Practice Resurrection -- Scott Dickison
By now the Easter eggs have surely all been found and the bunny cake eaten, but the church’s Easter celebration is just getting started.
The season of Lent, as you know, is a forty-day long fast that stretches over six Sundays: a time of penitence, confession and renewal. But it’s all in preparation for the season of Easter, which has traditionally been thought of as a fifty-day long “feast,” lasting until Pentecost Sunday. And this is an important theological statement: the “feast” of Easter is longer than the “fast” of Lent. Yes, Lenten discipline is long, but in our church year together, the celebration of God’s love is longer.
We got off to a tremendous start to our Easter feast last Sunday. Seeing our sanctuary filled to the brim was a sight to behold and the unexpected sunshine outside seemed to reflect our Holy Week message of not taking the beauty of Easter morning for granted. Just as the women at the tomb were expecting death and decay we were expecting clouds and storms. Instead we were all greeted by new life and bright sunshine: the perfect Easter message.
Over these next three Sundays, as we continue our Easter celebration, our sermons will focus on how Scripture suggests that resurrection is not simply an event to behold but is just as importantly a story to be lived. By focusing on passages from the gospels describing Jesus’ appearances to the disciples following his resurrection, as well as passages from Acts describing the early church, we’ll talk about resurrection as something not only to celebrate and hope for, but also something we should aim to put into practice.
How can we live resurrected lives in the present? What lessons are there to be learned from the disciples’ response to the risen Christ? How did the early church and Paul understand their call to be people of the resurrection?
On Easter Sunday we proclaim that God through Christ has made “all things new,” and in this season of Easter we focus our attention to this newness. What’s changed? What has been made new? Last Sunday we gathered in awe of the miracle of resurrection, in these Sundays following we’ll discuss what it means to put it into practice.