Easter Afresh

Can be heard here

Gate Pa – Easter 2015
First Reading:                    Acts 10: 34-43                                     
Second Reading:              1 Corinthians 15: 1-11                             
Gospel:                             Mark 16: 1-8                                      

What I want to say:
I want people to enter into the Easter story, to experience it afresh, and to wonder where they meet the resurrected Christ today.
Invite you to tell a least one other of those times, and to hear another's story, so that together you may rejoice at Risen Christ continued presence with us today.

The Sermon

     1.      Introduction:

Today going do something bit different
Invite you to sit comfortably
may be feet on floor
back straight
hands lightly lap
close eyes
be aware where sitting
            where need relax
            move so that can relax
be at peace in this place
Invite you pay attention noises around us
            pay attention to breathing

     2.      Meditation on Mark

Invite you find yourself on that first Easter
it is Sunday morning
            look around
            is it still dark or light
            how warm is it
            what is happening around you?

you see three women buying spices to anoint a body
            Jesus body

where are you ?
            are you one of the women?
            interested bystander
            shop keeper
            guard of some sort there to keep the peace
who are you in this story?

As you look at the women
            what see
            what hear
            what are the women talking about

what are you feeling as they buy the spices to anoint Jesus body
            and as they look to the tomb,
            and begin their walk
You are now walking towards the tomb
you can hear them talk about who will roll the stone away
            you might even be part of that conversation
What are their fears?
What are your fears?

As you come to the tomb you see that the stone is rolled away
what do the women think?
            what are they saying?
what do you think?
what are you saying?

Watch as the three women enter the tomb
You hear a cry of surprise
you too enter into the tomb
you look around
what do you see
what do you smell
what do you hear as you stand in that empty tomb?
What are the women doing and saying?

you turn and see a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side;
what is your reaction?
what do you want to say to him?

You hear him say ‘Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him.”
You look to where he is pointing
what do you see?
how do you react?

Young man now looks at the women and says, ‘But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.’
He looks at you and speaks to you?
            what do you hear the young man say to you?
            How do you react?
            How do the women react?

What do you say to the young man in return?

Where is Jesus now for you?

When ready, return to this place, this Easter morn, in this worship

Invite you to share as much as you want to the person next to you

(Anyone like to share any insights from that experience?)

     3.      Blame Mark

Why did I do that and not preach?
Blame Mark
Gospel as written by Mark that has survived until today finishes at 16:8 - nearly all scholars agree with that
only the women see risen Jesus
Told to tell disciples to go to Galilee,
            where they will see Jesus,
and the woman ran from the tomb, confused, and shaking, too afraid to tell anyone what had happened
Some say, real ending got lost, that is why alternative endings have been placed on the end,
-usually 2 included in most versions

     4.      How it is supposed to be

Some scholars say, that is where he intended to end it
These suggest that Gospel is like an intro talk when have guest speaker at convention
Like Mark introduces Jesus by recounting stories reveal kind person he is
And then Mark says,
“And now let’s hear from Jesus”
inviting hearers to talk about how they met risen Jesus?
inviting us to talk about how we have met the risen Jesus.
From this point of view
Resurrection stories set in Jerusalem and Galilee are much less important than stories how you and I meet risen Christ in our daily lives.

    5.      The Point

If Easter is just a true story,
but has no impact on us
if doesn’t affect
            How see world
How live our lives
Then little point to it!
Reduced to level of nice story
But if this story stirs us to remember our own times with risen Christ
Allows us to recount how we have been changed by those experiences
Allows us to continue to grow into Christ's great love
Then Easter is of great significance
Season Easter is 50 days
Invite you spend those 50 days remembering times met risen Christ
Invite you to tell a least one other of those times, and to hear another's story, so that together you may rejoice at Risen Christ continued presence with us today.


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