Southern Heights Presbyterian Church

5750 South 40th Street - Lincoln, NE - 402-421-3704 Worship Sundays at 10:30

A loving and welcoming faith community located at 40th and Old Cheney Road in South Lincoln, Nebraska, Southern Heights Presbyterian Church is a member of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

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Don't Hold On

After being led by the children of the church in dancing our happies out on Easter Morning while listening to the immensely catchy "Happy" by Pharrell Williams, we take a moment to think about what we do when we are happy...and how we share the happiest news of all.


Don't Hold On
April 20th, 2014
Rev. Leanne Masters
Southern Heights Presbyterian Church

Friends, what do we do when we are so filled with joy? How do we express that great joy that bubbles up within us? Do we dance? Do we clap? Do we sing? How do we celebrate and live out that which brings us incredible joy and, well, happiness?

We have gathered here this morning on the happiest and most joyous days of the year, Easter Sunday, the day that we celebrate the witness of the empty tomb...that despite having suffered the worst that the world could throw at him, neither all of that, nor death itself, could hold Jesus, and that he rose from the grave to live again.
We celebrate the hope that we have in that knowledge, for in his resurrection we are promised that death is not the end for us, but that, in him we are forgiven of all that holds us apart from God so that we, too, may inherit eternal life.
We celebrate that knowledge that he will come again, to make all things new, and to bring about the kingdom of God, where all wrongs will be made right, where peace and justice shall prevail, and where God’s love will reign supreme.

How do we celebrate this? How do we express that pure joy that this knowledge gives us?

One option, of course, is to hold onto it, to, as Jesus’ Mother Mary did when she received the blessings and the gifts of the angels and the Magi and the shepherds at his birth, to treasure it all in our hearts. To hold onto it, and to keep that knowledge close, deep within our hearts to bring us comfort and peace, particularly when times get tough.

That is, essentially, what Mary Magdalene wanted to do when she had been given the good news of great joy on that first Easter morning. She physically held onto Jesus, wanting to keep him close to her when she realized the truth of what it was that had happened. But Jesus told her, no. Don’t hold on to me. Don’t keep this news to yourself. But rather, go. Go and share this news with the others. Go and share this news with the world. Go out and tell it on the mountain, over the fields and everywhere.
Let the world know what has happened.
Let the world know what you know.

And so she did.
And so should we.

Friends, the truth is that this news is too good not to share.
We should be so filled with joy that we can not help but dance and sing...so filled with joy that we can not help but lift our voices to the sky...so filled with joy that we can not help but share it with each other and with the whole world.

In a time honored tradition, at the end of the service, we will fling open the doors, and sing our hearts out, the words of the Hallelujah Chorus, singing, the good news that Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, forever and ever, hallelujah, hallelujah.
Belt out those words, sing them loud and clear, for the whole world to hear.
And don’t let it stop there, let us not just share that good news with others with our voices and our songs, but with our lives, with our very being.
Let us, in all that we do, in all who we are, go forth into the world to share the good news that brings us such great joy, that makes us so very happy...that Christ was dead...but Christ is risen, and Christ. Will. Come. Again!

So Go. Tell. Share. Sing. Dance. Shout.
For it is too great of news to keep to yourself.

Amen.

 

“He has told you, human one, what is good and what the Lord requires from you: to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God.” — Micah 6:8 CEB