A new season begins... now

(Pastor Will Rose's sermon for the Easter Vigil 2022)

(Read for yourself the scripture readings we shared during the Easter Vigil… Genesis 1:1-5, Exodus 14:10-31;15:20-21, Ezekiel 37:7-14, Daniel 3:1-29, Isaiah 61:1-4,9-11, Romans 6:3-11, John 20:1-18... it will help in understanding what Pastor Will is talking about.)


Tonight is the night!

Here we are, look at us, we are doing it… together


We began this night, right at sunset, with a spark (or Pastor Mark's blow torch!) and then a fire, and then that light and fire, mirroring what science shares happened with our own universe …starts with a single spark and with a bang, “let there be light” …and that light begins to expand and grow and evolve…


As the sun sets, and as outside gets darker, as another day ends…

A new light emerges, a new day begins…

We long for and pray, “let there be light”

As we wrestle with entropy and death...

A promised light is given and proclaimed…

“The Light of Christ”


As we sing “The Light of Christ”

we enter the song and dance of creation entangled with the Holy Trinity can not be snuffed out by anything or anyone.


As we join the in the song of the “light of Christ” we then hear of the ongoing evolving story of the relationship between creation and its Creator, who happens to be an embodiment of a relationship between a Father, and a Son and the Holy Spirit….


In Genesis we hear the continuous ongoing story of…

The birth of creation and a God who surfs

In Exodus we get a clear picture of God’s true nature and character and as One who saves God’s people from oppression and slavery… In this story false gods and chaotic waves will not stand in the way of God’s liberating justice and love.

We then hear of the Prophets call of God’s ongoing action and call in the world in which we dwell and are entangled with…

dry bones rattling longing for new life, new life being brought back together into one body…

In Daniel we hear of a God who dwells with us in the hottest of furnaces…

In Isaiah we hear a prophetic word that holds up a mirror for what all of creation should be about, “brining good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, liberty to the captives, release to the prisoner” …a word and promise that will be the first sermon from the one who we claim to be the Christ. And this Christ shows us in his life what that actually looks like.


We then hear Paul, who encountered the Risen Christ firsthand, playing around with the image and language of baptism…

Water…

…science shares that you can’t have life without water.

When we look for life on other planets, we look for water first…


God’s spirit hovered over those chaotic waters at the beginning of our story… and it seems God is still surfing…


Water = Life


So, it’s no surprise that water is intimately connected to new life…

Paul writes, “Therefore, we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just at Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”


And then there’s a seismic shift in this Divine Drama…

We are invited to hear again the good news of Easter from the Gospel of John…


And man, do I love how messy and chaotic this story is!


There’s a new “first day”

It’s still dark

But a new dawn is at hand…

What seems to be “immovable objects” …boulders, obstacles, barriers, walls...

are moved without any effort or merit of our own…


Boundless light Boundless love Boundless grace


And then there is running and weeping and believe and confusion, and mistaken identity, and misunderstanding, and surprise and joy, and regardless of not understanding any of it… sharing with your friends what you have experienced.


Yea, that sounds like the life of faith, right?


I love how the “unnamed disciple”, you know… “the one whom Jesus loved” (perhaps its John, the author of the gospel) humble brags how he’s a faster runner than Peter.

(“yea, so not only does Jesus really really love me, I’m also faster than Peter… but of course, he’s the Rock so I let him go in first.”)


Maybe that beloved unnamed disciple is John

But it could also be us

We could be that unnamed disciple invited and brought in to be a part of this story.

Because with Peter and Mary we too run way too much longing for life to slow down… we too weep, and believe, and doubt, and misunderstand, and yet like Mary Jesus calls us by name in the waters of baptism to be a part of this new creation emerging in our midst.


You see the Christian story…

the Christian faith…

the Christian proclamation…

Isn’t “be good so you can go to heaven one day”

Rather, it’s that Jesus – the anointed one, the crucified and risen Christ – is the first fruit and emergence of a new creation, the Gardner of a new garden for all of creation to dwell with God…

a new big-bang that emerges and entangles all of creation with a love and grace in which death and darkness cannot overcome nor have the final say on reality.


Therefore, Easter lures us, teaches us, and shapes us into a new way of life,

a new way of being human…


Joined with and entangled with God’s own nature and character that has been there from the beginning we join in the song and dance of a new day and a new light.


You’ve heard me share that I like listening to podcasts… (you can even hear me on a few of them) ...It annoys my family a little bit, but there are a lot of things I geek out on and a lot of things I want in on when it comes to discussing them…

One of the genres of podcasts I like listening to are about the creative process…


Some of my favorite TV Shows and movies, and novels and comic-books and graphic-novels have podcasts and conversations after each episode or issue with its creative teams, and they share openly all the hard work, sweat and tears that go into making their story a reality.

These conversations share about what goes on in the writers room, decisions about set design, director’s choices, castings, making the plot come to life.

And yes, even comic books have a whole team…

The writer, artist, editor, colorist, letterer…


Over the last few years, here at Holy Trinity we have been content creators broadcasting and curating our worship services in more ways than just gathering in this building on Sunday morning…

We have had our creative team sharing how we do worship and sharing the good news of God’s unconditional grace…

This stretched us and challenged us but it also helped us grow and extend our reach in sharing this story in new and creative ways…


As we enter into another season of Easter…

What’s next? What does the next season look like?

How will we share this good news of a new creation emerging from an empty tomb?

What gifts do we have to share on this creative team?


For us here, present at this Easter Vigil…

we are kind of the core theology and liturgical geeks who geek-out on this particular night, those who nerd-out on the breadth and depth of this story.

We are those who geek-out on the Triduum…


those who race and get to the tomb first…


And so with Mary, we are entrusted with the Easter story…

the story on which all other stories hinge.

We are called to curate this Easter story for a world hungry and longing for new life.

We are the artists, musicians, poets, set designers, cosplayers, directors, casting agents, writers, actors and promoters…

We are called to draw from the continuity of the first episode of creation into a new highly anticipated season, that will lead to a season finale, which indeed is one that ends in salvation and unconditional boundless grace.


In a world post-but not really over yet-COVID

In a world where the sin of racism is still a reality

In a world torn apart by war and greed and political polarization…


God is going to continue to trouble the waters

God will not let the waters-of-life get stale and stagnate

Pharaohs will not get their way

Chaotic seas will be divided

Dry bones will continue to rattle

golden idols will be shown that they are mute

We will continue to be surprised what God is doing with our tombs

We will continue to gather around the waters of baptism remembering that we are marked with the cross of Christ forever

And we will continue to gather around the table where Christ offers his own body and blood for us…


The light of Christ will continue to shine

…shine for us, in us, and through us


Alright creative team entrusted with the good news of Easter…

Let’s proclaim it together…

Christ is Risen! (He is Risen Indeed, Alleluia, Alleluia)


A new season begins... now!


AMEN



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