Summary: In our disconnected overloaded world, reconnect with what is really important.

What Really Matters

Easter Sunday, April 8, 2012 – Brad Bailey

Intro –

On that first morning... when the first lives discovered that Jesus had risen… it ripped thrugh them…right down to the core of their souls. And soon it would rip right through human history… transforming history as we know it. I believe that to help us celebrate this event… we must ask ourselves: What really matters? What is really important amidst all of that seeks our attention?

It’s important to recognize that we are surrounded by information like never before… and it is competing for our attention. Recent years of technological advancements have brought what is referred to as an exponential increase in information. [1] The amount of information that is being collected and communicated is overwhelming. Consider:

• In 2002, we recorded and replicated 23 exabytes of information. We now record and transfer that much information every 7 days.

• 300 million – Added websites in 2011.

• People are adding 1000 unique articles to Wikipedia every day.

• 112 – Number of emails sent and received per day by the average corporate user.

• 225 million – Number of Twitter accounts.

• 250 million – Number of tweets per day (October 2011).

• We’re creating 2000 tweets per second

• 18.1 million – People following Lady Gaga. Twitter’s most popular user.

I’m an info junkie…my Strengthsfinder profile describes me as ‘high ‘input’…which means I like to take in and process a lot of information.

The challenge with so much competing for our attention is that we can become like my first golden retriever with tennis balls on lawn. She was a retriever…her deepest instinct was to get the ball and bring it back to her source… but with so many strewn across the lawn…she never could come grasp one ball… she could never come home.

For God it is all about that which leads us back to home…to where we belong… to where we once again are restored to who we really are.

We have to grasp what really matters….to grasp the difference between what is fascinating and what is fundamental…between what has secondary value and what is vital.

This is what we gather around this morning.

Listen to how the Apostle Paul declares it:

1 Corinthians 15:1-8, 20-22, 49 (TNIV)

1 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

…20 Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a human being. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But in this order: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.

49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.

Into our lives overloaded with endless information… Paul declares that...

this news is ‘of first importance.’

Every one of us needs to pause and consider that. We each have a LOT of things that we have made important… and to varying degrees they may be…but this is what is of FIRST importance.

The word “Gospel” means “good news”… it refers to that which shouts out like the ultimate breaking news to the universe.

Now I know that is hard for us to grasp…because we see the newscasts constantly flashing the words “Breaking News”… and they can be followed by the latest words that include Kardashian…or a sports trade… or Los Angeles facing a storm… that all those not from Los Angeles would call drizzle.

The ‘breaking news’ that we get day in and day out…is the kind of news that tries to keeps us paying attention…as long as we don’t ask ourselves: “What difference does that really make?”

George Dyson who grew up at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton has recently caused many to ponder as he declared:

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