- About Us
- Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 15, 2013
- Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, July 21, 2013
- 4th Sunday after Pentecost – June 16, 2013
- Trinity Sunday – May 26, 2013
- Pentecost – May 19, 2013
- The 5th Sunday of Easter – April 28, 2013
- Third Sunday of Easter – April 14, 2013
- Easter Sunday – April 8, 2013
- Palm Sunday – March 24, 2013
- Fourth Sunday of Lent – March 10, 2013
- Third Sunday of Lent – March 3, 2013
- The Baptism of our Lord – January 13, 2013
- Third Sunday of Advent – December 16, 2012
- Sermon on 9/11 – September 11, 2011
- The Syrophoenician Woman – 9-9-12
- Eighth Sunday after Pentecost – July 22, 2012
- Fifth Sunday after Pentecost – July 1, 2012
- Many Paths – May 6, 2012
- An Unexplained Absence – April 15, 2012
- Easter Sunday – April 8, 2012
- Easter Vigil – April 7, 2012
- First Sunday of Lent, 2012 – February 26, 2012
- The Transfiguration – February 19, 2012
- The Calling of Nathanael – January 15, 2012
- Feast of the Holy Innocents – January 1, 2012
- 22nd Sunday after Pentecost – October 16, 2011
- Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost – September 4, 2011
- God has a sense of humor – August 21, 2011
- Liturgy of Thanksgiving – July 31, 2011
- Palm Sunday, 2011 – April 17, 2011
- Lazarus – April 10, 2011
- Christmas 2010 – December 25, 2010
- Third Sunday of Advent – December 12, 2010
Easter Sunday – April 8, 2012
April 8, 2012
Rev. Timothy Greene
In the Name of the Risen Christ Jesus, Our Lord, Alleluia, Amen.
I remember from my early childhood days eagerly looking behind the living room sofa for a big Easter basket covered in cellophane and loaded with chocolate rabbits and colored eggs and candy. The day was generally spent at Church and Sunday School and then in the company of my cousins, comparing who among us got the most and which candy we liked the best. To my childhood eyes, Easter was mostly about Chocolate somehow connected to Bible stories!
I remember how as a teen-ager, Easter had a different feel. My mother always got me up in the dark on Easter morning. We lived on a farm in rural Western New York near Lake Ontario. This was a farming community, and the local Baptist Church was the social and spiritual center of the area. On Easter morning, folks gathered in the dark on the shore of Lake Ontario, looking towards Canada for the first glimmers of sunlight. A cross was planted on the beach. Soon long streaks of pink and orange would appear on the horizon. Then we would sing Jesus Christ is Risen Today and listen to a rambling meditation by our Pastor while we all froze to death in the chill morning air. Afterwards we gathered at our parish hall for pancakes, which was our custom.
I also remember watching religious movies on television showing the Garden scene with the stone rolled away and Mary Magdelene asking the gardener, Where had they taken Jesus’ body? I was invariably deeply moved by Mary’s breathtaking recognition that the gardener was Jesus Himself, very much alive. The mystery of this shared moment in the Resurrection Garden remains an icon of Easter for me to this day. This scene of simplicity and quiet intimacy between Mary and Jesus contains the most important moment in all of human history – Jesus has walked out of the grave and is showing Himself to Mary as a living person.
John’s Gospel tells us that Mary runs in excitement back to tell the disciples, “I have seen the Lord. He is Risen!” Imagine the complexity of their feelings on hearing this news. Astonishment! Joy! Disbelief! Urgency! Lots of confusion!
Imagine if you will that the inner landscape within each of us is a garden. Our inner garden contains our feelings and memories – some sweet, some joyful, some harsh, some bitter – and our inner walkways and lawns are filled with all the good and bad people who have given us life. Some inner pathways we close off – we can’t walk there without help from others. Some pathways we eagerly revisit over and over again. They are the memories and feelings and scenes that are the most precious part of ourselves. Now envision that Our Lord has risen and lingers in this inner garden with us – and we cannot help but discover Him and recognize him quietly waiting to surprise us everywhere in the courtyards of our inner landscape.
From this we learn to recognize Jesus alive everywhere in the real world around us. We see the Risen Christ in simple acts of kindness that we may observe in our daily lives. We see the wounds in Jesus’ hands whenever we see suffering in the world. When Christ is Risen in our hearts, then Christ is Risen in the world around us – because we will convey that message in our lives – like Mary running to tell the disciples.
Let us return to Lake Ontario for a moment. After dawn, the sky becomes very bright over the vastness of this inland sea. Day progresses and night falls once again. It is in the night that we often know how closely we are aligned with death and sorrow. However, the cycle turns and dawn, as always, comes once again! Jesus always rises again! And if we are willing to meet Jesus in the garden of our inner selves, then we can joyfully say that He is Risen, both within us and within in the world around us.
May God bless you all on this Happy Easter morning! Amen.