Sunday, April 8, 2012

Alleluia. Christ is Risen.

After the Easter Vigil, everything is a bit anticlimactic for me.  Oh, don't get me wrong, I love Easter.  Full churches.  Easter finery. Incense. Easter egg hunts.  All the adult kids home and attending church while visiting parents. Seeing all the people of the parish on the SAME day!  It is a wonderful celebration.  And there is nothing like, the choir singing their liveliest hymns, the top acolytes doing their work and the best readers.  We do know how to pull out the stops.

I always found Easter sermons the most difficult to preach.  The Easter Sunday service is no different than all of the Eucharists we celebrate.  I know some parishes do not include the confession during the Easter season.  I generally did on Easter Day thinking that those who were C and E (Christmas and Easter) Christians needed to make their confession, but hey...whatever works.

Easter is our everyday--every Sunday default.  We celebrate Easter every Sunday.  And sometimes that gets lost in the music,  flowers and Easter eggs.  Resurrection is an everyday event.  Then why am I so tired???

There is an anxiety over Easter that I think we create for ourselves in the Church.  We try to make the services the culminating service of the Church year.  After all, Easter IS the pinnacle of Christian worship, isn't it?  But I wonder.  After the 40 days of Lent and the heaviness of Holy Week there doesn't seem much more to say about Easter than:  Alleluia, Christ is Risen!

This is the most profound theological statement there is.  All of Christian scripture points to it.  But when faced by the reality of preaching on this singular event of Christianity--what is there left to say?

But then I came home from church a bit wound up by the Hallelujah Chorus and way too much decaffeinated coffee and found a Facebook message from a woman who was in one of my earliest parishes.  She was only a child then and she had found me on fb.  She told me of the terrible twists and turns of her life since I last saw her and then related a story of despair and resurrection.  She had contacted me after all these years.  It made the whole of the Easter service come into focus for me.  It is why we have it each week.  It is why I scratch my noggin trying to figure out what to say on Easter.  Even after 30 years, that relationship of a priest with a young parishioner comes to life and I am humbled by the joy.   


Hot Cup Lutheran said...

oh blessed that she told you!!

there was much pressure... and let's face it the sermon I gave, started strong... but as holy week progressed and I went back to craft the 2nd half of the Easter sermon... meh. meh. bleah... but it went. trumpets played. candles burned. we communed... and then I took 2 days off, to clean my sorely neglected home.

Terri said...

I hear you...lovely story about your former parishioner - truly grace and resurrection.