Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Sermon and Announcements April 16, 2023


April 16, 2023

It’s Really You!

John 21:1-14

Easter was last Sunday. All of the Christian world celebrated the

fact that death and the grave could not hold Jesus. This

morning we have read of this encounter several of Jesus’

disciples have had with the risen Savior. We do not know

exactly how much time has gone by since Sunday when Jesus

first appeared from the tomb. Maybe it has been a week,

maybe just a few days. We cannot be sure.

We read this is not the first time that Jesus has spoken to these

disciples since he came out from the tomb. Instead of the

disciples staying with Jesus and seeing what is next. we see

these disciples fishing. Many of Jesus’ disciples were fishermen

before they had been called to be a part of Jesus’ team. In spite

of the fact these disciples had seen Jesus at least two other

times, they were not with him looking forward to what was

next. We do not know what was going through their minds. Did

they really believe the unbelievable had happened? Did they

believe Jesus was really alive again? They had been there when

Jesus had been arrested. Even though most of them scattered

they knew Jesus had been killed on the cross. In spite of all the

miracles they had seen Jesus perform, did they believe he had

been raised from the dead? Jesus had raised Lazarus from the

dead but who would bring Jesus back to life? Could a dead man

bring himself back to life?

Yes, they had seen Jesus alive on two different occasions but

did they really believe what they had seen? Were they saying to

themselves, “We do not want to believe Jesus died and that’s

the end but are we dreaming this up or is it real?” Probably all

of us have had things happen in our lives or in the lives of

friends and family that we prayed would come out different

than they appeared to be headed. It might be a health crisis or

financial problem, maybe relationships have been broken or

maybe we have been hoping and praying for someone to

receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior, change their life in some

way. If you have been praying for a miracle like that, I hope that

at least occasionally a miracle has happened. If your prayers

have been answered, what was your reaction?

There was a very gifted speaker named Anthony Campolo who I

heard many years ago on a radio program called Focus on the

Family. Tony is a Christian man who had been praying for years

for his father to accept the Lord as his Savior. His dad’s health

was getting worse and Anthony got a phone call from a brother

or sister telling him that their dad had accepted the Lord as his

Savior. Anthony Campolo, being a man of faith who had been

praying for years for this day to come reacted by saying, “I

knew it would happen!” Right? No Anthony admitted that his

first reaction was, “You are kidding!”

How many of us when the Lord gave us the answer we had

been praying for responded much the same way Anthony

Campolo did? Were you in a state of shock the answer you

wanted actually happened?

When we look at these disciples the first thing that struck me

was they are out fishing. It is as if the past three years had not

even happened. They reverted back to what they were

comfortable doing. This in spite of the fact we read in the 14 th

verse that this encounter with Jesus was the third one they had


We see in verse 12 that is said none of the disciples dared ask

him, “Who are you?” It said they knew it was the Lord. Really?

They sure were not acting like they knew Jesus was alive. It is as

if they just could not believe it was possible for Jesus to be

there in the flesh again. Obviously, we know what ultimately

happened. All eleven of the remaining disciples came to see it

was really true. They came to realize it was not a vision. It was

not a dream. It is really you Jesus!

Before long they would be ready for what was next for them. In

fact, they would be more energized than ever before as the

Holy Spirit empowered them for the work before them. But on

this day, they had trouble believing everything they had prayed

for, everything they had hoped for was really coming true. God

is asking all of us to accept his will. Sometimes amazing answers

to prayer happen. Sometimes what we are praying for does not

happen quite like we hope. God wants us to know he sees our

situation and simply asks us to stay strong, keep believing and

know God is with us no matter what.

Pastor Larry


Tuesdays 9:30 Bible Study

April 22 8:30 District Potluck at the Dixon church

Spring Work Day at Camp Emmanuel, work week follows

April 29 Food Distribution at Kirby Medical Clinic, CG

Camp Emmanuel schedule is posted on the bulletin board.

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

Mike Fleenor family; Iva Traughber Brunner; Tina Martina; Sue & Terry Grabb; Nora Hanaver; Todd Henricks; Tate Sawyer; Jonah Martina; Jan

Bower; Larry Traxler; Michelle West; Michelle’s mom; Carolyn

Hirsch; Eli Brunner; Nancy Fansler; Joe Waltz; Doug Larrick;

Ron & Kathleen Petersen; Debbie Leibrock; Dorthea Wood;

Tina Wilhelm; Mindy Sawyer; Marlene Schultz; Carl and Wilma

Cable; Mike and Carol Seidenstricker; Adiline Young; Kim

Lehmann; Doug Fansler; Shawn Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo &

Darlene Hanaver; Patty Cripe; Lauren Gross; Stacie Warren;

Nancy Gorrell; many unspoken requests; healthcare workers

and first responders; victims of disasters; victims of shootings;

shut-ins; the Nigerian church; Haitian Brethren; Ukraine; Hope

Welty Library; Florida; Puerto Rico; Turkey/Syria earthquake

Military and Other Services and their families

Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers

District Prayer Calendar: Pray for the District Ministry team and

the Potluck Experience on April 22.

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.

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