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MAKE FOR YOURSELF AN ARK

A SERMON ORIGINALLY DELIVERED AT

THE COMMUNITY SUNRISE SERVICE

RIVERSIDE PARK

ATHENS, NEW YORK

11 APRIL 1993

By Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES:

Genesis 6:13-14
Matthew 24:37-39
       28:5-10, 19-20
John 3:16
       14:3

Now, I suppose that we are all gathered here this morning, at the dawning of a new day, to worship the Lord our God and give Him the praise and glory due Him, because we believe.

Because we believe that God's love sent His only begotten Son to us some 2,000 years ago. (John 3:16)

16. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Because we believe that Jesus died upon the cross to pay the price of our sins.

Because we believe that Jesus rose from the dead to prepare a place in heaven for each of us.

Because we believe that Jesus will come again to bring us home, where we will be with Him forever and ever. (John 14:3)

3. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

Jesus' work didn't stop after He rose from the dead. He told us He would continue to work for us, and He is.

Listen again to what the angel said to the women at the tomb, and consider whether we are just to believe and remember what happened or whether, we too, are to do more. (Matthew 28:5-10

5. And the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified.

6. "He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.

7. "And go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going before you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you."

Jesus has told us and the angel has told us that all of this would take place, and it did.

But the angel told the women to go quickly, and do as they were commanded.

8. And they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples.

They were obedient.

They left the tomb.

So often, we who believe have a tendency to just return to the tomb year after year on this day, and then wait for next year to come to do it all over again.

We don't leave quickly to do the work of the Lord, just as He is doing His work.

When we do as the women did, we will see the Lord in our lives in a similar way as they did.

9. And Behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him.

10. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they shall see Me.”

Even when the grace of God touches us, we most often are given some instructions to help ourselves or to help others.

Here, Jesus is repeating the command to tell the others to go to Galilee.

And we know that Jesus had more work for them, just as He has for us. (Matthew 28:19-20)

19. "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,

20. teaching them to observe all that I command you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

Well, my brethren, Jesus did His work upon the cross for all of us, but He is no longer upon the cross.

He left the cross behind.

He went on to live!

But Jesus told us to make something of the cross and its meaning, and we have.

We have made jewelry of it; and we hang them around our necks, and pin them upon ourselves.

We put crosses in our churches, both little ones and big ones; and that is good, if they remind us of what happened, and what we are to do once we remember.

But we live in a crazy world today, a sure sign that the message of the cross is not in most people.

The world today is just as Jesus described it to His disciples, when they asked Him about the signs of the time of return. (Matthew 24:37-39)

37. "For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.

38. "For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, they were marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,

39. and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so shall the coming of the Son of Man be.

What did God tell Noah to do at that time? (Genesis 6:13-14)

13. Then God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.

14. "Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch.

So I say to you today, by the word of the Lord, "Make for yourself an ark."

Make for yourself an ark, a sanctuary, a place of refuge to get away from the evil ways of the world.

And just as with Noah, we must remember that it is really not just for us, but for others too.

Our sanctuary must be for our family, and for other people, and for the animals of this world; for all who are willing to come.

But we aren't to build a physical ark that will float upon the Hudson River, or any other body of water.

We are to build a spiritual sanctuary of our lives, that others would want to seek protection and comfort from us.

Begin with our homes, so that they are truly filled with peace and love.

Extend it to your places of work and, obviously, to your churches, and then to the whole community.

Jesus Christ rose from the dead and left His cross behind for us to build upon.

Just as the sun rose this morning to usher in a new day, so let the Son of God rise anew in your heart, to make a new beginning of your life.

One filled will love and compassion and forgiveness for the whole of creation.

Make for yourself an ark!

Amen.

Your Comments are welcome

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