I am having trouble picking my sermon texts for this week. I know it’s Easter, and I plan to be preaching Easter texts, I just—which ones? John tells a story of faith that pushes boundaries, of restoration and resurrection intertwined in a garden, where Mary Magdalene does not recognize the risen Jesus. It speaks to the mystery and changes promised in new life. Matthew reads like the script to an action film—there is an EARTHQUAKE, an angel with the appearance of LIGHTNING descends and BLASTS the rock away, and the guards SHAKE and are like THE DEAD. An Aerosmith power ballad plays as Jesus walks out of the tomb in slow motion… Luke tells a story of relationship and hope, asking the question “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” And Mark… you know what? I think I’ll go with Mark this year. After all, I promised closure on the naked young man who sprints through the gospels, didn’t I?
Easter Sunday is not a time of closure, but a time of opening up—of endless possibilities, infinite love, eternal life. We are opening up the church as well as our hearts, and I look forward to us coming together as a community in the celebration of God’s promise in the resurrected Christ. On Friday, I hope you’ll attend our Good Friday service at 7:00 p.m., where we consider, question, and cry out against the crucifixion then and still happening now. I hope you will pray on Holy Saturday, a time of observation and contemplation in what it means to die, what it means to rise, and what it means to be in between. And then Sunday—wow. We have a sunrise service at 7:00 a.m. We have an Easter breakfast at 9:30. We have an Easter Egg hunt at 10:15. We have worship starting at 11:00 a.m. And we will have folks we have never met, do not know, and are called to love sitting right there with us. I encourage you to be welcoming, I encourage you to be loving, I encourage you to be, well, who you are normally, but as a resurrection people, as together we proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ is Risen.
I will see you Sunday! Shalom y’all,