for Sunday, March 31, 2013
lectionary focus: John 20:1-18; Luke 24:1-12
(note: This sermon connects well to the song Siyahamba/We Are Marching.)
Welcome to the Joy and Mystery of Easter!
I like the way that we all hurry down to the chancel steps for children’s sermon. I like how we all sit close together on the steps. And sitting right here in the middle of all of y’all, it makes it easy for me to see…your shoes. Shoes! Shoes! Shoes! I do believe that some of you have new shoes today! You all certainly have nice shoes…shoes that look good but also look like they help you jump and run.
Our Bible story today has a lot of running. The story begins on the very first Easter Sunday. Jesus’s friends are sad. Jesus has just died on the cross. His friends are going to the cemetery to finish the funeral service. When the women get there, something seems very wrong. The stone door has been moved and the tomb is empty. They think someone has taken the body of Jesus. And so the running begins. The women run to the disciples; the disciples run to the tomb; back and forth, back and forth; lots of running. And then Mary stands there in the cemetery, crying and frustrated. She sees a man. Mary thinks He must be the gardener…but He is the gardener of the whole world…He is the risen Jesus. Jesus is not in the tomb because Jesus is alive. He was there with them then and He is here with us now in our hearts. This is the Joy and Mystery of Easter!
During the Season of Lent, we looked at prayer as a way to be close to God. But Easter does not mean our prayers should stop. Easter is such a big joy and mystery that it keeps on going for six more Sundays! The Season of Easter means all of our prayers now include celebration! We rejoice and praise God that He is with us; that He loves us; that we are His children. Whether we are praying for thanksgiving or for forgiveness or for help, knowing that we will do what God needs us to do, our prayers honor God for being God. We offer God our love because He loves us. We shout Alleluia!
And so with the Season of Easter, we move forward. Not running all confused like the disciples on the first Easter. No, we move forward, taking bold and confident steps, marching in the light of God, to praise God and enjoy Him forever. We move forward to share His love with the world.
We pray and we share. And we pray and we share. And whatever shoes we are wearing…or not wearing, with each step we take, fast or slow, we move forward, closer to God.
Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)
for Your Easter love.
to share Your love
closer and closer to You
in the joy and mystery
We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.