Easter Then and Now

Here’s a little meditation that came to me while preparing worship for this week. If you’re preaching and looking or sermon help, you might want to try here.

2015-07-10 20.44.52

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared.
On the first day of the week, as the sun rises,may we come seeking You, bringing all that we have prepared.

They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body.
May we experience the blessing of the stone rolled away, that we may enter in, and discover it empty.

While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them.
When we do not encounter what we expect, may we recognize your messengers among us and be dazzled.

The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?
So often we look for the living among the dead and fail to notice holiness. May fear and trembling bring us to holy ground reminding us who You are.

He is not here, but has risen.
You are not in the emptiness; You live!

Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.”
May we remember all that You have told us. Human sin, death, and violence are not the end. Divine Love rises again and again and again.

Then they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest.
Let us hear these sacred promises once more and leave behind emptiness as we share love with all the rest.

Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles.
Our lives are to be testimonies to You. We are to embody Love enough to call others to life – in Brussels, in Aleppo, in Abidjan, in Ankora, in Gaza, in Chicago…

But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.
But these words seem an idle tale to so many and the world is unlikely to change.

But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.
Except for the ones who get up and run to see the emptiness for themselves. These will see and believe and be amazed. These will embody Love that shows no partiality.

Christ is risen!

RCL – Easter – March 27, 2016
Acts 10:34-43 or Isaiah 65:17-25
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
1 Corinthians 15:19-26 or Acts 10:34-43
John 20:1-18 or Luke 24:1-12

Photo CC-BY-NC image by Rachael Keefe


About rachaelkeefe

Hi. I am a pastor, an author, a painter, and a poet. My latest book is available now for pre-order from Chalice Press, The Lifesaving Church: Faith Communities and Suicide Prevention (http://amzn.to/2DZ55EU).
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