|Pentecost 1, Year B -Trinity Sunday||May 31, 2015||Pentecost 1, Year B, Trinity Sunday||Isaiah 6:1-8,Psalm 29,Romans 8:12-17,John 3:1-17|
|Easter 7, Year B||May 17, 2015||Seventh Sunday of Easter, Year B||John 17:6-19|
|Easter 6, Rogation Sunday, Year B||May 10, 2015||Sixth Sunday of Easter, Rogation Sunday||Deuteronomy 11:10-15, Mark 4:26-32|
|Easter 4, Year B||April 26, 2015||Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year B||I John 3:16-24, John 10:11-18|
|Easter 2, Year B||April 12, 2015||Second Sunday of Easter, Year B||Acts 4:32-25, Ps 133, John 20:19-31|
|Easter Sunday||April 5, 2015||Easter, Year B||Mark 16:1-8|
|➤Easter Sunrise service||April 5, 2015||Easter Sunday, Year B||John 20:19-22|
|Good Friday, Year B||April 3, 2015||Good Friday, Year B||John 18:1-19:42|
|Annunciation||March 25, 2015||The Annunciation||Luke 1:26-38|
|Lent 5, Year B||March 22, 2015||Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year B||John 12:20-33|
|Lent 4, Year B||March 15, 2015||Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year B||Ephesians 2:1-10, John 3:14-21|
|Lent 3, Year B||March 8, 2015||Third Sunday in Lent, Year B 2015||Exodus 20:1-17|
|Lent 2, Year B||March 1, 2015||Second Sunday in Lent, Year B, 2015||Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16, Mark 8:31-38|
|Lent 1, Year B||February 22, 2015||Lent 1, Year B||Mark 1:9-15|
|Ash Wednesday, Year B||February 18, 2015||Ash Wednesday, Year B||Matthew 6:1-6,16-21|
Easter Sunrise service
Sermon Date:April 5, 2015
Scripture: John 20:19-22
Liturgy Calendar: Easter Sunday, Year B
"Appearance Behind Locked Door"-Duccio di Buoninsegna (between 1308 and 1311)
We’ve gathered together here early in the morning to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
We actually have a lot in common with those disciples we’ve just heard about who ran away, and then locked themselves in a room because they were scared to death– even though they had already heard from Mary Magdalene that she had seen the Lord.
It’s easy to live our lives in fear—and to act accordingly.
Fear can keep us locked up inside ourselves—fearing people who are different than we are, fearing that someone might take something away from us, or fear that I might not be as good as the next person, or I might not measure up—the list goes on, and I’m sure that each one of us has some fear that tends to lock us up and shut us down, and to keep us divided from one another.
So here we are with the disciples, locked away in whatever fear is keeping us scared and unable to live the full lives that God has intended for us.
And here’s where our Lord and Savior comes in.
After appearing to Mary Magdalene, Jesus comes to the disciples cowering in that locked room and stands among them in the evening, after darkness has fallen.
And the first words out of his mouth are “Peace be with you.”
Peace! Peace be with you!
And then he shows them his hands and his side, and the disciples, their fear forgotten, rejoice.
Our first job on this resurrection day is to rejoice, because Jesus is among us right now.
Jesus is in our midst, bringing us peace.
Peace be with you! And you! And you! And you!
God’s peace is the peace that passes all understanding, the peace of God that can come over us even in the worst of times, the kind of peace that can carry us into places we never thought we’d go, the peace that bears us up and carries us through the worst times in our lives. The peace that keeps us together and binds us together as friends, as the church, as neighbors, as community. This peace that God gives us is the peace we’re given to share with the world–the peace that ripples out far beyond us in healing ways that we cannot imagine.
And then Jesus breathes on this little band of disciples. Breathes on them! Shares with him his very breath, the breath of life.
And Jesus says to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
The Holy Spirit is the breath of life, new life, the breath that brings to birth the gifts of the Holy Spirit within us– love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. The Holy Spirit gives us these gifts to use to bring our little bits of healing to the world.
About eight hours ago now, Jerusalem time, our Christian brothers and sisters in the Holy Land gathered in the pre dawn darkness in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
This huge monolithic church in the Christian quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City covers not only the traditional site of Jesus’ crucifixion, but also his tomb and the site of his resurrection. This church, the holiest place in Christendom, has been a pilgrimage site since the 4th century, when it was built.
And so early this morning, thousands of people came to this place, and packed themselves into this church around the small circular structure that covers the site of the tomb.
There is a small circular opening in this structure. And the people wait there in darkness and in silence.
And then there is a tiny glow from within.
And then one small flame is passed through the opening.
And one candle is lit, and then another, and then another and then another, until thousands of people gathered there this morning held lit candles in their hands.
And then all of these people poured out into the streets of Jerusalem, carrying the light of the world into the world.
Now it’s our turn on this side of the world.
It’s our turn to receive the light of Christ. (Light candles, beginning at the end of each row.)
It’s our turn to let God breathe on us, it’s our turn to breathe in God’s peace, it’s our turn to receive the Holy Spirit.
It’s our turn put away our fear, and to carry God’s light and peace into the world and to do our parts to help God’s kingdom come and God’s will be done here on earth.
This is the light that darkness and fear can never overcome. This is the light that shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never overcome it.
So take these candles home with you today and let them remind you every day to let go of your fear and to let this light of God shine in your hearts, and to carry God’s light out into the world.
In our church, we end our services this way. I say, Allleluia, alleluia, alleluia, go in peace to love and serve the Lord. And then everyone responds by saying, “Thanks be to God, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.”
“Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Go in peace, to love and serve the Lord!”
“Thanks be to God! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!”