We have gathered here on the morning of this first day of the week because this is the day Christ Jesus rose from the dead. In a very real sense Christ rises from the dead again and again every time His body, the church, rises to worship Him on resurrection morning. So I exhort you, as you worship today, to remember the resurrection of our Lord and your new life in Him.
You know how I love to quote C.S. Lewis. He wrote in Mere Christianity:
Again and again it has been thought Christianity was dying, dying by persecutions from without or corruptions from within, by the rise of Mohammedanism, the rise of the physical sciences, by the rise of great anti-Christian revolutionary movements. But every time the world has been disappointed. Its first disappointment was over the crucifixion. The Man came to life again. In a sense – and I quite realize how frightfully unfair it must seem to them – that has been happening ever since. They keep on killing the thing that He started: and each time, just as they are patting down the earth on its grave, they suddenly hear that it is still alive and has even broken out in some new place. No wonder they hate us.
Did you hear that? The Man came to life again. Just as it was impossible for the bonds of death to keep their hold on Jesus, so it is impossible for the church to die. And so every time you gather to thunder out your confession and raise the roof with your zealous praise and sit at the feet of Jesus to receive His Word and to eat at His covenant table in peace, you are the body of Christ rising to rule just as Christ Jesus did. The worship of the church is the edge of the axe that is hacking through the deadness of the world to bring the aroma of new life in Christ Jesus. One day the knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth like the waters cover the sea. And until that day the church will not fail. The church will not stay in the grave. The church will prevail.
So I urge you to worship your Triune God – the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit. I urge you to remember as you do so that you are the body of Christ that will not and cannot die. You have been raised to reign. So let us worship our risen Lord.