It is now the quiet time… Holy Week is behind us; The Easter Vigil has been concluded for another year —The crowds that seem to magically appear and arrive at sunrise have come and gone. Easter egg hunts are wrapped up as well as family Easter gatherings, let the egg salad begin to flow. Now what?
Is Easter Sunday 2019 to now be shelved away as a nice memory testified to only by photos posted on Facebook? An opportunity for people to dress up and have good family time? Does the message of Easter end with the last Easter Sunday Service and our closing hymn—“He Lives”? Liturgically, the Church calendar says “NO.” We have the Easter Season (which runs from now until mid-June) — an important time for us to reflect on the truth of the resurrection and to look forward to the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
Does Easter really affect and shape who we are, or does it remain a beautiful annual ritual that is left behind in the crowded Easter Sunday church parking lot or during Easter brunch at our favorite eating establishment? Do we take Easter with us into the streets of our lives and of our world, or do we keep it hidden away behind locked doors — doors of a private faith, spirituality and morality, doors of our resignations and sense of hopelessness in the face of the pain of our world, doors of our fear to offend the accepted norm?
My dear friends, Easter must not stay hidden away. Easter demands that we take this message of joy and renewal out into the streets – no matter how uncomfortable it makes us or others. In Matthew’s account of the resurrection there is an interesting instruction that is given to the women who came to the tomb early that morning by the angel sitting on top of the now open and empty tomb. “…go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him!” (Mt. 28:7)
The resurrected Lord does not fear the world and all of its challenges because our risen Lord has conquered all the sin of the world through the love of God the Father. The resurrected Lord goes before you to Galilee—He goes into the streets of the world and the expectation and instruction given by the angel of the resurrection is that the followers of Christ will do the same!
Easter, if it is to be authentic and be more than a nice memory, cannot stay hidden behind any locked door and neither will it allow us to remain hidden. We are children of the resurrection! We are sons and daughters of the creator God! We are sons and daughters of the resurrection of our Lord!
The Easter mystery is placed in our hearts and our hands— It is entrusted to us and it must not remain behind locked doors, it demands to be taken out to the streets of this world—and I am excited and ready to join you in this “Easter Season” in keeping this mystery alive and in doing just that—“. . . GO, and tell his disciples that he has risen. . .”!
Christ is Risen—He Is Risen Indeed!
Grace & Peace, Pastor Fred