CERRO GORDO CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN
April 24, 2022
Can You Believe It?
As we continue on in the 24th chapter of Luke, we continue to see what happened that first day of the week. This, of course, is Resurrection Sunday, Easter Sunday. We see that the men who had been walking to Emmaus and had been joined by Jesus had asked Jesus to stay with them that night. The men still did not realize it was Jesus who had been walking with them. Before the evening was over, they were sitting around the table eating when it happened: Jesus did with these two disciples the same thing he had done hundreds of times before. He took the bread that was at the meal, gave thanks for it and broke a piece off of the loaf. The minute this happened, their eyes were opened and they finally realized it was Jesus who was with them. It all of a sudden clicked and they both agreed that what the three had talked about all made sense. Instead of staying the night in Emmaus as was originally planned, they instantly left and went back to Jerusalem to tell the other disciples what had happened. As these two were talking to the disciples, Jesus miraculously was standing in the room with them. In spite of what the women had told the disciples earlier in the day, even Peter saw that the tomb was empty. Then these two close associates of the disciples tell the 11 what they saw and heard. Even with Jesus there in the room with them talking with them, it was just too much to believe. They became frightened and thought Jesus actually was a ghost. Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked, “Why do you doubt even what you see with your eyes?” Then he invited those there to look at his hands and feet. They still showed the signs of his crucifixion. He then invited them to touch him, telling them, “You cannot do that with ghosts.”
After all this had happened, they still were having trouble believing it was really true. Then Jesus asked for some food, further proof that he was truly back to life as before. Jesus then reminded the disciples of everywhere in scripture that predicted what would happen to the Messiah, citing the Law of Moses, the prophets, as well as the Psalms. After all of this happened, we read that then he opened their mind so they could understand the scriptures. With everything that had happened in one day, they finally began to understand who Jesus truly is. After these three different encounters they kept saying, “Can you believe it?” But finally, Jesus caused it all to make sense and be real, which brings us to these questions. Have you ever had someone tell you something you just could not or would not believe? Did it take several people or things to happen before you were convinced?
As we looked at the question last week, “What’s it going to take?” Today the question is, “Can you believe it?” Would we have believed the women if it had been us there? Would we have believed two of our closest associates when they told us they had walked with Jesus? Would we believe our own eyes when Jesus was standing right in front of us? Again, remember you had seen Jesus tortured and crucified and knew Jesus had been put in a tomb. Would we have been like the others saying, “Can you believe it?”
We know that finally the eyes of the disciples were opened and finally it all incredibly made sense. The disciples went from skeptics to the most powerful witnesses to what God had done and is continuing to do for the world. What a transformation occurred! Everyone who has heard and read the story must answer the same question. Can you believe it? If we answer yes, I believe the fact is God is calling on us to continue to be his witnesses. What an incredible amount of trust God has placed in us! Also, what an incredible privilege it is for us to be part of what God is still doing in this world! May we take the challenge and confidently say, “Yes, we believe!”
Bible Study 9:30 Tuesday
Newsletter submissions due by Wed., April 27 please.
April 30 10:00 Annual Conference briefing, Springfield CoB
2:00 Centennial concert with Jonathan Shively
May 11 Board Meeting
May 18 12:00 Women’s Fellowship Luncheon, a salad potluck
May 18 7:00 p.m. via Zoom—Stepping Out of Covid, sponsored by the District potluck committee—info on bulletin board
Camp Emmanuel registration is open: www.campem.com
Offering plates are in the back of the sanctuary. Thank you for your continued giving!
Donation Box: Camp Emmanuel
First Sundays: food donations for food banks
Pastor Larry Traxler- (217) 454-2362
To keep up on Church of the Brethren news:
Denomination: www.brethren.org/news Sign up for Newsline by clicking link on left side of page.
District: iwdcob.org (click on newsletter link) and on facebook
Our pages: cerrogordocob.com (printed sermon, announcements, & calendar) and on facebook
Keep in Your Prayers
Nancy Fansler & Family; Baby Gemma’s Family; Oren Wright; Devon Wright; Leah Flory; Joe Waltz; Doug Larrick; Anna Rose Larrick; Ron & Kathleen Petersen; Anna Gentry Thompson; Louis & Carol Sulwer; Maralyn Heckman; Debbie Leibrock; Dorthea Wood; Sonna Hall; Tina Wilhelm; Baby Tate; Bryce Ashenfelter; Mindy Sawyer; Marlene Schultz; Sarah Rudelick; Carl and Wilma Cable; Mike and Carol Seidenstricker; Adiline Young; Kim Lehmann; Doug Fansler; Liza Yore; Candy Dobson; Shawn Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo & Darlene Hanaver; Zola Copeland; Patty Cripe; Lauren Gross; Stacie Warren; Nancy Gorrell; many unspoken requests; Coronavirus crisis; healthcare workers and first responders; the families of those who have died from COVID-19; those who are ill from the virus; school teachers, staff, and students; victims of disasters; victims of shootings; nursing home residents; the Nigerian church; Haitian Brethren; Ukraine
Military and Other Services and their families
Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers
District Prayer Calendar: Pray for the Springfield congregation
Church of the Brethren vision statement:
Together, as the Church of the Brethren, we will passionately live and share the radical transformation and holistic peace of Jesus Christ through relationship-based neighborhood engagement. To move us forward, we will develop a culture of calling and equipping disciples who are innovative, adaptable, and fearless.
Our Mission Statement:
Love God, grow with others, serve faithfully, reach the lost, find peace.