Easter Talk 2015
By Bruce Prewer
Black light transforms
the clouds in the east,
the swamphens wake
at this new dawning.
Against the sky
sacred ibis wend
like angel forms,
to hopeless mourning.
The sun comes up
and the magpies sing.
God is alive
in everything this Easter morning.
In the gospel of Mark, everything happens Immediately.
Immediately he goes to the next town.
Immediately he moves along.
The story pushes forward at a brisk pace, leading us across the countryside, following this Jesus who never seems to stop moving ahead to spread his message. No pausing to erect monuments, no attempting to persuade. If you aren’t liked in a place, shake the dust from your sandals and move on.
My experience of reading Mark aloud all in one was one that seemed to move ahead too quickly. I read it aloud with my sister one day while I was in grad school and I remember being surprised at how the story flew by. That afternoon sticks out to me as one of those frozen moments in time we have. There are all these wonderful things happening in the story, these beautiful healings and teachings and parables, and then suddenly he is heading towards Jerusalem and I know what is about to happen! I feel like I’m in a movie and I want to yell at him to go back, to stay away, to just keep being an itinerant preacher. But there was no turning back. And before I knew it, the story was over, and I felt heartbroken.
Mark ends abruptly, leaving us with little closure.
There is the tragedy of the crucifixion and there is the grieving.
Then suddenly he is gone and with that same sense of immediacy, he is not there!
They are afraid. They don’t know what has happened.
by Jan Richardson
If you are looking
for a blessing,
do not linger
where a blessing
used to be.
was not content
in its confinement.
It could not abide
the unrelenting silence,
the pressing stench
So if it is
that you seek,
open your own
Fill your lungs
with the air
that this new
with a cry.
Hear how the blessing
in your own voice
how your own lips
form every word
you never dreamed
See how the blessing
circles back again
wanting you to
how it draws you
its only word:
Because Mark leaves us hanging a bit, you
are invited into a space of creative imagination as we wonder where Jesus might be. Where will we find him? How will we see him? How will we know it’s him?
Mark’s immediacy turns into excitement and anticipation.
The tomb couldn’t have been robbed – the stone was too big. What happened? And more importantly, what happens next?
WE decide what’s next! We seek to find out where he is
What happens next both in the scriptures and today, is people start seeing him.
We are in the midst of the church year, the story isn’t over yet, in fact, the story is just beginning…
by Ann Weems
Look for the Messiah where you will,
but you’ll find him where you live.
He will not be separated and kept apart
from those who cry to him.
He will be found right in the midst
of the daily, routine, ordinary stuff of life.
So wherever you’re living
Look for him.
In the ordinary niches of that living
look for the holy
that the holy might be find in you.
Mary is called out to by the man she thinks is the gardener, yet when he speaks her name, she sees Jesus.
The disciples encounter a stranger on the road to Emmaus and invite him to share a meal. The man breaks bread, and suddenly they see Jesus.
The early church gathers at Pentecost and in hearing one another and witnessing spirit fire they see Jesus.
A young man in the woods prays for guidance and sees Jesus.
A young woman meets a hard living man on the street, invites him to share a meal, and in him she sees Jesus.
A group of friends gather to pray and wash one another’s hands, and in each other’s eyes they see Jesus.
Someone sits at the shoreline watching the sun set over the mountains, and in the beauty and peace of that moment they see Jesus.
We take deep breaths, we feel our bodies swell with air and spirit, and we breathe in and breathe out Jesus.
The resurrected body is your body, is my body, is the earth’s body. Jesus is working to share love and transform the world using your body. Today we celebrate bodies, celebrate love, celebrate life.
by Jan Richardson:
May we go forward to begin anew.
May we go forward with memory.
May we go forward as his body.
May we go forward in grace.
May we go forward in the fullness of time.
May we go forward to approach this world with reverence.
May we go forward knowing ourselves Beloved.
May we bear this love.
May we proclaim this love.
May we live this love
now and always.
Christ is risen.
Christ is risen indeed!