Gate Pa – Year B Easter Sunday 2018
First Reading: Isaiah 25:6-9
Second Reading: Acts 10:34-43
Gospel: Mark 16:1-8
What I want to say:
The resurrection is God’s Big Yes to the way of the cross. In the way of the cross we are reminded that all people are made in the image of God and we are invited to see God’s image in all people. In the resurrection God is faithful to all the covenants, that through Israel humanity is renewed and creation restored.
In the resurrection we are invited to live in the way of the cross
What I want to happen:
In what ways do we walk in the footsteps of those first witnesses to the resurrection?
Version of resurrection story heard this morning
from Gospel Mark
is very different from others
what heard this morning is all we have of Mark’s account
lots people feel is too brief!
can’t stop there!
- women have not told anyone
- all afraid
- no resurrection appearances of Jesus at all
Ü seems to be really lacking
Couple of alternate endings offered
nearly all commentators and scholars would say are not written by Mark
more likely based on Matthew
real debate is around whether this is where Mark intended to stop
some say no – of course not
- why would you finish here?
- that’s ridiculous
- clearly wrote another ending and somehow it has been lost
but a lot others say – yes
that is where mark intended to finish
one reasons they say this is where Mark intended to
in all ancient scrolls found recent years
no-one has ever found another ending
Why would Mark stop here?
2. Tino Tika
For Mark and other gospel writers
resurrection was God’s big tick to the way of the cross
it was God saying “tino tika” to all that Jesus said and did
God’s affirmation of everything that came before in Gospels
ü not a blip in God’s plan that need to be fixed
ü crucifixion is the way God revels Godself to humanity
God saying yes to things like
- that our neighbours includes all who share our humanity
o all who are made in the image of God
- that to follow Jesus is to serve, not to be served
- to be follower of Christ is to be generous, compassionate, self-giving
o as Jesus was generous, compassionate, self-giving
o as God is generous, compassionate, self-giving
3. Here and Now
second reason is thought to be that Mark didn’t want people to just think that risen Jesus only found in Galilee
or that true disciples were in Jerusalem and Galilee
But wanted to affirm that risen Jesus went ahead of disciples - women and men
including to Rome – where Gospel Mark traditionally said to have been written
instead of listening to stories of risen Jesus from Jerusalem and Galilee
inviting them to tell stories of risen Jesus in Rome
or wherever people were who had gathered to listen to his gospel
including us here in New Zealand
and tell stories of those shaped by risen Jesus
Ü that same invitation is given to us this morning.
Ü what might those stories look like
On Friday night Bonnie and I were invited to a Jewish Seder or Passover meal in Hamilton.
privilege to join with them as they gathered on that most sacred night
again remember the story of when Hebrew people were slaves in Egypt
- God rescued them from their oppression
- God continues rescue them from slavery and oppression 3,300 years later
on table is “Elijah cup,
at table is and an empty seat for Elijah
a door is left open for Elijah
Ü all of which represent their ongoing trust in God’s redemption and protection
end night the head of family hosting the seder
- invited to tell story of why Passover and hopes it holds are still so important
- family Polish
- suffered terribly during Holocaust
- not sure if this story is set before or after WWII
- Aunt and uncle survived and returned to their little village - to die there in pogrom
- killed because their Christian once neighbours did not want them to return their houses and belongings
- killed because the Jews had brought the Germans into Poland
- killed because they were the Christ killers
Our Easter and their Passover were always very dangerous times for Jews in parts of Europe
This story of hope is set in midst of this terrible situation
One Passover young children playing “Moses” in river
had baby doll in washing basin
when group Christian children saw them
accused them of being Christ killers and chased them.
they left leaving washing basin in stream
- floated away
Later that night as their family gathered for Passover
- door house broken down and angry mob entered the house with variety weapons
Head family rose to greet the mob to ask what the problem was
leader mob told him that his son had seen the Jewish children torturing a Christian child in a tub in the stream
bleeding him for the bread for Passover
children denied it
things getting ugly
just then fisherman knocked on door
carrying the tub
he had found it at the mouth of the river
recognised who owned it
and came to return it to his neighbour
with doll still in it
day was saved – for now
leader of mob called his on forward
showed him the doll
gave him a cuff and they left
Patriarch invited fisherman to stay for the meal
said he couldn’t
what about drink
sure he said and drained Elijah cup
some present were upset
but patriarch wondered aloud if fisherman had not indeed been Elijah for them.
We might say this was risen Christ at work
what then are our stories of risen Christ at work in this land
what are our stories of followers of risen Christ bringing gods generosity, justice, compassion.
think about that as read poem
In what ways do we walk in their footsteps?
5. We walk in their footsteps
We walk in their footsteps
so afraid of loss and
grief. Afraid of life
lessened and dulled.
They were afeared and yet
they followed all the way
to the darkest places
Golgotha, the tomb
They followed in despair
as hope unravelled.
At the end
Jesus was not there.
Too much life
to be lived, too much
hope to be to be held.
They were afraid those women
as life erupts in love.
He has gone ahead!
We walk in their footsteps.