Monday, May 26, 2008

From the Memorial Service for Maria Sue Chunai Chapman

From Pastor Scotty Smith (pastor Christ Community Church in Franklin, the Chapman's church)'s blog:
Remembering the Gospel
2 Corinthians 1:3-11

Through the gospel, that is, by the person and work of Jesus, we are called to 3 great realities today.1. Acknowleding the "Why, Lord's?": The gospel enables us to hurt, lament, name and own our confusion. So much of Paul's life and ministry simple didn't make sense to those who assumed hard things don't happen to faithful followers of Jesus.

2. Silencing the "If Only's": The gospel frees us, like Mary the sister of Lazarus, to run to Jesus and fall at his feet, and cry out, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." Jesus responds with his own tears and deep affection. (John 11:17-37).

3. Embracing the "So That's": The gospel releases us from bondage to mere explanations, unto a life of deeper worship and fuller engagement with God's Story--Jesus' commitment to redeem his people from the nations and restore his broken creation--including one day eliminating the very word "orphan" from the human vocabulary. Why did this heart-breaking event happen to the Chapman family? We simply do not know why, but we do know that it happened so that we might join them in trusting God who raises the dead, and follow them as they follow Jesus, who has promised to make all things new.

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