On this wintery Easter morning, I would like begin by asking a few questions.
- Why have we come here this morning?
- What reasons have motivated us to be here?
- What do we expect to get from our visit?
- Will we be any different when we leave?
- Will we come back again soon?
In this morning’s gospel we just might be able find an answer to some of these questions.
We hear John telling of three people visiting Christ’s empty tomb.
All seem to come for different reasons;
Mary to help, John to believe and Peter to question.
Where do we fit in John’s gospel?
Do we see ourselves as Mary, Peter or John?
As we approach the empty tomb, what do we expect to find.
Do we see it as empty-reality or as future-hope or are we confused like Peter and not sure what to make of it.
Just what lesson does the empty tomb teach us?
I believe it tells us that good and bad, despair and hope; joy and suffering always exist side by side in our world.
Easter does not discount Good Friday, but it certainly outshines it,
proving that there is no affliction, no setback no misfortune we face,
that cannot serve as a steppingstone for something wonderful.
I believe all of us have come here this morning for the same reason.
We come looking for that steppingstone that allows us to see our world with Easter Eyes.
Eyes that tell us the Jesus is truly alive in our world.
Eyes that help us experience His love through the love of our families and friends.
Through the kindness and compassion of people who have no reason to help us, but do so any way.
We are all called to be an Easter People.
To help others experience the risen Christ through our own generosity, compassion and forgiveness.
We are all called to apologize to those we have harmed,
To reach out to those with no resources to help themselves,
And to reconcile with those who have hurt us.
Easter blossoms out of Good Friday:
Beautiful flowers grown in dirt.
Most of the good things we enjoy in life come through hard work;
Most of our successes come from apparent failures;
We often discover our best friends in the most trying times.
Jesus went through Good Friday to Easter to reveal to us that there is no defeat; even death itself may be a stepping-stone to victory.
To experience happiness we need to be open to joy.
Even while we endure sorrow and suffering, we should be open to … and expect happiness and peace.
On this special day we all come as Easter People expecting to find answers.
On this day we all hope our searching ends.