The abrupt ending to a continuing story – Easter, April 8, 2012

Title:The abrupt ending to a continuing story – Easter, April 8, 2012

Today was the culmination of Easter week. For St. Peter’s, the fourth service this week and of course the one celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. 

What a wonderful Easter! The weather was sunny, crystal clear with spring alive all around us. 64 worshipped here today.  Here’s an Easter photo gallery

Paige and Helmut

Lots of variety. Marilyn began a 15 minute prelude with "Morning is Broken" followed by a solo by Nancy Long and a concerto by Helmut accompanied by Paige Martindale. The bulletin is here.  The readings for this Sunday are here.

Paschal Fire

Next was the lighting of the Paschal fire outside the Church and eventual lighting of the Paschal candle. The flame of the Paschal candle symbolizes Christ as light of the world and his presence in the midst of his people.   The congregation re-entered the Church for the procession.

Procession 2012

The procession was notable as it was made up one young adult, Justin and the remainder of the children in the parish  – Tierra and Cheyenne, Kimberly and Tucker. We are truly blessed with their presence.   

Brad picked a wonderful group of hymns – "Jesus Christ is Risen Today", "We know That Christ is Raised and Dies no More" and "The Day of Resurrection." 

Mark’s Gospel is the shortest resurrection account of all the Gospels. In the end Mark’s Easter Gospel has 3 women coming to the tomb ready to anoint Jesus’ body, confronted by a male angel who said he was not there but had been raised, requesting they tell the disciples that they will see him Galilee.  

Catherine’s sermon touched on the idea of the abrupt nature of the ending of Mark in contrast to the beginning – "The beginning of the Good News of Jesus Christ. " The women are left alone in the tomb instructed to tell Peter of the news of the Resurrection. Instead they are afraid and do not. 

"And that’s precisely why I love the gospel according to Mark, with its abrupt ending, because the good news of Easter is that God will meet us, especially in the dark and empty silences when we can’t see God or hear God or feel God’s presence."

"That’s the blessing of Easter, that even in our worst endings is a new beginning, the beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the crucified and Risen Son of God. "

Easter Baptism

She baptized  Holly Davis, the daughter of Johnny Davis’ gradson, Johnathan  Catherine later presented the family with a wooden cross newly made by Helmut.  He is intending a cross to go to all newly bapitized and newcomers. (He has made 11).

After the service, Eunice and Catherine played Easter bunny with candy distributed to the children. Old friends met together as they have done for many Easters:

Old Friends, Easter 2012

So we have had three services this week plus Easter. What does it all mean ?

It’s been a long week from Palm Sunday, through Tennebrae and Jesus suffering, Maundy Thursday with the Last Supper and arrest, Good Friday with the trial, crucifixion and death of Christ and the resurrection today. 

What is the significance of the Resurrection ? Marcus Borg writes the following in his book Last Week:

"The first, in a concise phrase, is Jesus lives. He continues to be experienced after his death, though in a radically new way. He is no longer a figure of flesh and blood, confined to time and space, but a reality who can enter locked rooms, journey with followers without being recognized, be experienced in both Galilee and Jerusalem, vanish in the moment of recognition, and abide with his followers always, "to the end of the age…" 

Borg points to the idea of us upholding Jesus’ concept of the Kingdom of God

"So there is powerful personal meaning to Lent, Holy Week, Good Friday, and Easter. We are invited into the journey that leads through death to resurrection and rebirth. But when only the personal meaning is emphasized, we betray the passion for which Jesus was willing to risk his life. That passion was the kingdom of God, and it led him to Jerusalem as the place of confrontation with the domination system of his time, execution, and vindication. The political meaning of Good Friday and Easter sees the human problem as injustice, and the solution as God’s justice… His passion was the kingdom of God, what life would be like on earth if God were king, and the rulers, domination systems, and empires of this world were not."

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