Dear friends, let us greet this Easter morning,
with a deep, restorative breath.
Welcome to the passing of darkness.
Welcome to the deaths undone.
Welcome to the movement of dark clouds.
Welcome to the cleansing of hard rain.
Welcome to the rot that feeds the green.
Welcome to your brothers, sisters, and siblings.
Welcome to your friends, neighbors, and coworkers.
Welcome to your children, parents, and partners.
Welcome to your close quarters.
Welcome to your conflict, resolved or unresolved.
Welcome to the intention of forgiveness.
Welcome to the transformation born of grace.
Welcome to your second chances.
Welcome to the resurrection.
We pray in the name
of God, our Creator,
Jesus, our Redeemer,
and the Holy Spirit, our Guide,
We invite you to hear from the reading of Matthew 28: 1-8.
1 After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning,
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.
2 And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord,
descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.
3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.
4 For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men.
5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that
you are looking for Jesus who was crucified.
6 He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.
7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed
he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.”
8 So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy,
and ran to tell his disciples.
The Good News of the Lord. Thanks be to God!
The grass withers and the flower fades,
but the Word of the Lord endures forever. Amen.
Sermon and Reflection
What have you experienced during this gestation period before an eventual rebirth?
How can you hold the paradox of fear and joy this week?
At one time the divine appeared in elemental form,
just a flame, a burst of energy connected to our curiosity.
In another time the same God appeared in flesh and blood.
He lived amongst us, ate, drank, laughed, and wept.
He felt our wounds, carried our burdens, and shouldered our chains.
In dying, our chains were broken,
In resurrection, we are redeemed.
The God who came to us in our infancy comes to us now,
fully realized, fully revealed, fully glorified.
In Christ we are reconciled and seen,
Not as accidents or mistakes,
not for the sum of our failures,
We are seen as we are.
So go forth, and take peace in the promise, that
Go in peace and live the church.
May you find safety and rest throughout the week.
[Photo by Justin Wolfe @ Flickr]