Please allow me to share a very happy and blest Easter to you all.
I am so honored to be able to break open God’s Word with you on this most sacred and special morning in our lives as Church.
My friends, I have been praying this Sacred Text of Luke for a bit over a week now. And it has been rich and full.
I have especially been struck by the words spoken to the women at the tomb and subsequently I believe spoken to all of us as Church:
Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, he has risen!”
You see those words raise a very poignant question for me….
What if we have much of our journey of faith all wrong?
What if we missed the central message of the angels question to the women?
Why do you look for the living among the dead?
I wonder how much of our religious traditions have been built on that very premise….
As if somehow if we just do the right thing, or say the right words or sing the right hymn….we will discover and encounter God once again…..
I do not want to burst our preverbial bubble….but I wonder how much of our faith life has been built on the belief that we will find Jesus
or at least find God
if we only do our public or our private prayer just right.
Please do not take me wrong….
I am not purporting that we dismantle our liturgies or cease our personal prayer….
I just am asking us to dig deep into the intention of our actions and our prayers to make certain that we do not miss what the angels said.
You see I believe that we may be searching for the living among the dead if we begin our sentence with….”We have always….”
If “We have always” rolls off our tongues…I bet it would have rolled off the tongues of the women who went to the tomb on that first day of the week at early dawn….
and they would most likely want us to remember that they were just doing “What we always do”…as well.
And the ending was not what they had planned.
You see I think God has a way to turn the journey of faith on its ear.
Not to keep us wondering, or not to keep us in the mystery, but rather to keep us from becoming complacent in our journey.
The dead…they are predictable, and they don’t talk back…..
The Living….they are unpredictable, edgy, challenging, affirming, and mysterious.
That’s exactly what the angels push us to….
To look for Jesus….not in dead, measured, specific, lifeless, and meaning-less motions and rituals…..
To look for Jesus in the Living…the living room, the bedroom, the family room, the kitchen, the edge of liminality, the unpredictable, the mysterious, the unknown and the real everyday dirt and grime.
I wonder where we have seen Jesus these past few days?
These days of liminality….of thin places…..
I bet if we only stopped long enough to realize it, we could probably name a number of them.
I know I saw Jesus at the Maunday Thursday liturgy….in a grandfather and his two grand daughters…washing each other’s feet with such profound love that I could hardly stand it.
I saw Jesus in the soups and breads and salads and desserts that everyone brought….without asking who was going to share what had been made.
I saw Jesus on the interstate, when a trucker was trying to move over so that the officer who had someone pulled over would be safe and others slowed down and moved over to allow the big rig to come over as well.
I saw Jesus in the young dad who had to drop off his daughter in order to go to work.
I saw Jesus in a man who is spending his entire life in Prison, holding the door open for another man who will be leaving in 5 years, and explaining to him how to go about writing an apology letter to his victim’s family and what it could mean for him when he is released.
I saw Jesus in a man who has spent the last 43 years in prison and who just found out he will be spending another 28 there as well, and yet who cares so much, that he shared his last bit of his food with another guy who missed his meal because he had overslept ring out for dinner.
I saw Jesus in the smile of another who had discovered the joy that music brings to her soul.
And I saw Jesus in the stories we shared and the faith we sang as we gathered here this morning. In the smiles, the hopes and the dreams for this day. Chocolate is just minutes away!
I just wonder,
I wonder if maybe that isn’t what the angels meant…..
Maybe the angels meant that what we ought to be doing….is to be attentive….attentive to the God who is constantly revealing God’s self to us!
Yet often our lives are so busy doing what we always do….getting up, going to work, turning on the computer, opening the email, reading the notes, crunching the numbers…day in and day out…driving to work, driving home…making supper, doing dishes or doing laundry.
Life and our prayer…can become so routine, so rote, so “always the way we have done it” –That we run the risk of missing Jesus among the living….because we are stuck with the vail of the dead draped over our face.
How different could our lives, both religiously and secularly be, if we intentionally looked for God’s self-revelation every day.
What if we EXPECTED to discover God…not just once in a while, but what if we EXPECTED to discover God every day of our lives!
How awesome that could be!
How awesome could it be, if when we had to flip the visor down because the sun was shining in our eyes, we stopped for a brief moment and whispered a prayer of gratitude simply for sunshine, and green grass and the love of a friend.
How awesome could it be, if we noticed God right here, right now?
In our liturgy, our prayer, the handshake, the bread or wine, the song, the easter bunny or the easter song.
Just imagine…how awesome it could be…if we simply chose to take off the vail of sameness and see our lives with new eyes!
I wonder where we will discover the Risen Christ next…
Who knows, it might be even be in an empty tomb?
Why did the chicken cross the road?
To get to her other peeps.
Why did the Easter Bunny love his Gold necklace?
Because it was 24 Karats.
Why was the Easter rabbit so happy?
Because some bunny loved him.