Those who have found Easter include characters like Peter and John running toward the tomb (John 20:3-4), or the women running away from it (Mark 16:8). Those still seeking it are people like Mary Magdalene (John 20:11, 15), Thomas (John 20:25), and the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:17-24). And those whom Easter has found are those like Saul (Acts 9:5-6) or John on the island of Patmos (Rev. 1:12-18). They aren’t looking for Easter; they run into it. They turn around and it is there! In fact, immediately after rising from the dead, Jesus appeared to many of his followers (see 1 Cor. 15:6-8) and not simply to prove that he was alive, but rather to reveal the power and the effect of Easter on every other day in our lives. Easter is bigger than a day. It is, as N.T. Wright put it, “not just a highly peculiar event within the present world (though it is that); it is, principally, the defining act of the new creation, of the world that is being born with Jesus.” Easter is the beginning of new order, a new humanity, “a new shape of the world,” as Barth called it, and a new way of living in it.

Finding Easter

Living Resurrection

For many, Easter is the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection and the anticipation of our own someday. Like Martha, many of us have confined the resurrection to a day in the future when we will rise from the dead (John 11:23-24), and it is that as well. But the resurrection is a reality that we can live in now, for Jesus says, “I…
April 1, 2018
Finding Easter

New Beginnings

Most of us have too high, too ambitious an opinion of ourselves – “even if all the others fall away . . . I never will” (Matt. 26:33) – which makes failure doubly hard for us. But the living Christ has a very different view of us, both before and after we fail, so he is never surprised and he is…
April 8, 2018
Finding Easter

New Faith

When we come to church, we often hear people saying (like the disciples did), “I have seen the Lord!” while others, like Thomas, find ourselves farther from belief than we wish. This can produce isolation, shame, and unworthiness that propels us from the community of faith. This sermon will work to unravel some of that shame and doubt while exploring what happens…
April 15, 2018
Finding Easter

New Hope

Anyone who has attended a funeral knows how solemn, and sometimes devastating a moment that can be. So Mary has come to the garden to pay her respects and finds, to her amazement, that Jesus’ body is gone. There can only be one explanation: someone has stolen it. But this is no ordinary funeral. On Easter, things are not as they seem. This is a…
April 22, 2018
Finding Easter

A New Creation

Salvation is often portrayed, in evangelical circles, as the acquiescence to a series of good beliefs – Jesus died, Jesus rose again – but the resurrection reminds us is that Easter is, at its core, about a personal encounter with One who is alive and active in this world. Saul (turned Paul) was one who came late for Easter, who was…
April 29, 2018
Finding Easter

The New Order

“Stuck on the island of Patmos on the Lord’s day.” That’s how John describes himself moments before he encountered the risen Lord.  Patmos was a kind of Alcatraz for the Romans – a place where prisoners go and are never heard from again – but as John stands on the shores, contemplating his grim future, he turns around to see “the…
May 6, 2018