner of diseases, a man for whom they had been His host many times; a man whom they all loved. His name was Jesus and Jesus loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus too. When Martha heard Jesus was coming, she ran out to see Him. Martha poured out her heart to Jesus over her brother Lazarus saying, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus flatly, emphatically replied, “Your brother will rise again” (John 11:23).

My sisters and brothers when Jesus says, “Your brother will rise again” He is not being whimsical. Jesus is not being theological, or mystical. Jesus is not trying to comfort Martha with platitudes. Jesus is not talking about the second coming. Jesus was talking about right then. Not tomorrow, not after lunch. Right then. Lazarus would rise again.

Martha didn’t understand. She thought Jesus was talking about the end of times. Maybe when someone tells you, you will see your Momma again you think they are just trying to be nice. But that’s NOT what is going on in this passage. Jesus is speaking in the present. It is about to happen. Jesus is about to raise Lazarus from the dead. On this we must all be certain. Lazarus was dead. Lazarus was dead! Lazarus had been dead for three days and laid in a tomb. His body would have begun to rot and decay, and yet Jesus says, “Your brother will rise again.”

How can this be? This is crazy talk! When a person dies, they are dead. Especially, once they begin to decompose, they are unclean! How can an unclean thing stand up and begin to walk again? How? (pause) It is not by any power we possess. Jesus explains this to Martha when she assumes Jesus is talking about the resurrection at the end of times. Jesus, gently, but firmly corrects Martha saying, “I am the resurrection and the life” (v. 25).

Jesus goes on to explain, “Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

My sisters and brothers on this fifth Sunday of Easter that is the question we are gathered to answer today. Do you believe in Jesus Christ? (pause) Do you believe that whoever believe in Jesus and confess Jesus as their Lord and Savior from their heart will never die? (pause) Do you believe Jesus is the resurrection?

Lazarus believed Jesus is the resurrection. Lazarus experienced it firsthand. Jesus told the Jews to roll the stone away. Then Jesus prayed to God, and says, “Lazarus, come out.” Sure enough, Lazarus get’s up and drags himself out of the cave with the bandages still wrapped around his body. Then Jesus says, “Unbind him, and let him go” (v. 44).

I believe Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. I believe Jesus is the resurrection. When my Mom died last fall I preached her funeral. It was hard. It was really hard. What made it easier for me is we were able to have Holy Communion at her funeral. Having Communion made it easier for me because it helped me to recognize the only thing that had really changed for me now was instead of making a phone call I could meet Mom at the Lord’s table. Today, we cannot even meet at the Lord’s table.

But you see, that’s why faith is so important. Faith helps me to understand that Jesus Christ really is the resurrection. In the resurrection the dead will rise. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. No grave could keep Jesus from being raised from the dead. I know my Mom is a born again Christian which means, “Aint no grave gonna hold my Momma down.”

There was a song several years ago written by Claude Ely. Claude was 12 years old in 19 and 34 when he came down with tuberculosis. His family gathered around his bed and fervently prayed for him to be healed. Mr. Claude recovered and responded by writing the song, “Aint No Grave.” Johnny Cash made it popular again in 2010 when he recorded it for his album “American VI.” The song has come back to the charts again because of a singer by the name of Molly Skaags. Molly changed the lyrics a bit and that’s what I am going to try to teach y’all this Mother’s Day morning. It is for all of us who are still in mourning for our Mommas.

“There Aint No Grave” Molly Skaags version

“There ain’t no grave

Gonna hold my body down

There ain’t no grave

Gonna hold my body down

When I hear that trumpet sound

I’m gonna rise up outta the ground

There ain’t no grave

Gonna hold my body down

(repeat x2)

Oh, shame is a prison as cruel as a grave

Shame is a robber and he’s come to take my name

Oh, love is my redeemer

Lifting me up from the ground

Love is the power when my freedom song is found

 

There ain’t no grave

Gonna hold my body down

There ain’t no grave

Gonna hold my body down

When I hear that trumpet sound

I’m gonna rise up outta the ground

There ain’t no grave

Gonna hold my body down

Oh, oh oh oh oh oh oh

Oh, oh oh oh oh oh oh

 

Oh, fear is a liar with a smooth and velvet tongue

Fear is a tyrant

He’s always telling me to run

Oh, love is a resurrection and love is a trumpet sound

Love is my weapon

It’ll gonna take my giants down

 

There ain’t no grave

Gonna hold my body down

There ain’t no grave

Gonna hold my body down

And when I hear that trumpet sound

I’m gonna rise up outta the ground

There ain’t no grave

Gonna hold my body down

 

Oh, there was a battle

A war between death and life

And there on a tree

The Lamb of God was crucified

And He went on down to hell

He took back every key

He rose up as a lion and He set all captives free

 

There ain’t no grave

Could hold His body down

There ain’t no grave

Could hold His body down

When He heard the trumpet sound

He rose up outta the ground

There ain’t no grave

Could hold His body down

There ain’t no grave

Could hold His body down

 

There Aint no grave

gonna keep my body down.

There ain no grave

[gonna keep my Momma down.]

Thanks be to God that when the resurrection comes we won’t have to mourn for our Momma’s any more.

In the name of Jesus Christ,
Amen

Closing Hymn:# 304 “Easter People, Raise Your Voices”

Easter people, raise your voices,

Sounds of heaven in earth should ring.

Christ has brought us heaven’s choices;

Heavenly music, let it ring.

Alleluia! Alleluia!

Easter People, let us sing.

Fear of death can no more stop us

from pressing here below.

For our Lord empowered us to

Triumph over ever foe.

Alleluia! Alleluia!

On to victory now we go.

Every day to us is Easter,

with its resurrection song.

When in trouble move the faster

To our god who rights the wrong.

Alleluia! Alleluia!

See the power of heavenly throngs.

(pause)

Closing benediction

As it was in the beginning
it is now and ever shall be

World without end

Amen.

5-10-20
Sunday Morning livestream (5th Sunday of Easter/Mother’s Day)
CCLI: 2734287
CVLI: 504214253

Introit by Nick

Greetings and Announcements

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mid Week devotions are now Wednesdays at 10 am.

The May 14th Food distribution is on. We will have 50 bags of food to hand out to families in need. So if you know of someone who could use a bag of food during this difficult time, have them swing by the church this coming Thursday, May 14th from 5-7 out at the Hut. It will be drive by service only. First come first served.

June 1st. As of Friday afternoon at 5 the State of North Carolina moves to Phase 1 of allowing people to go back to work. What does that mean for our church? Simply this, we are eagerly looking forward to coming back together for worship, but it is going to take a lot of planning to keep everyone as safe as we can. Not to worry, the worship committee is hard at work already. Our goal is to be back to worship at Central UMC on June 1st! June 1st is the goal. Be eager to pick up your phone and say, “Yes,” because we will need volunteers to help make that happen.

No Confirmation today because of Mother’s day.

Opening Hymn:# 158 “Come, Christians, Join to Sing”

Praises and Concerns
Praises:
Mike Carrick came home from the hospital Tuesday afternoon after brain surgery this past Sunday.

Praise/Concerns:
North Carolina moving to Phase 1 of allowing people to go back to work.

Concerns:
Frick Garner

Vernon Tysinger

Greg Kirkman

Lucille Surratt

Virgie Goodwin

Bobby Buie

James Hopkins

Barbara Carrick

Prayer: Psalm 84
84 How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, faints
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
to the living God.

Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O Lord of hosts,
my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
ever singing your praise! Selah

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.[b]
As they go through the Valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength;
each one appears before God in Zion.

O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah
Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of your anointed!

10 For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
12 O Lord of hosts,
blessed is the one who trusts in you!

 

[Refrain:]
Dance, then, wherever you may be;
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.
And I’ll lead you all wherever you may be,
and I’ll lead you all in the dance, said he

  1. I danced on a Friday and the sky turned black;
    it’s hard to dance with the devil on your back;
    they buried my body and they thought I’d gone,
    but I am the dance and I still go on.

[Refrain:]
Dance, then, wherever you may be;
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.
And I’ll lead you all wherever you may be,
and I’ll lead you all in the dance, said he.

This morning’s Scripture comes from the Gospel according to John, chapter eleven verses 17-27. Would y’all please dust off your Bible, or look up the verse in a separate window or tab online. Again, the passage is John, chapter eleven verses 17-27; John 11:17-27.

John 11:17-27 English Standard Version (ESV)

17 Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles[a] off, 19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. 20 So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.[b] Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”

Today is Mother’s Day weekend. There is a story I have told before that takes on a new meaning for me today. Now, some of y’all know I am a graduate of the University of Alabama. There is a lot of pride at the University of Alabama about their football history. Specifically, as it revolves around one coach in particular; Paul “Bear” Bryant. In the late 70’s and early 80’s Bell South made a commercial with Bear Bryant. The commercial focused on keeping in touch with family. At the end of the commercial Bear Bryant says, “Have you called your Momma today? I sure wish I could call mine.”

https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/video-bear-bryant-wants-you-to-call-your-mama/

This story hits me a little harder today. This is the first Mothers’ Day without my Momma, and what’s worse because of Covid 19 we cannot have Holy Communion either. I cannot call my Momma and I cannot break bread with her at the Lord’s table. Many of you still have your Momma’s with you in this world and you can call them. I sincerely hope you do. Alas for me, I sure wish I could call my Momma. I think there are a lot of y’all out there who wish you could call your Momma’s this Mother’s Day. O what I wouldn’t give for that comforting call during this time of fear and disease, panic and pandemic. How nice it would be to talk to my mother again. Maybe some of y’all know what that’s like. Maybe some of y’all know how that feels.

I wonder if that’s how Mary and Martha felt. It had just been four days since they laid their brother’s body to rest. They were wrapped in the shrouds of grief and despair. They knew of a wonderful man who could heal all manner of diseases, a man for whom they had been His host many times; a man whom they all loved. His name was Jesus and Jesus loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus too. When Martha heard Jesus was coming, she ran out to see Him. Martha poured out her heart to Jesus over her brother Lazarus saying, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus flatly, emphatically replied, “Your brother will rise again” (John 11:23).

My sisters and brothers when Jesus says, “Your brother will rise again” He is not being whimsical. Jesus is not being theological, or mystical. Jesus is not trying to comfort Martha with platitudes. Jesus is not talking about the second coming. Jesus was talking about right then. Not tomorrow, not after lunch. Right then. Lazarus would rise again.

Martha didn’t understand. She thought Jesus was talking about the end of times. Maybe when someone tells you, you will see your Momma again you think they are just trying to be nice. But that’s NOT what is going on in this passage. Jesus is speaking in the present. It is about to happen. Jesus is about to raise Lazarus from the dead. On this we must all be certain. Lazarus was dead. Lazarus was dead! Lazarus had been dead for three days and laid in a tomb. His body would have begun to rot and decay, and yet Jesus says, “Your brother will rise again.”

How can this be? This is crazy talk! When a person dies, they are dead. Especially, once they begin to decompose, they are unclean! How can an unclean thing stand up and begin to walk again? How? (pause) It is not by any power we possess. Jesus explains this to Martha when she assumes Jesus is talking about the resurrection at the end of times. Jesus, gently, but firmly corrects Martha saying, “I am the resurrection and the life” (v. 25).

Jesus goes on to explain, “Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

My sisters and brothers on this fifth Sunday of Easter that is the question we are gathered to answer today. Do you believe in Jesus Christ? (pause) Do you believe that whoever believe in Jesus and confess Jesus as their Lord and Savior from their heart will never die? (pause) Do you believe Jesus is the resurrection?

Lazarus believed Jesus is the resurrection. Lazarus experienced it firsthand. Jesus told the Jews to roll the stone away. Then Jesus prayed to God, and says, “Lazarus, come out.” Sure enough, Lazarus get’s up and drags himself out of the cave with the bandages still wrapped around his body. Then Jesus says, “Unbind him, and let him go” (v. 44).

I believe Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. I believe Jesus is the resurrection. When my Mom died last fall I preached her funeral. It was hard. It was really hard. What made it easier for me is we were able to have Holy Communion at her funeral. Having Communion made it easier for me because it helped me to recognize the only thing that had really changed for me now was instead of making a phone call I could meet Mom at the Lord’s table. Today, we cannot even meet at the Lord’s table.

But you see, that’s why faith is so important. Faith helps me to understand that Jesus Christ really is the resurrection. In the resurrection the dead will rise. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. No grave could keep Jesus from being raised from the dead. I know my Mom is a born again Christian which means, “Aint no grave gonna hold my Momma down.”

There was a song several years ago written by Claude Ely. Claude was 12 years old in 19 and 34 when he came down with tuberculosis. His family gathered around his bed and fervently prayed for him to be healed. Mr. Claude recovered and responded by writing the song, “Aint No Grave.” Johnny Cash made it popular again in 2010 when he recorded it for his album “American VI.” The song has come back to the charts again because of a singer by the name of Molly Skaags. Molly changed the lyrics a bit and that’s what I am going to try to teach y’all this Mother’s Day morning. It is for all of us who are still in mourning for our Mommas.

“There Aint No Grave” Molly Skaags version

“There ain't no grave

Gonna hold my body down

There ain't no grave

Gonna hold my body down

When I hear that trumpet sound

I'm gonna rise up outta the ground

There ain't no grave

Gonna hold my body down

(repeat x2)

Oh, shame is a prison as cruel as a grave

Shame is a robber and he's come to take my name

Oh, love is my redeemer

Lifting me up from the ground

Love is the power when my freedom song is found

 

There ain't no grave

Gonna hold my body down

There ain't no grave

Gonna hold my body down

When I hear that trumpet sound

I'm gonna rise up outta the ground

There ain't no grave

Gonna hold my body down

Oh, oh oh oh oh oh oh

Oh, oh oh oh oh oh oh

 

Oh, fear is a liar with a smooth and velvet tongue

Fear is a tyrant

He's always telling me to run

Oh, love is a resurrection and love is a trumpet sound

Love is my weapon

It’ll gonna take my giants down

 

There ain't no grave

Gonna hold my body down

There ain't no grave

Gonna hold my body down

And when I hear that trumpet sound

I'm gonna rise up outta the ground

There ain't no grave

Gonna hold my body down

 

Oh, there was a battle

A war between death and life

And there on a tree

The Lamb of God was crucified

And He went on down to hell

He took back every key

He rose up as a lion and He set all captives free

 

There ain't no grave

Could hold His body down

There ain't no grave

Could hold His body down

When He heard the trumpet sound

He rose up outta the ground

There ain't no grave

Could hold His body down

There ain't no grave

Could hold His body down

 

There Aint no grave

gonna keep my body down.

There ain no grave

[gonna keep my Momma down.]

Thanks be to God that when the resurrection comes we won’t have to mourn for our Momma’s any more.

In the name of Jesus Christ,
Amen

Closing Hymn:# 304 “Easter People, Raise Your Voices”

  1. Easter people, raise your voices,

Sounds of heaven in earth should ring.

Christ has brought us heaven’s choices;

Heavenly music, let it ring.

Alleluia! Alleluia!

Easter People, let us sing.

  1. Fear of death can no more stop us

from pressing here below.

For our Lord empowered us to

Triumph over ever foe.

Alleluia! Alleluia!

On to victory now we go.

  1. Every day to us is Easter,

with its resurrection song.

When in trouble move the faster

To our god who rights the wrong.

Alleluia! Alleluia!

See the power of heavenly throngs.

(pause)

Closing benediction

As it was in the beginning
it is now and ever shall be

World without end

Amen.

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