I have preached often of what I think is the most important word of Easter - SURPRISE! The one that you thought was dead and gone, buried away has returned. He is risen. Indeed.
Yesterday there was an "evening lectionary" that was the story from
Luke of the two men on the Road to Emmaus. Their journey was away from
Jerusalem following the crucifixion of Jesus. Their hopes had been
dashed and they traveled in despair. They encountered the stranger who
was revealed to them in the breaking of the bread:
When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke
it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they
recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each
other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us
on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?
Like the women at the tomb, this was for them the big SURPRISE
And that is the good news - that we can trust God because SURPRISE God has defeated death and Christ is risen. And do I understand this? Heck no - but I see it all around me and I am grateful.
I just got off the phone with my brother Geoff and I am always amazed when I consider the great SURPRISE of his life in finding love and companionship in his sixties. And the same is true of my brother Wayne The same is true of me. For any of us, in some way our life with our spouses is a miracle of new life after death. And I, for one, am amazed and awed by it.
But that is just one example. I stopped by Marnie's yesterday afternoon and saw her extended family. "Mimi and Pappy" are Erik's parents and grandparents to Reagan, Addie and Maggie. And SURPRISE we are truly a new family. Together. And I, for one, am amazed and awed by it.
Saturday I went to Camp Christian where Wendy had a breakfast and an Easter egg hunt and a worship service for the "The Delaware Project." There were "churched " and "unchurched" people that took communion and celebrated Easter in a simple l way but SURPRISE we made connections and became the Body of Christ in that holy place. And I have to say I felt the same way Easter Sunday morning in a Lutheran Church with my daughter Kacey. We came to the table and we became His. Together. And I, for one, am amazed and awed by it.
Today, the day after Easter seems to me like a new beginning. I don't know why but maybe it is because we have been through the remembrance of darkness and suffering and come to see and celebrate the risen Christ and the power of God in the world. All I know is that "Christ is Risen" is a promise for me to live my life open to the signs and the symbols of the Risen Christ.
SURPRISE! Christ is risen. Indeed.