Thursday, March 27, 2008

Easter

I really enjoyed the whole Easter journey this year. Our vicar got sick on Maundy Thursday, and I ended up doing all the Easter services, which I really enjoyed, even if I lost my cruisy Easter break. It was nice to journey, first from Palm Sunday, and then through the holy week (including a service of prayer and confession on the Tuesday night) and a Seder service and meal (including foot washing) on the Thursday night. This was my first service, and I then went on to "take" a reflective service on Friday morning and a Tenebrae service on Friday night, using PowerPoint and based on the Stations of the Cross. Really powerful. Then the service of light on Saturday night, and the two celebrations on Sunday, for which I wrote the sermon/poem below.
This sermon was inspired by a sermon two young people in our Diocese preached at the closing service in the Cathedral for our Top Parish weekend. They prepared really carefully, and delivered it dramatically, constantly interacting both Mary and Martha’s experience and ours. They began after a short wait with “waiting, waiting for the sermon to begin, waiting for the sermon to end, waiting for exam result, waiting for Jesus.” I remember it three weeks later. That doesn’t happen often. Well done Josh and Hannah.

A Reflection on Easter

A Reflection on Easter
Easter 2008



They huddled
Numb
Exhausted
Stuck
Filled with grief
Filled with guilt
Disbelieving
Desperate
Overwhelmed by darkness, sin, and death
They wait
Powerless
Angry
Afraid
Hopeless
Helpless
Unsure
Uncertain
Where is God in all this?
Why has God forsaken us?
Wanting to bury the crucified one
The disciples,
Men and women
Wait
Are waiting
The night never seems to end


We too are numb
Exhausted
Huddled in our fear
Stuck
Sometimes filled with grief
Sometimes with guilt
Disbelieving
Desperate
Overwhelmed by darkness, sin, and death
We too are powerless
afraid
angry:
boy racers
Taggers
Gangs
Murdering youth
Those who do violence
Those who seek to stop violence
P
Home invasions
Terrorists
The United States
Suicide bombers
Iraq
Iran
Palestine
Afghanistan
Israel
Tibet
The list goes on
The government
Politicians
The treaty
Health care
Tax cuts
Global warming

We too feel powerless
afraid
angry:
overwhelmed by darkness, sin, and death
We wait
Hopeless
Helpless
Too busy
Too tired
Unsure
Uncertain
Where is God in all of this?
What does God have to say?

One woman
Three women
Some women
Walk in the dark
To say goodbye
To bury their dead
One final hopeless act….
In the gloom
The stone has gone
He has gone!!!
Who has done this?
Even this last act of despair
Of love
Even this denied!
Who to turn to
Who to help?

Who to turn to?
In the darkness
When the dawn never seems to come
Who are our “they’s?”
Who is to blame?
What are our stones in the gloom?
That deny our acts of love?
And who will help us?

They come
Peter the leader
and the beloved
each see the neat tomb
one believes
and neither understand
They see
They hope the impossible
And leave
Still helpless
Still unsure
Still uncertain
Where is God in all this?
And who will help?


But Mary waits
Patiently
Alone
Silently weeping
At all that is lost
Dawn breaks quietly
No blinding light
No fanfare
Just a gardener
”woman
why do you weep?
Who are you looking for?”

Why do you weep?
Who are you looking for?
Who do we look for?
What do we look for?
What do we hope for?

“Sir
if you have taken him away
tell me
tell me where you have laid him
and I will care for him?”
Such gentle love
Such despair
Blinds her
blinds us
to Jesus
who simply says her name
who simply says our name.
Quietly in the dawn
a single word
“Mary”
changes her world
changes our world
“Mary”
where do we hear our name uttered with such love?
where do we hear our name uttered by the risen Jesus?

Her darkness is shredded
the dawn warms her from the inside out
the darkness is shredded
alive
freed
enlivened
Filled with joy
She believes
Overwhelmed by light, love and life
She goes
Boldly
To tell the men
To tell the world
She has seen the Lord
At peace
courageous
Hopeful
Sure and certain
God has said her name?
God has not forsaken her?
The crucified one does not need to be buried
But goes to the Father
The waiting is over
The night has ended

Our night has ended
Our waiting is over
Christ has said our name
Christ is risen in our world
We are not forsaken
Our darkness is shredded
Our darkness is shredded
And in its place
Is joy
Hope
Peace
Love
Quietly in the dawn
a single word
has changed our world
What does that mean?
What changes for us in this moment?

Let us give thanks
To the God
Met in the risen Jesus
Who says our name
And invites us to live
not in dark and sin and death
But overwhelmed in God’s light, love and life