Sunday, April 8, 2012
Alleluia. Christ is Risen.
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.
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!
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.