April 25, 2021 – Tony’s Message
The Fourth Sunday of Easter
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glory of God and the power of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
A Living Hope
The First Letter of Peter, Chapter 1, Verses 1 to 4
(New Revised Standard Version)
v. 1 – Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
v. 2 – who have been chosen and destined by God the Father and sanctified by the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ and to be sprinkled with his blood: May grace and peace be yours in abundance.
v. 3 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
v. 4 – and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
Our salvation is grounded in God’s mercy, His act of compassion towards us despite our condition of sinfulness. God has given believers a new spiritual life which enables us to live in an entirely different dimension than the one allowed by our physical birth. God has already determined that we will one day experience our own part of paradise. God has set aside in heaven a wonderful inheritance that is waiting for us even now. If we would know the glories of it, we must go and see it.
The Magic of the Word – Go!
The word “Go” can be used in so many ways:
• Go team go!
• Go for broke;
• Go for it;
• Go to the devil;
• Go for the gold;
• Go in peace;
• Go tell it on the mountain; and
• Go with God.
Go was an important word to Jesus as well. He used it to send forth people He had helped:
• “Go and sin no more”;
• “Go thou and do likewise”;
• “Go preach the kingdom of God”; and
• His famous send-off to the disciples as He prepared to leave them – “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the same name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always to the close of the age.”
To be ‘sent out’ includes all who send out their daily witness of concern, love, honesty, and hope where they labour and minister in the by-ways of life. A mother sends out her love to her children, husbands and wives send out their faithfulness to each other, employers send out their confidence to their employees, who in turn, send out their labour and loyalty to “the boss”. In such ways all believers are conduits of Christ – ‘ordinary’ Christians participating in an extraordinary mission.
And now let us close by repeating the Lord’s Prayer, either in our hearts or out loud:
The Lord’s Prayer:
Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
For ever and ever.