Your Subtitle text
he is risen
SERMON – Easter Day
April 8, 2012

+In the Name…

Alleluia.  Christ is risen.  The Lord is risen indeed.  Alleluia.

“They both ran, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first; and stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in” (St. John 20:4-5).

Most of here this morning are blessed with reasonably good health and mobility – possibly with some aches and pains, and some ongoing health concerns.  We remember the time when such things were not present; and that when younger, we easily jumped out of bed, and could go at a day-long pace with very little draining of energy.  We would as children go to sleep quickly and would stay asleep throughout the night, rather than having trouble falling to sleep and waking up during the night!

When I was a lot younger, I could run like a deer.  I was fast!  And believe it or not, I could run faster than some of my black friends.  That’s not a racist remark.  It’s just a fact that when I went to school as a child and a teenager, my many black friends could run very fast.

But I can’t run as fast now as I once did, and I have trouble keeping up with Seth and Luke when they take off on the beach.  So I feel a bit like St. Peter who was outrun to the empty tomb by the younger St. John, after they had been told by Mary Magdalene that Jesus was not in the tomb.

Notice though, that the younger John did not go into the tomb before Peter, even though he arrived there first.  Was it fright?  I’d like to think that it was deference to an older person, and to the one whom the Lord had named as the leader of the Apostles.

Peter arrived at the empty tomb after John, but he ran to it as best he could.  He was running to something he hoped was true – the opposite run he had made from Him who was true on the night he betrayed Jesus three times.  His path was now in reverse to what it had been; and when he arrived at the tomb, he saw that Jesus was not there, that He had risen as He said He would.

But even with such a confirmation that Jesus had risen as He had promised, Peter was still on a journey of knowing the truth, but not yet living in the truth.

As the days went on after the Resurrection, Peter decided in a spirit of confusion and resignation to return to fishing.  What else was there to do, since nothing else had happened or had been made clear, in his mind.  Other Apostles joined him in this return to what they had done before Jesus called them to leave fishing behind and to become fishers of men.

This fishing expedition, according to the Gospel of St. John, was a failure until the Resurrected Lord appeared and miraculously made it so successful that they couldn’t pull their nets in for the quantity of fish they caught.  Then, Peter’s belief in the Resurrected Lord was confirmed.  Peter’s faith was now in a much better place, but he still had much to grow into.  Jesus knew this, but that didn’t keep our Lord from calling Peter to feed and tend the present and future sheep of the Lord’s pasture, even though Peter’s love for Jesus still needed to grow deeper.

Jesus had chosen Peter for something special and specific, and He wouldn’t give up on him, and He doesn’t up give up us on us.

God is love, and Christ was Incarnate Love, and Love never ends.  Love keeps loving because God in Christ wants us to believe the Truth, live in the Truth, and love Him as Truth in return.

We as believers and followers of Jesus are, as St. Peter states in his First Epistle General, “living stones,” who are to have God continually mold us into a “spiritual house.” A spiritual house that worships God in spirit and truth, and that has much to offer to fellow pilgrims who seek to know and worship God in the beauty of holiness, specifically for us, an Anglo-Catholic community seeking unity with the See of Peter through the Ordinariate.

We continue to pray that as obstacles and impediments are remedied, our corporate desire will be fulfilled.  And we pray that people in authority will give us respect and patience for us to work through what we need to work through.  But, we know, that we can only do what we can.  We cannot control others, so we must continue to pray day and night that God, in His mercy, helps us through these rough seas.

But as we do this and pray about it, we are to grow as a community, a community where people find solid spiritual food and the presence of the Risen Lord.

Our response to the gift of the Lord’s Resurrection is, of course, to claim Him as a living Lord who is present to guide us forward in our lives; but also to be, as St. Paul writes in his Second Letter to the Corinthians, “ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us” (5:20).

The Parish Council with other members and I will be putting our minds and prayers together as to how we let it be known who we are and what we offer.  They are so many confused and discouraged Christians out there who have given up on the Church, both Anglicans and Catholics.  Our task is to assure them that they need not abandon their practice of the faith that they want to practice because of what concerns and upsets them, but that they need (and we want to provide for them) a “field hospital” for wounded soldiers of Christ – wounded soldiers who seek healing, who want so much for the Church to be made whole, and to be one as the Lord prayed.  And we want them and us to be able to leave the hospital when we are able to do so in giving ourselves to the larger Church.

In many respects, our Fellowship is both medicinal and radical.  Yes, medicinal, as I just stated, that we are a “field hospital” amidst spiritual warfare; but also radical, in our being rooted in orthodox faith and submission to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which we see as true in its teachings for the good and for the unity of the Church.  We are committed to this.  We pray that others will guide and assist in this, and that the highest degree of respect for our commitment will be objectively honored.  Again, we offer ourselves to the Lord whom we ask to purify our hearts and whom we strive to please.

So today, as we seize the day, and give thanks for the day because the past is gone and future has yet to come, we shout with joy,  ”Alleluia.  Christ is risen!”  This living Lord’s love, involvement, guidance, and provisions are, I believe, quite expansive, mysterious, and promising, if we believe – if we let Him show us, as He did to Peter, that He was indeed Risen, and that nothing ever would be the same!

Alleluia.  Christ is risen.  The Lord is risen indeed.  Alleluia.

+In the Name…

Home      Sermons