April 1, 2018

Easter Sunday – April 1, 2018 from Trinity Lutheran Church on Vimeo.

Previously, on The Life of Jesus.

Sometime I wonder about those who are new to the faith or who show up Christmas, maybe one more time, and the comeback on Easter.

I can hear them now. Wait, he died? What happened?

The guy who turned water into wine, the teacher who walked on water, he died?

So for their benefit, and the benefit of all of us who come in and out of the life of Jesus haven’t watched every episode, or know the back story.

Previously, on the life of Jesus.

Jesus was tortured, persecuted, nailed to a cross and died.

 

It is important when telling the Easter story that we start with the Good Friday story.

If fact, I will be so bold to say that without knowing how we got here we miss the power of Easter to resurrect our lives.

Without knowing how we got here we are tempted to think of the Easter as only a historical event that took place 2,000 years ago, rather than God’s ongoing response to suffering and death.

We see the empty tomb as something that happened in Palestine, but don’t recognize resurrections happening in our life and world today, The resurrection happens every day.

Say that with me, The resurrection happens every day.

But before we get to resurrection.

We have to acknowledge suffering and death, we need to lament.

That is what Good Friday was about but many of us missed that episode.

So to help us get in touch with our Good Friday world consider these words from the poet Naomi Nye.

 

Before you know joy as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.

You must wake up with sorrow.

You must speak to it till your voice catches the thread of all sorrows and you see the size of the cloth.1

 

Are you in touch with your sorrows, laments?

Do you see the size of the cloth?

Don’t leave such pain at the door of the church today. It belongs in here.

It needs to be brought into the light of the resurrection.

 

Let’s consider a couples of stories of death and resurrection in order that you might better noticed them in your life.

 

Abbey died abruptly in January 2017.  She was only 20 years old. Death.

She was an organ donor and save four lives.

The hospital sent letters to all four receptions asking if they like to meet with Abbey’s father, Bill.

The only one who responded was a young man who now has abbey heart.

He wanted to thank the man who daughter saved his life.

Her father biked 1,400 miles to hear the sweetest sound he never wants to forget.2 Resurrection

Easter is the joy to Good Friday sorrow. But first you must name the sorrow.

What are your Good Friday sorrow?  Where is the responding Easter joy?

 

Kalani Goldberg, 13, created a video that illustrates the lasting power of bullying.  

As melancholy music plays in the background, the Phoenix-area eighth-grader sits alone, her T-shirt covered with adhesive-backed notes that convey some of the terrible things kids said about her — that she’s “ugly,” a “loser,” a “waste of space” and worse.

Every day you say these things about me, Kalani begins.

I’m a sister, I’m a daughter, I’m a person and I have feelings,” she concludes.  

Every day, I wear your words. Every day, it hurts.

Every day, you are hurting me. Every day, you are hurting each other.

I don’t want to wear your words anymore.

So please stop. Stop hurting me.  Death

 

Kalani got enough support with her video that her shamed bullies backed down and the other kids in her middle school stood up in her defense.

The girl’s fame is one thing, but the bigger issue for her parents is that they got Kalani to open up about the bullies who had been saying mean things about her for months.3 Resurrection

 

Easter is the joy to Good Friday sorrow. But first, you must name the sorrow.

What are your Good Friday sorrows?  Where is the responding Easter joy?

 

In case, you have missed it in these stories. Resurrection is not a return to normal.

Resurrection does not bring back things to how they once were, how you want them, what’s reassuring or comforting.

Resurrection is what happens after things die. 2x

Resurrection is new, different, amazing life. Resurrection happens every day.

Say that with me, Resurrection happens every day.

 

What are some of the resurrection stories you could tell?

What died in your life in order to make room for new life – was it a worldview, the thought of ideal life, the goal of a perfect family, health, employment, a relationships, ego, hatred, pride, a grudge?

Have you noticed the new way resurrection makes?

Or are you like the women who came to the tomb; worried about something that isn’t there and prepared for a task that isn’t needed?

 

Next on The Life of Jesus. God continues to call us out of death and brokenness, giving us an experience of resurrection.

Jesus continue to meet us – here in the meal, there on the face of others, everywhere in the life of the Spirit risen from the tomb, lovingly he greets us, shatters fear and gloom.

Next on The Life of Jesus.

God’s people cry but they cry with hope. They are filled with expectation.

As the children show us there is nothing like it to be found anywhere; the overwhelming, life-changing, heart-pounding joy of crying out Jesus lives in a parade or at the grave side, at divorce court or in the unemployment line

Next on The Life of Jesus: Rejoicing, celebrating, dancing

Stay tuned. Who knows what God will resurrect in your life.

Alleluia! He is Risen!

 

1 www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/kindness

2 www.cbsnews.com/news/dad-bikes-1400-miles-to-hear-deceased-daughters-heartbeat-on-fathers-day/

3 http://allthemoms.com/2018/03/01/kalani-goldberg-bullying-arizona-teen-viral-video/