Sunday, April 20, 2014

Pastor Chris’ Paschal Homily: Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia.

All you wearied from your Lenten spiritual practices and journey, now is your reward.
All you grateful and tired servants, rejoice and enter into Christ’s joy.
All you crucified ones, martyrs, and the dead, rest and reside in the Resurrection.
All you vigil holders and early risers, Christ is risen indeed, Alleluia.
All of you, fearful, in awe, filled with joy, on your journey, going to tell, and to see.
Christ is risen. (Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia.)

We celebrate amongst the fear of death,
And the awe of the Resurrection,
And the Joy of Easter Morning.

We celebrate by going out from the grave,
to tell of Jesus
and to see Jesus.

Alleluia in the midst of the fears of this age.
          In the midst of threats of war in Eastern Europe.
          In the midst of a Neo-Nazi shooting up a Jewish retirement home.
          In the midst of missing planes and capsized boats.

Alleluia closer to home too
          Alleluia in the face of an unnaturally early death.
          Alleluia all the while in heartbreak.
          Alleluia in the loneliness of old age.
          Alleluia peeking out at an unsure future and unsettling next steps.
          Alleluia despite your mother’s ongoing ill health.
          Alleluia raising your kids right even as you struggle to discern right for yourself.
          Alleluia with those women as they go to the tomb of Jesus.

Praise the LORD in the midst of the fright that Resurrection causes.
          Praise the LORD from whom descended the Angel, with his alarming appearance.
          Praise the LORD when we are awestruck by the words, “We’ve died… our life is hidden in Christ.”
          Praise the LORD when the Gospel challenges us and changes us.
          Praise the LORD for planting within us the seeds of growth and yearnings of what could be.
          Alleluia—Praise the LORD— at that first Easter, in the fear and darkness, to the stone of death, at the earthquake and lightning and snow and stupefying death-like paralysis all adjoined to Resurrection.

Thank God that Joy comes in the morning.
          Thank God that darkness recedes with the dawn.
          Thank God that the Earthquake removed the stone.
          Thank God that the stone, symbolizing death, became the angel’s resting spot.
          Thank God that in all of this we are assured, “Do not be afraid.”
          Thank God that Christ is our life.
          That we find our glory, as he himself is glorified.
          That we will once again shake our tambourines and make merry with instrument and song.
          That God has loved you with an everlasting love.
          That God continues to be faithful to you.

“Dear Women, don’t tarry here too long.
          Go to the grave and look, but then, go on to the one who is not there.
          Go on and enter into Christ for he is the gate open to us
          Enter into the Gates of righteousness.
          Enter through them and give thanks to the LORD.

Go forward Maries,
Go from the tomb to tell your brothers
          Open your lips and give thanks for God’s goodness
          Give thanks that God’s steadfast love endures forever.

          Hear this truly
          “You shall not die, but you shall live.”

          Open too your lips and your ears congregation.
          Fellow disciples,
          Tell one another of God’s wondrous acts:
          Christ is risen.    (Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia.)
Go also, that you might be unexpectedly met by him
Go so that you will see the Lord.
          Go out of this place
          The resurrection is ahead of you
          Be propelled forward by the fear and joy—the sheer surprise of that first Easter morning
          Propelled to go to Galilee
          Go out through the night toward the dawn
          Go with me Brothers and Sisters,
          Let us go up to Zion, to the LORD our God.
          Let us go and see that the stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
See that he has become our salvation.
See that Christ Jesus, is the Risen One

See sin brought him low
          But, He accepted His own death as an offering for Sin.

See we no longer need to fear death
          For the Savior’s death has set us free
          His resurrection has brought the Joy of Life.

See Hell has no victory
          It snatched up a human, and came upon God.
          It took from the earth, and was drug up to Heaven.
          It bit into the flesh, and was absorbed by the Spirit.

All of you,
You fearful ones
You over-awed folk
You who are filled with joy
You on your journey
You going to tell
You going to see
All of you.

Christ is risen. (Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia.) 3x