Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter 2010

You, dear readers, get TWO sermons today! As for me...well, let's just say Easter songs sung as both a soprano and an alto give a unique way to lose one's voice. Definitely worth it.

From the Sunrise Service (readings were Job 19:23-27, 1 Corinthians 15:51-57, and John 20:1-18):

Christ's resurrection is our joy! We now wait for our own resurrection.

The sunrise service tradition began in 1732; before that, the equivalent was the Vigil, since the Jewish day begins at sundown. But the women went at sunrise to the tomb, weeping, for their Lord was gone. And Christ met Mary, calling her by name. Thus she knew that He was risen!

John focuses on Jesus meeting individuals, for each one is accountable individually to God. Each of us needs Jesus. Together we are Christ's and the Church. But here in the reading, Jesus met with Mary Magdalene, and later with Peter and Thomas. In each case, seeing Him transformed unbelief into belief. Before was a lack of knowledge; after was understanding.

Unbelief is easy. Instead, we should live the faith springing from belief brought by Christ. He came when Mary wasn't seeking Him, only His body. She understood later. But so many do not. Tell them of Christ the firstfruits, who calls each of us by name. For that reason we call Him "Teacher" and heed His instruction.

From the next service (readings were Isaiah 65:17-25, 1 Corinthians 15:19-26, and Luke 24:1-12):

The women had spices. Normally the body would be embalmed at home with spices to prevent a stink (cf. story of Lazarus). Surprise: the stone was moved, the body absent! The women were perplexed and had all the wrong reactions. Now follow the Word: Christ had told them that these events would happen (v. 6b). Good Friday is connected with Easter after all, the retrospective icing. The main things was His death for our sins, necessarily followed by His resurrection for our justification.

Remember the words. Tell them to others, both Christian and non. Pray that the told believe the words. Heed them as Peter did. He ran! And having seen, he marveled, dumbfounded. Let us be the same - follow the Word and be dumbfounded at the words! -- The grave cloths were folded neatly; therefore we fold those covering the elements in Communion. He comes to them, and into us, at His word. This is unbelievable - but it's true! He is risen!

Soli Deo gloria.

Christ is risen!

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