Go and Tell

April 16, 2017 ()

Bible Text: Romans 6:3-11 (Vigil), Acts 10:34-43 (Day), St. Paul, Colossians 3:1-4 (Day), Matthew 28:2-10 |

Series:

Rejoice now, heavenly hosts and choirs of angels.

 

This is the night, when all who believe in Christ are delivered from the gloom of sin.

 

This is the dawn on the first day of the week

when Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of John and James

creep to the tomb where they had watched their dead Lord laid.

They saw it all from a distance, helpless onlookers, and now

they creep close, wordless in their sorrow.

 

This is the night that restores innocence to the fallen, joy to all who mourn.

 

This is the dawn when the earth quakes
as the giant stone blocking the tomb rumbles and rolls,
falling with such force that the earth shakes again.

 

This is the night when what has been broken is made whole,
candle by candle,
word by word,
drop by drop.

 

This is the dawn when the angel who rolled away the stone appears,
shimmering and glowing as only an angel can.
This is the dawn when the guards
who are servants of Rome and not of God,
faint away with fear.

 

This is the night that casts out pride and hatred,
the night that calls for, yearns for peace and concord.

 

This is the dawn when the women hear the shimmering, glowing messenger of all that is holy
say words they’ve surely heard before:
“Be not afraid.” (As if there were any choice.)
Then they hear the shining one say:

 

“Jesus, who was crucified, is not here; he has been raised.
Come, see the empty tomb.”

 

This is the night when Christ broke the bonds of death and hell,
and rose victorious from the grave.

 

This is the dawn when the bright-like-lightning angel
sends Mary and Mary to go quickly and tell the others
that everything Jesus promised about his death has come true,
and that they will find him in Galilee—
that soft-aired, olive-treed place where earlier Jesus
healed the sick,
raised the dead,
walked on water
and gathered sinners. That place.

 

This is the night when the Church in radiant light
resounds with our praises,
the night when we imagine love vanquishing the darkness
like a match on dry leaves.

 

This is the dawn that shines its pale light on the women
who tremble with fear and joy,
who quiver with delight and terror the way children do
standing at the edge of a swimming pool,
miserably, gleefully contemplating being thrown in by someone they love.

 

This is the night when the slave is redeemed,
joy is restored,
grace and holiness of life are laid out before us and within us
like a whole galaxy of stars from which we are made.

 

This is the dawn when Jesus appears, his very self,
flesh, blood, wounds and all,
walking toward them walking toward him.
“Do not be afraid,” he says.
“Go and tell the others to go to Galilee.”

 

This is the night when heavenly hosts and choirs of angels
blow their trumpets
and probably every other joyful noisemaker at their disposal
to shout salvation for the victory of our mighty King.

 

This is the dawn when among Jesus’ first words
after being raised from the dead
are the divine, holy, fearful, crazy-making, life-changing and joyful imperatives:
Go and Tell.

 

This is the dawn when Mary and Mary are commissioned
as our apostle-mothers, our apostle-grandmothers,
sent to Go and to Tell, sent
to send the others and all of us
to Go and to Tell, to send, as we are sent.

 

Go and tell about the wave of light from this holy candle,
this work of human hands and human love,
this divine creation that can start a wave of light no one will believe until they
see it with their own eyes.
Go and tell the sweep of history that brings us to this very moment,
or just tell your favorite part:
the Red Sea, the dry bones, Sarah’s laughter.

 

Go and tell about the incense from Somalia,
incense made of resin tears that weep from limbs
of trees named boswellia sacra,
trees so strong, so determined,
they attach themselves to boulders, cliffs, anywhere,
incense that fills our senses and carries our prayers and our thanksgivings
far beyond our human reach.

 

Go and tell about the dawn when Christ, our morning star,
gives light to all creation,
gives light to all those we pray for and care for,
gives light to the saints we name and the saints we haven’t yet discovered,
gives light to our childish excitement,
gives light to our appetite for joy and beauty,
not just gives light to all of these things but gives us these things.

 

Go and tell about the water
over which the Holy Spirit moved in the beginning of creation,
the water that parted to lead the children of Israel to the land of promise,
the water that flows in the River Jordan through that Sea of Galilee,
water that baptized Jesus,
water that fills the mountain watersheds with snowmelt from the Cascades,
water that fills the pipes that fill our font.

 

Go and tell about that water in which we baptized Chloe,
the water that dances off her shining face,
that dances off branches of rosemary, boxwood, and anything
that flowers around our labyrinth,
the water that still clings, perhaps, to your shoulders or hair.

 

Go and tell about the blessed, poured, dunked, sprinkled, spilled and splashed
water
that is part of our great Yes of baptism.
Go and tell about how when we say I will, with God’s help,
this is our Great Yes to community, to story—yours, mine, and our stories—
and to breaking bread together in the name of Jesus,
bread that feeds and strengthens us in times of joy
and times of fear.

 

Go and tell about how when we say I will, with God’s help,
this is our Great Yes to our vocation as servants, students,
and followers of the Risen Lord,
sisters, brothers, fathers, mothers and lovers of the Christ in each of us,
the one who defied death,
this defiance his own holy and life-giving Yes
to sending us out to heal and reconcile.

 

Go and tell about how when we say I will, with God’s help,
this is our Great Yes to Jesus and our great No, no WAY,
to war, bigotry, hatred, injustice, indignity, poison, prejudice, violence,
isolation, and hunger.
No way to standing by in the face of fear that seeks to cast out love.

 

Go and love. Go and tell.

 

Go and tell about the night when Christ broke the bonds of death and hell, and rose victorious from the grave.

 

Alleluia, Christ is Risen!

Download Files

Sermon Topics: ,,,,,,,,,