|Easter 2, Year B||April 11, 2021||Second Sunday of Easter, Year B||John 20:19-31|
|➤Easter 2021||April 4, 2021||Easter||1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Mark 16:1-8|
|Maundy Thursday, Year B||April 1, 2021||Maundy Thursday||John 13:1-17, 31b-35|
|Palm Sunday, Year B, March 28, 2021||March 28, 2021||Palm Sunday, Year B||Mark 14:1-15:47|
|Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year B||March 21, 2021||Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year B||Jeremiah 31:31-34, John 12:20-33|
|Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year B||March 14, 2021||Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year B||Numbers 21:4-9; Ephesians 2:1-10; John 3:14-21|
|Third Sunday in Lent, Year B||March 7, 2021||Third Sunday in Lent, Year B||John 2:13-22|
|Second Sunday in Lent, Year B||February 28, 2021||Second Sunday in Lent, Year B||Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16; Mark 8:31-38|
|First Sunday in Lent, Year B||February 21, 2021||First Sunday in Lent, Year B 2021||Genesis 9:8-17, Mark 1:9-15|
|Ash Wednesday sermon – “This is the season to unlock the doors of our hearts”||February 17, 2021||Ash Wednesday, Year B||Isaiah 58:1-12, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21|
|Last Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B||February 14, 2021||The Last Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B||2 Kings 2:1-12, 2 Corinthians 4:3-6, Mark 9:2-9|
|Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B||February 7, 2021||Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B||Isaiah 40:21-31, Mark 1:29-39|
|Third Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B||January 24, 2021||Third Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B||I Corinthians7:29-31, Mark 1:14-20|
|First Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B||January 10, 2021||First Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B||Genesis 1:1-5, Mark 1:4-11|
|Epiphany, Jan. 2021||January 6, 2021||Epiphany, Year B,||Psalm 72, Ephesians 3:1-12, Matthew 2:1-12|
Sermon Date:April 4, 2021
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Mark 16:1-8
Liturgy Calendar: Easter
On this day the Lord has acted! We will rejoice and be glad in it.
We have gathered today, as we do every Sunday, to thank God for God’s steadfast love, and for God’s mighty acts of life giving power, fully visible in God’s resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
We Christians understand the words of the psalmist in Psalm 118 as describing the resurrection of Jesus. “This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.”
And our celebration of the resurrection on this day helps us to realize all over again that God loves all that God has made with the same steadfast love with which God resurrected Jesus, and that even in the most awful deathly things that happen in our world, God’s is constantly bringing life out of death.
Being together every Sunday to celebrate God’s goodness helps us to remember, especially when we are feeling discouraged, when we are looking death in the face because we’re physically failing, when we seem fine on the outside but have become dead on the inside, when we’re struggling to make ends meet, when we think that we just can’t continue to put one foot in front of another, that God is constantly opening a way to new life for us and giving us strength to continue on that way together as God’s Easter people.
God is good, and God’s mercy endures forever.
Along with the psalmist, we can say, “The Lord is our strength, and our song! The Lord has become our salvation.”
What good news!
Rowan Williams points out that Jesus speaks to the world “through us, the community gathered around his cross and resurrection… the sheer newness of this kind of community, in which we trust one another enough to learn from one another, whatever the gulfs of understanding and culture that divide us.”
“Our identity as Christians,” Rowan says, “is to be in the place where Jesus stands, the place from which we can see into the boundless reality that is the outpouring of God’s life. Standing with Jesus, standing in the truth, is like standing under a waterfall: the life of God is around us, soaking and overwhelming us. We can’t grab it and hold on to it, we can’t contain it.”
Coming together each Sunday, remembering the resurrection, remembering God’s steadfast love and mercy for all of God’s creation, helps us to come and stand under this waterfall of God’s love pouring over us, to be reborn into the truth that God’s love cannot be contained in this space, or in us, because God’s love is constantly pouring out into the world, hopefully in part through each one of us.
On the day of resurrection when the women went to the tomb and found it empty, they were knocked over by a flood of life pouring out of a tomb where they had expected to find only a dead body.
Suddenly their hope to provide for Jesus one last time by anointing his body with burial spices was washed away by the news that not only was he not dead in the tomb, but that he had been raised, and had gone ahead of them to Galilee, and there they would see him.
These women had followed Jesus and provided for Jesus in Galilee during his ministry there.
And now Jesus was calling them back to Galilee, not to repeat the past, but to prepare for the future.
Maybe the women were filled with fear and trembling and fled and said nothing to anyone because they could not imagine what that future would hold, what all of this hopeful new life would bring. They needed some time to adjust to this shock of being bowled over by new life.
We know that the women got past their fear, told the other disciples, and that Jesus, the living, resurrected Jesus, did appear to them.
The Apostle Paul reports in his letter to the Corinthians that Jesus appeared to Peter, then to the twelve, then to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time. He appeared to James, to all of the apostles, and then last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to Paul.
The implications of Paul’s report are staggering.
Because if the resurrected Jesus appeared to his followers then, and even to Paul, who had persecuted him, he could appear to us as well.
In fact, the resurrected Jesus does appear to us, but our own fears often keep us from recognizing Jesus in our midst.
But God is good and God’s mercy endures forever, and so Jesus tells us that when even two or three of us gather in his name, there Jesus is, in the midst of us.
Our risen Lord is here with us right now.
How should we respond to his presence with us?
When we set aside our fears and trustingly love and serve one another, as God has loved us, even when we do so imperfectly, still, in spite of ourselves, we find Jesus present in our midst.
And Jesus is present with us when we realize that the loving things we do for one another, as Rowan Williams says, set us on “our journeys home to God, in Jesus, who is the ‘Way.’” Fear can no longer keep us from the journey to meet Jesus in Galilee, where we will see him, just as he told us we would.
Our journey home to God begins with our journey to this table, where we come to know our risen Lord, present to us in the breaking of the bread.
Our journey home to God, is a matter of doing the most ordinary and loving things for one another as we journey in the “Way, the truth and the life” that is Jesus, our Lord. When we travel in Jesus, “The Way,” our connections with one another, as Rowan says, “are so extraordinary that we are filled with wonderful delight, a delight so great that we want to take our connections and our love for one another outside these doors, and to our surprise, we find that Jesus, the Lord of love, is already present outside these doors as well.”
Our closing prayer after the Eucharist each week is about our journey home to God. We ask God to send us out in peace. We ask God to grant us the strength and the courage to love and to serve God with gladness and singleness of heart, through Jesus, our Risen Lord, who is our Way, our truth and our life.
No tomb could ever contain Jesus, the Lord of Life. And when we open our hearts and find Jesus already in our midst, and stay on The Way to his ever fuller and more visible presence with us, none of the tombs that we fall into on this earth will ever contain us.
For God, who is our strength and song, will raise us up into new life, for God is our salvation. This life giving flood of love is the Lord’s doing. And it is marvelous in our eyes. On this day the Lord has acted. So let us rejoice and be glad in it.