You can read the whole sermon here..... for all the joy and fanfare of the Easter celebrations, for all the mystery of faith in God, for all the billions of words used over centuries to explain it all, Christianity itself has a 6 word autobiography: Jesus is risen from the dead.
There are thousands of words in the Bible and none of them make any sense without these 6 words.
These are the words that the breathless women carried from the empty tomb back to the other disciples. These are the words that have been passed from person to person, from community to community, every day since then -- in secret, in triumph, in darkness, in celebration.
These six words that have taken us from scattered, broken people who are lost to the largest religion in the world. It is these six words that have found countless individuals whose lives were already dead -- broken by pain and suffering, by sin and darkness -- and given them new life.
These are the words that are whispered at bedsides and shouted from rooftops and shared at dinner tables and workplaces and in neighborhoods. These are the words that have been forbidden by governments both ancient and modern, and yet somehow they have still been spoken, still been shared. Millions of lives have been transformed by these six words beginning with Mary Magdelene at the empty tomb.
C.S. Lewis once said, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
This is the story of our lives, the story of the life of the world, the story of life itself. It is the story of how life is stronger than death, how God’s love for us is stronger than death. It is, in the end, the only story that there is.
And so, in Easter, we hear these six words again: Jesus is risen from the dead.
How will these words change your story? Where do you hear the call to new life -- to come out of the tomb you’ve been sealed in, the tomb of fear or the tomb of hopelessness or the tomb of dreams that have been lost or delayed? How will you receive this news that is now handed again to you?
Jesus is risen from the dead - Alleluia! Alleluia!
Happy Easter to everyone.