Easter Sunrise, Woodlawn Plantation
Today we celebrate the Risen Christ! Today, we celebrate victory over sin and death! And here’s the thing: It doesn’t matter if we feel victorious or not, if we recognize Christ or not, if we deny Jesus or accept him, it doesn’t matter if new life is part of our experience or if we are still waiting for something good to happen in our lives, because simply put, we do not accomplish the resurrection, God does that! And there is nothing we can do about it. God loves us and wants us all to have a full and meaningful life. The good news for the church, and the good news for you and for me today, is that any emptiness, any place of death in our lives, any life-sucking energy depleting circumstances, any illness or addiction we might be dealing with, could be the very avenue that God will use to bring us to new life.
Alleluia! Christ our Lord is Risen today!
Easter was just three weeks ago, a joyous celebration of the Risen Christ. Easter is more than a day, it is a season celebrating victory over the death, of fulfillment over loss, of intimacy with a God who will not leave us alone. Clearly, the disciples who hid in the Upper Room had their questions and so do we.
When confusion becomes the norm, when loss and decline are inevitable, and emptiness stares us down so we can’t see our way out, there, we anxiously weep and wait. There is nothing more to do. Our best plans have been interrupted.
This is the church today. This is the United Methodist Church today. And the Risen One is waiting beyond the tomb in a form we do not recognize. We might take the road out of town and get back to our fishing boats. We might look for the one who is reaching for healing. We might let the children come close. We might seek the lame who sit outside the gates. We might meet at the well with those who worship differently than we do, listening and learning. We might not worry about the sin of others because of our own. We might be sustained by the bread and the cup.
The Alive One is not in the tomb, not in the confusion, not in the loss and decline, not in the emptiness but waits for us to listen to be called by name. Those who listen and hear come face to face with the Risen One, overflowing with joy, they will go get the others.