Easter 4/1/18 Epiphany, Norfolk

Alleluia, the Lord is Risen,

the Lord is Risen, indeed, Alleluia –

and Lent and Holy Week ARE OVER.

It’s been a long Lent, this year. Maybe it had to with our crazy weather, or maybe it came too fast on Epiphany, but Lent seemed endless to me this year. Holy Week always feels much longer than a week. And this year was no different. It’s probably all the planning, and extra services, and extra bulletins, and wondering if anyone is going to come, and, yes – the weather. And like this year, we often have a funeral right in the middle of the whole thing.

But today is Easter. Today we celebrate the Risen Lord. And even if we don’t understand it, we KNOW it’s a day of celebration, and it’s Spring, and flowers are blooming, and weather is warming up, and days are longer. It’s Easter Day. It’s my favorite day of the whole year.

Last night at dinner, sitting at Piccadilly Cafeteria munching on some very dry roast beef that I’m not sure ever saw life, I started putting this homily together in the back of my mind. And I got thinking about all of the secular Easter symbols that are so much a part of our tradition. There’s the Easter Bunny, Easter eggs, baby chicks, lilies, and all the other flowers, and even Peeps – those silly little marshmallow chicks – and now also bunnies, that today come in a variety of colors, and a variety of configurations. I really like Peeps, except the ones that turn my tongue blue. They need to fix that. And for me, a stream of wonderful memories of Easters past flowed through my head as I worked on that hopeless roast beef.

And then I remembered that most of those symbols celebrate “new life.” The eggs, the chicks, the flowers, even the bunny. Some of those symbols celebrate the end of Lent, the end of penance, the end of restraint, the end of self examination, the end of abstinence, although I suspect there wasn’t a huge amount of abstinence in this place. We don’t seem to be very big on that.

But that’s all put away, now. It’s Easter. We sing our Alleluias again. We baptize and marry again. We have flowers in church again. Our music is happy and exciting again. We celebrate new life, new energy, a new understanding that God really loves this world, and that God really loves us, and that God will do awesome things to exercise and demonstrate that love.

I cannot begin to explain the Easter event, the empty tomb, the man in white, the resurrection. I will never understand why God does things the way God does them. God always seems too messy. I mean, come on God, send us a Twitter, or something, and let us know what you’re doing. You always have to create so much confusion. Our little human minds just have a very hard time figuring it all out.

But maybe we over complicate it. Maybe what God did was really very simple. Maybe when they killed Jesus, God just said, “Oh No. You’re not getting away with this. I’m going to do what you can’t do. I’m going to bring him back to life – ‘new life’. I will not let you destroy love. I am going to make sure that good wins, in the end.”

Maybe it’s that simple. God might be sitting around thinking, “Why don’t they get it? Good has to win. I made it to be good, and good it is going to be.”

It’s Easter.

The Lord is Risen.

The Lord is Risen, indeed.

Posted April 3, 2018 by Church of the Epiphany in Epiphany Moments

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