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Popcorn and soda faith

Updated: Apr 4


By Dr. Bascom Ratliff

Pastor, Parker/Beagle/Fontana United Methodist Churches


The inspiration for today’s message is from: 

Luke 20:29 “Jesus said to Thomas, blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe”.


I learned a great deal from the stories of Peter denying Jesus three times before the cock crowed (Matthew 26: 69-75) and the story of Thomas who doubted the resurrection of Jesus and asked for proof before he would believe (Luke 20: 24-29). Today’s message is about our own denial and our own doubts. It’s important to have some skepticism about the resurrection, especially if our doubt leads us to explore the wonders of the resurrection and the promises of God for our eternal life.


Unfortunately, my experience has been that many of us have become lukewarm and distracted in our belief of a risen Christ. As my colleague Charles expressed, “I have seen dozens of fantasy and science fiction movies where the hero is killed but brought to life through wizardry and magic”.


Sometimes it becomes far too easy to relegate the resurrection of Christ to fantasy and magic without really understanding or appreciating the power and meaning of Jesus’s sacrifice. Too often our attitude is, “been there, done that, seen that.”


Regretably, too often we minimize and doubt the remarkable gift of Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross and his resurrection.


We are too comfortable sitting on our couches, enjoying popcorn and soda, and watching the miracles of Jesus on television without fully appreciating the events surrounding Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. We take his miracles for granted. Or worse, we attempt to explain them away as stories or illustrations.


Far too many of us have become spiritual spectators who have lost our enthusiasm for a risen Christ. It’s much easier being Sunday morning Christians without taking on the extra burden of good works. Turning the other cheek, feeding the needy, or visiting those in hospitals or prisons, is much too difficult. It’s much easier to love our neighbor if we are not obligated to care for them. 


Our challenge is to renew and energize our faith. We can begin by simply reading chapters 14 and 15 of Mark. Second, follow this reading with a prayer, asking God’s Holy Spirit for guidance and strength. And third, make a commitment to attend church on Sunday morning. Reading, praying, and attending, are three of the more important activities that we can do as Christians in nurturing our faith. These tasks also set the foundation for our service and good works.


God loves us without fail. I believe that God calls us to a glorious salvation and redemption through the blood of Jesus Christ. And I believe that God calls us to give up our popcorn and soda leisure and serve the church enthusiastically and joyfully.


As we continue on this journey to a meaningful relationship with Jesus, our denial and doubt turn to a joyful belief in a risen Savior. This is the good news. Share this good news with everyone. The resurrection of Jesus has reconciled us with a loving God and given us access to the wonderful treasures of the Holy Spirit. 


Read. Pray. Do.

 _______________

If you want to hear more about God’s wonderful promise of unfailing love and enjoy a great morning of music and fellowship, please come and worship with us.

We will worship at the Parker United Methodist Church during April 2024.

We will worship at the Beagle UMC during May 2024.

We will worship at the Fontana UMC during June 2024.

All regular Sunday services are at 10 a.m. 

All are welcome to worship in God’s House.  

Dr. Bascom Ratliff  (913-710-5748)

Pastor, Parker/Beagle/Fontana 

United Methodist Churches



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