LET US KEEP THE FEAST, ALLELUIA!
Now we can, finally, share the Alleluia once again! Now those hebdomadarii can finally eat after the Great Week concludes with Sunday feasting, and so can we! For 50 days no one in Egeria’s world fasted, an astonishingly efficient way to finish the remaining winter stores and motivate everyone to start preparing their fields for planting. Easter Brunch at home, you bet! Domestic celebration, bring it on! Orange Juice mixed with <INSERT ADULT BEVERAGE OF YOUR CHOICE HERE>, certainly! Let’s host a God party today! Can we draft our imaginations to dress our Easter tables with glistening trumpeter lilies, white candles, and colorful eggs of every watercolor hue? (We’ll get to those pagan Celtic eggs later, but let’s just say for now that if you see any domestic Easter bunnies it could be a very rough Thanksgiving!) Lift your hands in prayer and praise as you listen to me butcher two perfectly lovely Easter hymns as slightly disturbed onlookers watch just off-camera, and ponder the mystery of Easter. What other world religion features an messianic leader who was conceived and born outside of wedlock, never married, never travelling over 100 miles from his birth, formally uneducated, never wrote a manifesto or book or even a letter, and managed to so enrage his own nation’s leaders they supported their oppressive occupying overlords executing him on the eve of their most sacred holiday?! In a tidewater minor province far from any levers of power?! An executed messiah so embarrassing the Apostle Paul admitted in writing the Christian message is an obstacle to faithful Jews and sheer ridicule to any self-respecting Gentile sophisticate.
None do, but ours does! Remember Opposite Day just two days earlier, the divine reversal which upends every worldly assumption only to supersede them with God’s confounding nature of unconditional love? Why else, do we suppose, that this Easter Day, on a schedule outlined more than 20 years ago, we read Matthew’s Resurrection account in which not once, but twice we are told “Do not be afraid?!” The Matthean
repetition is the only gospel to do so. Really. Why else, might we ponder, would a virus so destructive as to stall our global economy, disrupt our society at a level not experienced in our lifetimes, a virus so virulent (sorry, tautology, can’t help it) as to threaten our way of life reach a surging national crest this very week. Really?! I cannot reconcile a punishing, wrathful God with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, much less the Heavenly Father of Jesus. I do stand alongside Egeria in praise and wonder captivated by a God whose love for His children is so embracing that He (sorry, gender-specific, can’t help it) sends Himself to search us out, rescue us, and bring us home. My God is a God of life and new life, a God who redeems and resuscitates and renews and rectifies and resurrects. A God whose perfected love casts out fear because there is no room for anxiety in a grateful heart. A God who can never consign us to eternal oblivion, because He cannot stand even one of us to wander off and get lost. A God who deserves my unabashed praise, trust and confidence especially now, in the midst of our latest storm. Isn’t our God ridiculous by worldly standards? Resurrection and new life?! Let the feasting begin!
- Join us for a wonderful Easter Day worship. Enjoy the sermon lineup and forgive the singing!
- A picture is worth much more than a thousand words. Like this one. The 15th Station, the Station of the Resurrection, Stations of the Cross, San Luis, Colorado. Wow.
- Enjoy a festive Easter Brunch as much as you can! I’m teaching 11:30 AM Metamorphosis on Zoom if you’d like to join in. Email me and I’ll send you the link! I am taking tomorrow, Easter Monday off of writing, so please return on Easter Tuesday for our Reflection launch into Eastertide!