Easter Sunday 2022 Sermon Audio, Video, and Questions

On Sunday, April 17, 2022 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on John 20:24-31.  This message was a part of our Easter Sunday celebration.  Below you will find questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.  You will also find the audio and video of the message to listen to/watch, download or share.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read John 20:24-31
  3. What are some common doubts and questions about God, faith, and Jesus that you have heard from others?  What are some of the doubts and questions that YOU have had (or currently have) about God, faith, and Jesus?
  4. What do you notice most about the way Jesus responds to Thomas?  Is there any part that surprises you?  Does it encourage you in any way?
  5. Our faith is not grounded in just some teachings, ancient writings, or impressions … but in a historical event – the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Imagine for a moment that you became convinced that the events of the resurrection and crucifixion as recorded in the Gospels were true (I believe they are, based on the historical evidence).  How does this historical event CHANGE THINGS regarding who Jesus is and how we respond to Him?  Jesus anchored His argument to Thomas based on this event, and it changed everything for Thomas.  Does it change everything for you?
  6. What does the Bible tell you that Jesus DID during His earthly life?  Make a list.  What does this reveal about who Jesus is?
  7. Have you personally decided to believe in Jesus as your Savior and God and follow Him as Lord?  Why or why not?
  8. What is one particular application you took away from this passage/message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

 

To listen offline, click the link to download:

Easter Sunday 4.17.22

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

To watch the service, use YouTube online:

 

Easter Sunday 2022 Preview

Did you know that 1 out of 42 babies born worldwide are twins?  That’s just over 2%.  That means that though the majority of us are NOT twins, we probably all at least KNOW a set of twins.  

When I think of twins, I think back to my high school basketball team.  Of the 15 or so varsity players on two state championship teams, we had TWO SETS of twins (4 out of 15!).  What are the odds?  (I know … 2.3%, but who’s counting!)  On a (possibly) unrelated note, we also faced a steady diet of zone defenses.  I think teams adopted that game plan for two reasons:  (1) It was the best way to slow us down (2) who wanted to try to play man-to-man against a lineup with so many (nearly) identical parts!?

I write today about twins, because as we prepare for Easter Sunday at Wildwood, I have been studying John 20:24-31.  These amazing verses detail the story of a man named Thomas.  You probably know Thomas from his modern nickname, “Doubting Thomas.”  His real name, however, in Hebrew meant “twin” (not “Doubter”) so his buddies nicknamed him Didymus, which means “twin” in Greek … creative, right?  All this probably stemming from Thomas being born with a twin brother or sister.  

Though Thomas probably had one biological twin, he has had millions of philosophical “twins” over the past 2,000 years.  Our “twin” Thomas is relatable to anyone who has ever played on Team Doubt.   Is the Bible accurate and authoritative to my life? Does God really exist?  Is it reasonable to have faith in Jesus?  Did Jesus really rise from the dead?  These questions (and more) have been asked by Thomases for multi-millennia.  Thomas became captain of Team Doubt by famously and honestly stating that first Easter Sunday night, “Unless I see in His hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into His side, I will never believe.”  That is both honest and brash. What a high standard Thomas demanded for his belief!

So how does Jesus deal with Thomas (and all of his “twins”)?  What does His response show us about God’s heart for “Team Doubt”?   And how does the ACTUAL BODILY RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST relate to all this?  Join us on Easter Sunday at 8:30, 9:45, or 11:00 at Wildwood.  Bring your friends and family.  Bring your doubts.  Let’s look to the resurrected Christ together.  We hope to see you there.

P.S.  On Friday night April 15, at 6:00 and 7:30 PM we will have our Good Friday services.  These services are different and distinct from our Sunday services, and will focus on John 18-19 and Jesus’ death on the cross.  We will remember His sacrifice for us in song, Scripture, and reflection.  Please join us then as well!

P.S.S.  Friday night’s service will be live-streamed at 6:00PM, and Sunday’s Easter service will be streamed at 9:45AM, both at wildwoodchurch.org/live

Palm Sunday 2022 Sermon Questions, Audio & Video

On Sunday, April 10, 2022 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on John 12:9-19.  This message was the center of our Palm Sunday celebration.  Below are questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.  You will also find the audio and video of the sermon to listen to/watch, download, or share.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read John 12:9-19
  3. Put yourself back in the shoes of a first century person who lived on the outskirts of Jerusalem.  Imagine that you have heard that Jesus was approaching your city.  Why would YOU be interested in going out to greet Him?
  4. Think for a moment about how you perceive Jesus personality.  Is He warm and engaging?  Aloof and distant?  Quiet and serious?  Smiling and welcoming?  Now compare your picture of Him to one who the “whole world has gone out to meet.”  Is there any part of your thoughts about Jesus that needs to be adjusted?
  5. The people expected Messiah to come and wage war against Rome.  Jesus adjusted their expectations by coming on a donkey.  Are there ways in which your expectations of Jesus have differed from your experience of Him? In what ways?  
  6. Do you approach your connection to Jesus more like a subject in school, like a client you are defending, or like the One you adore?  How does looking at this passage encourage you to look to Jesus as YOUR SAVIOR, as a real PERSON, and not just as a subject in Sunday School or the centerpiece of Bible stories?
  7. What has Jesus done for you?  How does that impact your demeanor as you approach Him? 
  8. What is one particular application you took away from this passage/message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

 

To listen to message offline, click the link:

Palm Sunday 4.10.22

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

To watch the service, use YouTube online:

 

 

Palm Sunday 2022 Sermon Preview

Can I share with you something quasi-embarrassing?  

Last December, in the midst of all they hype and speculation that the University of Oklahoma was going to name a new Head Football Coach, I got a text from a friend that indicated that the announcement was imminent, the new coach was on campus, and that a stage was being constructed near the stadium for a late night concert by an “A List” celebrity and announcement of the new ball coach.  

Now to fully appreciate this text, we need to understand the context of that moment.  First of all, I am both an alumnus and fan of OU’s athletic teams.  Second, like many, I had been checking and rechecking Twitter and other media outlets to follow the coaching search several times each day for over a week.  Third, I had seen the celebrity in question on television the night before at an OKC Thunder game.  

So, what did I do?  [NOTE:  this is the embarrassing part]  I loaded up my entire family.  That’s right.  My wife, my son, AND my dog, and headed over to campus (at 10PM on a school night) to look for the celebration.  So there we were … all 4 of us in a Chrysler mini-van, looking for the party.

We never found it.  Nothing was really happening that night.

What this story DOES demonstrate, though, is how a crowd can assemble quickly with high expectations.  If people care about something, are looking for signs of its coming, and see a glimmer of their hopes embodied in a person – they tend to show up!

I was thinking about that experience today, as I read John 12:9-19 in advance of Palm Sunday this weekend at Wildwood Community Church.  In this section of God’s Word, we are transported back to the Sunday before Jesus’ would die on the cross.  The Jewish people cared about the future of their nation, had a hope that Messiah would one day come, and saw in Jesus a glimmer that He just might be the One!  So in great numbers, the people showed up when they heard He was passing through Bethany and headed over the Mount of Olives and into Jerusalem.

Were they RIGHT to show up that day, or would they ultimately be embarrassed by where they had placed their hope?  We will explore that this Sunday at Wildwood in our Palm Sunday sermon … AND we will explore how WE can/should respond to the knowledge that Jesus is coming.  Can’t wait to look at this passage of Scripture together.  Make plans to worship with us at 8:30, 9:45, or 11:00 … or online in the stream.  See you Sunday … and bring friends!

Easter Sunday 2021 – Sermon Questions Audio & Video

On Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Luke 24:13-49.  Below you will find questions related to the sermon for personal reflection or group discussion.  You will also find the audio and video of the sermon to listen to, watch, download or share … plus you will also see the slides from the message.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Luke 24:13-49
  3. What images and ideas do you associate with Easter today?  How about when you were growing up?  How do those ideas mesh with the description provided in Luke 24:46-48?
  4. If someone were to ask you, “How do I KNOW that Jesus was the Savior of the world?” – how would you answer them?
  5. Jesus explains His identity to the disciples through the Scriptures.  If this is how we can come to know Jesus, how are you investing time in getting to know Jesus through reading the Bible?  What daily habits are you practicing to help you get to know who Jesus really is?
  6. The bodily resurrection of Jesus provides for us a new identity, a new life, and a new eternity.  Of all the “new” that Jesus makes possible, what excites you the most?  How can you live in light of this “new” this year?
  7. What stands out to you most from this passage?  Any particular takeaway?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

 

To listen offline, click the link below:

Easter Sunday 4.4.21

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

To watch the worship service, use YouTube online:

 

Easter Weekend 2021 Preview!

Dear Friends,

It is Easter week!  We are looking forward to the chance to worship with you at Wildwood this weekend, as we remember Jesus’ death on the cross for us and His triumph over the grave!  To aid in our worship, we have a number of opportunities that we wanted to make sure you were aware of:

Good Friday Service – Friday, April 2 (6:00  & 7:30PM)

Join us for one of our two identical Good Friday services this Friday night.  This time of worship will include reading the Scriptural account of Jesus trial and crucifixion, singing songs remembering the significance of His death on our behalf, sharing in communion together, as well as praying and reflecting upon what all this means for us.  NOTE 1:  There is no children’s ministry during this service.  All in attendance will be in our worship center.  NOTE 2:  The 6pm Good Friday Service will also be live-streamed and available at wildwoodchurch.org/live .

 

Easter Sunrise Service – Sunday, April 4 (7:30AM)

Join us in our back parking lot as we watch the sun rise and celebrate the Son of God who is risen!  This outdoor worship service will include the same elements as our indoor services later in the day (same music, message, and communion) and provides an option for people to spread out more outside or start their day early!  NOTE 1:  There is no children’s ministry during the 7:30 service.  All in attendance will be in the parking lot for this sunrise service.  NOTE 2:  This is a “bring your own chair” event.

 

Easter Sunday Services- Sunday April 4 (9:00, 10:15, 11:30AM)

Join us in our main worship center for one of our Easter Sunday services.  We will remember the resurrection, sing praise to God, look at Luke 24:13-49, and celebrate the Lord’s Supper together.  Should be an amazing morning!  NOTE 1:  Full children and student ministry programming (birth – 12th grade) running during the 9:00 and 10:15 service.  Nursery/Toddler/Preschool classes also offered during the 11:30 hour.  College Life meets at 10:15.  Adult classes meet during their normal schedules all morning long.  NOTE 2:  As always, the 10:15 service will also be live-streamed and can be found at wildwoodchurch.org/live .

 

Help us get the word out about these services!  All are invited, but most respond best to a personal invitation.  We have 6 worship opportunities in person and two online this weekend. Share this post to help us get the word out.  Let’s gather together, invite others we know to join us, and celebrate that He is risen!  HE IS RISEN INDEED!!!!!

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

 

Palm Sunday 2021 Sermon Questions, Audio & Video

On Sunday, March 28, 2021 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a message as a part of the Palm Sunday celebration.  This message focused on Luke 19:28-44.  Below you will find questions related to this message for personal reflection or group discussion.  You will also find the audio and video from the message to listen to/watch, download, or share.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Luke 19:28-44
  3. What are some of your favorite Easter Holiday memories over the years?  Do you remember when you first realized that Easter was all about Jesus and what He has done for us through His death and resurrection?
  4. Have you ever stopped to personalize the crowd that gathered around Jesus on Palm Sunday?  These were not “faceless” people but people whose lives had been revolutionized by Jesus Christ.  They were worshipping Him out of their gratitude and experience (not just their expectations).  When you worship God, do you personalize that worship, reflecting on what God has done for you personally in Christ?  Make a list of things God has done for you in your life and have that list be a springboard to a time of worship before Him this week.
  5. Who are some in “authority” or positions of prominence in your life who do not share your understanding of who Jesus really is?  Have you allowed their opposition to quiet your allegiance to Christ?  How does the picture of the Pharisees on Palm Sunday remind you that those in powerful positions or advanced educations are not always “right” about Jesus?
  6. How does the picture of Christ weeping over Jerusalem motivate you about His feelings for you?  For those around you?  If you have not trusted in Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, might you do so RIGHT NOW?  For those already following Jesus, who might you invite to follow Jesus with you this week?
  7. What stands out to you most from this passage?  Any particular takeaway?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

 

To listen to sermon audio offline, click the link:

Palm Sunday 3.28.21

 

To listen to sermon online, use media player:

 

To watch stream of worship service, use YouTube online:

 

Palm Sunday Preview 2021

Just East of the city of Jerusalem, across the Kidron Valley and dotted with olive groves, stands a very famous hill.  This hill is appropriately named the Mount of Olives.  Many approaching Jerusalem from Jericho in the East would walk up and over this hill to get to the “city of peace.”  2,000 years ago, a very special approach was made over the Mount of Olives by a very famous Person – Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  The particular journey of Jesus I am referring to is what we know of today as “Palm Sunday” – one week prior to His resurrection two millennia ago.

I have been to Israel and stood on the Mount of Olives, looking at the city of Jerusalem from that angle.  If you were to stand on the Mount of Olives western slope and look at the city of Jerusalem, you would notice something peculiar about your surroundings … you would be surrounded by graves!  As a part of the “Social Security” program in Israel today, the government will pay for their citizen’s burial expenses in most circumstances.  I say “most,” because people can pay for an upgraded location for their burial.  Many, many Israelis have paid the fee to be buried on the western slope of the Mount of Olives, overlooking the city of Jerusalem.  Now why would they do that?  Because of the view?  Well, yes … and no.

The view of the city IS impressive, but it is not the current scenery that has people paying the up charge.  It is the view IN THE FUTURE that has people investing their inheritance.  According to Zechariah 14, when the Messiah returns to Israel, He will land on the Mount of Olives and approach the city of Jerusalem from the east.  Devout Jews, in anticipation of their Messiah’s arrival, are buried, feet facing the city, so that when Messiah comes and raises the faithful dead, they will be ready to join Him in a triumphal procession on the last day.

To commemorate and honor the dead buried on the hillside of the Mount of Olives, modern Jews place rocks (not flowers) on the stone enclosures in which their loved ones are buried.  

So, on the Mount of Olives, there are graves covered in rocks, of expectant (yet deceased) Jews awaiting their Messiah’s return.  Seeing this scene adds a bit of poignant irony to what Jesus said as He was entering the city of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

That day many were singing and shouting praises to Jesus as their hopeful Messiah and King.  The Pharisees saw what was developing and came to Jesus and said, “rebuke your disciples and tell them to be quiet” (the obvious implication being that the Pharisees did not believe Jesus was the Messiah so it was inappropriate for Him to receive this praise.)  But Jesus responded:

“I tell you, if these were silent the VERY STONES would cry out!”

Whoa.  

In a general sense, Jesus was saying, “it is RIGHT for these people to honor me this way because I AM the Messiah and all of creation knows it … even the rocks!”  

However, as I think about that hillside, I am reminded of those rocks I saw on the graves of people waiting for Messiah to come … He already came, and they missed HIM!  Those rocks cry out for a Messiah that came 2,000 years ago, walking down that very hill … in some cases, walking past those very stones.

Thankfully He is coming again for all the world to see, but in the mean time, let’s not let another moment go by when we don’t recognize Jesus for who He really is and worship Him with all our hearts.  We will try to do that this Palm Sunday, March 28, at Wildwood Community Church in our 9:00, 10:15, and 11:30 services as we look at Luke 19:28-44 in our Palm Sunday celebration.  Hope to see you then … and bring friends!

NOTE:  The 10:15 service will be live-streamed at wildwoodchurch.org/live

 

NOTE 2:  If you are interested in going to Israel with myself and Mark Burget  as guides over Spring Break 2022, message me and I will get you the details.  We still have a few spots left on that trip!  Would love to stand on the Mount of Olives with you and talk about this again!

The view from the Mount of Olives today … those stone boxes in the foreground are all graves with small rocks set on top.