Easter Homily By The Rev. Marcia McRae
St. John’s Episcopal Church, Bainbridge, GA, 27 March 2016
RCL Year C: Acts 10:34-43; Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; 1 Corinthians 15:1-1;John 20:1-18
“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...”1 intelligent creatures looked through their Hubble space telescopes & said:
“What on Earth is happening?!”
We are Easter people. We know what they were looking at:
That 1st “Easter [which] flips everything upside-down”, shatters our preconceived notions, transcends what's rational...2
As Tim Schneck says in his book, Dust Bunnies in the Basket: Finding God in Lent & Easter, in this parrallel universe “faith collides with conventional wisdom & wins...love conquers all,...death has no dominion over us,...forgiveness wipes away all sin,...mercy [triumphs over] judgment... inclusion wins...over exclusion, hope conquers despair, Resurrection & life triumph over Crucifixion & death...The risen Christ invites us all into this parallel universe of Resurrection glory.”3
We don't have to wait until we die to start living the life of Resurrection & Love that Jesus shows us.
In all seasons of our lives we are Easter people.
Even in Lent that just ended we live in the truth of Jesus' Resurrection & Love. Notice how we spell Lent.
L-E-N-T: Live Easter Now Today!
Easter people know the rest of the story, the Good News:
God Loves you. No exceptions. All are welcome.
When we face the hard work of a tough day like Mary Magdalene does, confronted by confusing reality, remember the angels & Jesus ask, “Why are you weeping?" What does she say?
“I'm crying because...I don't know..."
The difference between us & Mary Magdalene is we know.
We know where Jesus is. Jesus is right here: in our hearts, in the eyes, the hands, the just-right word of another.
In life we do face death. This last enemy to be destroyed has many forms both literal & figurative, such as the death of a plan, an ability, a relationship. Perhaps we can weep with joy that we don't face death alone. Jesus, the Lord of Life is right here with us, walking each step with us.
On each step that Jesus took on the road to the cross, he carried our burden.
Remember: God calls us each day to live the
Good News of the empty tomb.
When the world tells us: “Everything is a mess. There is nothing you can do. Just wring your hands. Hold your breath. Expect the worst.” we Easter people can respond: “Been there. Done that at the foot of the cross. We know the rest of the story: Alleluia!”
Everything WAS a mess. Jesus changed all that.
Jesus shows us how to make things better. The Holy Spirit guides us to make things better so that we don't just wring our hands & hold our breath. On the cross Jesus said it is finished/it is accomplished & breathed his last. He finished the work of defeating death's power.
When we are told to expect the worst, look at the cross where the Prince of Glory died.
On that worst day, Jesus asks God to forgive us.
If you had been the only person who has sinned in all of history & dying on the cross was the only way Jesus could rescue you from separation from God, Jesus would have done it all for you.
Jesus died for you.
Look into that empty tomb.
It can't hold the Lord of Life.
Take a deep breath &
savor the new life
the Holy Spirit breathes into you.
Johnson, The Rev. Deon. “Practice Resurrection, Easter (C) – 2016”. Accessed: 26 March 2016. http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/stw/2016/03/16/practice-resurrection-sermon-for-easter-c-2016/
Schenck, Tim. Dust Bunnies in the Basket: Finding God in Lent & Easter. USA: Forward Movement. 2015. www.forwardmovement.org
Thompson, Richelle. “March 27 Easter”. Meeting Jesus on the Margins: Meditations on Matthew 25. Cincinnati: Forward Movement. 2015.
1 Galaxy idea from Schenck, Tim. Dust Bunnies in the Basket: Finding God in Lent & Easter. Pp. 62-65.
2 Ibid. P. 64.