Easter Sunday 2015

The Gospel this Easter Day recalls how Mary of Magdala “saw the stone removed from the tomb.”

“Who rolled away that stone?” she must have thought as she stood there wondering, feeling very much in the dark.  Who opened the tomb where Jesus no longer is found; the “stone rejected”.  Haven’t we who’ve lived some years faced a similar darkness and when confronted by the absence of any clear answer; certitudes thrown into question?  When that’s happened to me—and if I refuse to fill it by a mindless, frightened logic that grasps for answers—eventually I “live my way into an answer” which has the power to change my seeing and way of living.  Though not a part of the Gospel this Easter Day, we do know that Mary does wait at the tombs’ threshold: open and empty as she weeps.

Who rolled away the stone?  With the eyes of faith and the conviction of countless generations—that “cloud of witnesses” who’ve gone before us—we do know the answer, an answer that defies the gravity of logic.  Simply, Jesus’ bodily resurrection reveals—“while it was still dark” the Gospel recalls—that Love is stronger than death and finds its origin in God;  Love that defined Christ and which wants to   to define us.  The stone removed from the tomb as Christ breaks beyond death’s hold, says beyond words that Love cannot decompose.  In God’s design, Love lasts. 

In her book, “Small Victories” Anne Lamott puts it this way:   I believe that the soul is immortal and grace bats last.

This comes from a woman who’s been to hell and back and has felt as good as dead sometimes.  Yet, her faith is more real and alive than any wound.  Within her very bones she’s known that power flowing from the Resurrection; and the power is Love: incorruptible, everlasting, immortal.  “Nothing can separate us from the Love of God that comes to us in Christ Jesus”, writes St. Paul.  His words open us to promise, and articulate a longing and a desire buried inside us all:  the hope to live and the want for Love.  Such hoping and wanting have the power to bring us to life, and give life meaning.

As I write this, it is Wednesday of Holy Week.  The Scripture read this morning was taken from the prophet Isaiah who writes:  Morning after morning, he opens my ear that I may hear; And I have not rebelled, have not tuned back.  After the Resurrection, these words point to Jesus and his openness to God.   Jesus was open to all:  especially those who felt sick, shunned and dead due of sin.  His heart forever was open with an openness begotten, that finds its origin in God.  Such openness reveals divine nature.  Not only that.   This openness, mysteriously, was conceived in time through Mary’s openness:    when she stood before the angel and at a threshold wondering, “How can this be?”  very much in the dark.

The stone was removed from the tomb through the power of God, yes.  More significantly, it was removed and rolled away thanks to the openness we see in Christ from the beginning.  “No Tomb Could Hold Him” announced an altar cloth at the parish church of my youth every Easter.  It could say so because of Christ’s openness; his conviction that nothing—not even death—can separate us from God and this God-given life.  When we’re willing to live with openness, we come alive.  We   see possibilities and thresholds where once we perceived only a dead-end.  With openness, we begin to hope, and to see what Anne Lamott believes:  that the soul is immortal and grace bats last.

This Easter Day, my hope is that we come alive and find ourselves a little more open to life; to each other.  Openness is the life-giving power flowing from the Resurrection.  Openness is the way to God.

A Joyous Easter to all!



Father Tim Clark, Pastor





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