Sunday, April 12, 2020

It Was Early in the Morning

An Easter Sermon written for my granddaughter in Amsterdam - my wife played the piano, and I gave the sermon ... I even wore my clerical collar ... whenever my granddaughter saw me in church, I had my collar on.

M, it was early in the morning.
The first Easter Morning.

The sky was still dark with night … stars were still shining bright… there was no wind, but it was chilly … and in the east, where the sun comes up, a sliver of light was growing. There it is, the light dawning, the light coming our way.

It was early in the morning.

Have you ever been up early in the morning Mazzy?
To watch the sun come up?
It’s beautiful.
The velvet black sky.
The stars above.
Everything quiet, even in a city, things are quiet in the early, early, morning.
And then the edge of light.
From black to purples turns the sky.
The sun is coming up.
Soon, a new day.
A brand new day.

Women were on their way to the tomb.
Friends of Jesus.
To the tomb:
Where Jesus was buried.

A cave, it was … a cave dug into the side of a rocky hillside.
With a big stone over the entrance.

The women were on their way to the tomb to wash the body of Jesus.
To anoint his body with perfume.
To wrap his body in soft, clean, linen.
Because they loved him so very, very, much.

“Who will roll the stone away for us?” they asked.

The stone was really big and really heavy.

But those brave women went to the tomb anyway.

They loved Jesus.
They wanted to be where he was.

But when they got there, much to their surprise, the stone was rolled off to the side. The tomb was open.

They went in to the tomb, the morning light helped them see … expecting to find the body of Jesus … but there was no body … Jesus wasn’t there …

They were looking all over the cave, there were nooks and crannies, but no where could they find Jesus … they didn’t know what to do … they were sad … so very sad … what could have happened? Did someone steal his body? Why isn’t he here?

All of a sudden, a flash of light, bright light.
A flood of light.
Everything bright and clear.
The light was so bright, they had to shield their eyes.

There, standing beside the women, two people.
In dazzling white clothes.
They looked like angles.
I guess they were … angels from on high.
Messengers they are.
The word “angel” means messenger.
And what a message they had for the women standing in the tomb.

The women didn’t know what to do.
What to say. 

The two angels in dazzling white clothes said to them: “Jesus isn’t here.”
“He has risen from the dead.”

And that message, Mazzy, has changed the world.
The power and goodness of hope.
Because Jesus was raised from the dead.

Gramma and Grampa say to you.
“Christ is Risen”
And you can say, “He is risen, indeed.”

From the days of early church.
Long, long ago.
And today, all around the world.

We’ll say it again: “Christ is risen.
and you can say, “He is risen, indeed.”

Let’s try that one more time:
“Christ is risen.
And you can say, “He is risen, indeed.”

And he is risen, for sure … for love … for all of us.
That we might always have hope.

M, God loves you, and we love you, too with all our heart.

It’s kind of crazy these days Mazzy.
Here we are, in our homes.
Doing school on the internet.

But God’s love for us is always here.
Always good.
Always beautiful and strong.

No matter where we are.
No matter what’s going on.
There is always an Easter morning.
When Jesus rose from the dead.
And lives today in all who love.
Jesus lives in your heart Mazzy.
He lives in all of us.

To you M.
to your Mom and Dad.

The peace of Christ.
The love of God.
The friendship of the Holy Spirit.

Happy Easter Dear Mazzy.
And to all of God’s People.
All around the world.
Happy Easter.

Amen and Amen!