Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

You know, there's really not much I can say about what's going on for Easter that Wallace didn't cover in his sermon. It's fine Easter homily and he was kind enough to give me a copy of it to share after church. You can see why we like our vicar's sermons! I only ask you give credit where credit is due if sharing this.

March 23, 2008
The Rev. Wallace F. Caldwell
Trinity Episcopal Church, Kirksville, MO

Mary Magdalene said, “I’ve seen him”; “I have seen the Lord”. This simple statement no doubt was as astonishing and bewildering to Mary herself as it was to the disciples, and as it may still be to us. But we, too, have seen the Lord: we’ve known his living presence in the way the Sacrament of it opens us up to God and to each other, and we’ve been repeatedly amazed by the life-giving power which flows through our contact with him. Christ is risen, alive in a way utterly beyond our understanding of what life is, raised by God into a fullness of life beyond our most hopeful dreams of what life can be. The power of God that reaches into our incompleteness and fear to heal us, and into our desolation and sin to forgive us, and into our weaknesses to renew our strength – this power reaches also into death to re-create life.

The biblical witness to the resurrection provides no description of the event itself, and no explanation for it, in part because none are possible. The truth of what took place transcends the boundaries of comprehensibility, and confronts us with the mystery of holiness. The resurrection is a revelation, and the appropriate response is not to try to figure out what happened – but to honor the sacred ambiguity of it by feeling the wonder of what God has done, opening our hearts to its meaning, and receiving its blessings with gladness and gratitude. The right response is to listen to the revelation, listen to what God is telling us, and let it broaden our vision and change our priorities and enrich our lives.

Yes, God is telling us that death is not our final destiny, that we will be transformed. We will be raised into eternal life, into the expansive quality of life which already stirs within us as we worship, as we pray, as we give of ourselves to others. But God is telling us far more: the resurrection of Christ is a revelation of God’s intention to transform all of creation, to unite heaven and earth. The world ultimately will be as glorious as the risen Christ, and will be filled with the music of “angels and archangels, and all the company of heaven”. It will be a place of peace, where all that’s true discloses itself
with ever more compelling clarity, and all that’s beautiful grows ever more enchanting, and all that’s good flourishes in ever more prosperous ways – a holy place where everything false and degrading and debilitating will have been forever removed. The world will be, as Jesus proclaimed, the Kingdom of God; and in God’s heart, from the perspective of eternity, it already is. The earth will be a paradise, and our final destiny is to be re-embodied in it.

But that’s not the half of it! The resurrection of Christ not only reveals God’s intention to redeem all of creation from its present misery, it also calls us to serve as agents of the world’s transformation. It calls us to implement God’s will by following Christ, letting him help us live the way he did, with devotion to God’s reign. God is telling us that a new world is being formed through our will to trust and love, through our efforts to share compassion and then forgiveness with those who have caused us harm, through our resolve to establish justice and mercy on the earth, through our dedication to building a community of inclusive hospitality and mutual support. Everything we do to the glory of God contributes to the new creation which already is at hand, shining in the stillness within us and in the bonds among us, awaiting only our consent.

God is telling us today that your life and mine have meaning, that our blessings and our hardships both serve a purpose which vastly transcends our own welfare. God is telling us that our willingness to believe in the promise of following Christ, and to welcome its challenges, is the means by which the redemption of the world will be completed. God is telling us that the way you and I live matters. It matters now, and for ever.

Christ is risen. The emptiness of his tomb is filled with the music of eternity, and we are invited to let him lead us in the dance of salvation. God’s new creation has begun, and we have important, life-enhancing work to do.



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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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