as a pre-note; this is what I had in front of me on Easter morning. I am not sure how much it resembles what I actually preached. The stories are the same; but the way it is woven together happened more on the fly than normal....
What do you refuse to believe in?
I have a few – money buys happiness, might makes right, despair is stronger than hope...
I refuse to believe that bullies will have the last word. I refuse to believe that I am anything less than perfect in God’s eyes. I refuse to believe that people are as mean as they often seem to be...
I refuse to believe that evil has the last word... I guess that is at the heart of what I am talking about...
I have hope.
That, for me, is what Easter is all about.
Two eggs needed. One normal, one ‘blown’. (Google if don’t know how) Start the talk with the great Easter Day and how the tomb which they thought would be full was empty. Think how surprised the women were when they saw it was empty. Often talk about eggs at Easter etc. I’ve got an egg here and a badminton racket. Now look I’m going to try and hit this egg to the back of the church. Throw egg up and deliberately miss. (Egg splaters all over a tray) Oh dear I missed that one. Lets try again. Take blown egg and this time hit it of course its just bits of shell. The look of horror that passes children’s faces when you hit it is amazing. Then talk about how they all expected the egg to be full but what a surprise it was empty
Life – Death – John
In John's Gospel, there is a story often entitled, “Jesus Speaks About His Death.” It comes right after the events of Palm Sunday. Jesus says to a group of people, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
That reminds me of a type of tree that I encountered once. Along the Cabot Trail, in Cape Breton, there is a trail called the Jack Pine Trail. You can find these forests throughout Canada. There are all these unique-looking trees growing in the cracks of rocks. The interesting thing about Jack Pine trees is that they need forest fires to open their cones in order for new trees to grow. So, in the process, the trees get destroyed in order for there to be new life. Wildfires naturally occur as nature's way of making sure this happens. It's painful to watch these trees burn but from the ashes of death and destruction, beauty and life arise.
Every night we look at the bright moon and the twinkling stars and we marvel over the vastness of the universe and the beauty of creation. But at daybreak, the moon fades until it disappears and we have to say goodbye for a little while. But as the moon sets, the glorious sun – that ball of fire in the sky – it rises and brings life to the earth.
We are in the midst of Spring. We have been witnessing transformation around us. From the deadness and cold of winter comes the beauty of delicate little flowers popping up and melodic little birds filling the air. And now that spring is hear, the pain of winter has become a distant memory. At the time, mountains of snow and below zero temperatures plagued our every day.
But now we don't think about that. Instead we celebrate what is before us. We shout, “Hallelujah!” when we can grab a light jacket as we head out the door. We want to sing as we spend time outdoors once again – at the park, in our backyards, going for a walk. The darkness has passed and the light surrounds us.
A couple of days ago, we remembered the agony that Jesus endured. We lived the pain of the cross, the moments of uncertainty and despair. But now that we see in our mind's eye, an empty tomb, a risen Christ, renewed hope – we put those feelings aside and focus on celebrating!
11 months ago