I. My character flaws- not letting go and chewing on things as a dog with a bone
II. Surfaced mostly in my relationships with men that weren’t going anywhere but I would hold on and hold on, hoping that there would be life in a lifeless relationship.
III. How Jesus story talks about moving on
a. Prior to this story, Jesus has made other resurrection appearances and yet we find the disciples here meeting behind locked doors and living in fear.
b. It is like they are holding onto the past that was prior to Christ’s crucifixion, and wishing for life as it was before Jesus died.
c. They disciples are holding onto that wish so much that they fail to be changed by the breath of fresh air that has breezed into their lives.
d. Those disciples are holding onto the past so hard, that they fail to see the future possibilities of new life and of resurrection of their own tattered sense of witness.
IV. I’m sure that there are moments when as individuals, we need to hear the story of moving on and stepping into the new life that awaits us. But today, I want to turn to how the church holds tenaciously onto the past and fails to move into the new life of resurrection
a. The church in Canada holds onto the past when it had influence and power in the lives of the people of Canada.
b. How do we as a congregation here, hold onto the past?
c. Do we think about the way things used to be in the glory years?
V. When Jesus appears to us, it is not only for our comfort and our personal security and peace but for the sake of the whole world.
VI. Jesus invites Redeemer/Stockholm into the life of the resurrection.
a. And as we jump at the chance to live Christ’s new life that he has for us, we need to let go of the past and not hold onto so hard.
b. Jesus invites us to walk into the horizon of transformation and resurrection
c. Not alone but in the power of the Holy Spirit.
d. New life is not only a promise to us, it is also an invitation to be witnesses to the new life that is available to us in God.
VII. Accepting God’s invitation is not always easy but it always is filled with hope and promise.
a. I have not completely overcome my struggle with letting go and moving to the hope of the future.
b. I struggle and fail, many times as sometimes the way life used to be seems more comfortable than the way life promises to be because that was all I used to know.
c. But I do have one resurrection story.
d. One night another man who I was interested in told me that he was not coming to a concert that I had purchased tickets for us to go and see.
e. That night, I struggled and struggled with God.
f. First I struggled, because this always seemed to happen to me and I couldn’t understand why.
g. Second, I prayed and prayed to God, asking him to help me move on and not hold out in.
h. I asked God to help me live in the possibility of new life even though I couldn’t see what it was yet.
i. I prayed and I prayed and I must admit I had little hope that I could easily move on.
j. The night I was to go to that concert, I met another man whose company I enjoyed greatly.
k. It was such an enjoyable evening that I said to another friend, that even if nothing else was to happen, that evening was a gift from God letting me know that there were other possibilities and new life for me in the future.
VIII. Jesus invites us into new life.
a. Jesus asks us to let go of what is keeping us stuck in the mud and the grime of this death filled life and reach out to embrace the new resurrection of God.
b. Jesus invites us and promises us the power to do it too!
c. Thanks be to God.