April 8, 2012 St Petri
…….After viewing media file “Look Around”
Look around, friends.
So many in one place.
We are the Forgiven ones
We are eternal beings now.
We are believers – believers in his ultimate sacrifice for all the world and us
We are new – baptised new creations of the Creator
We are all of this because of today – the empty tomb day – our resurrection day.
But there are tears too. Mary is crying. She is lost in grief. The Resurrected Jesus asks you about your tears today.
“Why are you crying?” asks the Living One
Why are you crying, friend?
Is it the grief you carry?
Is it the pain you carry for wrong done to others and others’ wrongs to you?
Is it the regret of unresolved conflict that eats you up?
Is that experience that you just can’t shake – it still haunts you?
Is it questions – endless questions for which you just cannot find a real answer;
Those “Why” questions. Why do I work so hard? Why do I feel scared about myself and the future so much? Why can’t I find really connection with God anymore?
Why can’t I find a church I belong in and find life in?
Why do I have this gnawing aloneness – even in a crowd, even in a church?
Why am I so cynical of religion and faith?
Why am I addicted to things I hate?
Why? Why? Why?
“Who is it you’re looking for?” asks the Living One
Now there is a question!
Who is it you’re looking for?
Who is it that you think you really need? Who can deliver the good things for which we all long – community, friendship, love, partnership, trust, loyalty, skills, a future that is bright, learning, meaning, purpose to my little life……?
Now ‘Preacher man’, don’t now just say “Jesus” as the answer to all my concern and trouble and the bringer of everything I need!” That’s too simple and too simplistic. That’s what little kids say to every questions asked in Sunday school.
“I need more now. I am not a kid. I have lived and I am searching for something I can see and feel and touch and understand from God”.
Look around, friend.
Here we are. The church.
People of the Resurrection – Alive in Jesus who is alive now.
We can hear, we can see, we can feel we can touch we can breathe together.
We are paid for in full. Wrongs are no cause for lingering regret. Pain is no excuse for cynicism. Dying is no longer the darkness we fear.
We belong. We are at the table of the great feast of the Lamb of God who take away the sin of the whole world.
We follow this Lamb of God out of crying and questioning to find a new world – a new vision, a new hope and new life. Will you turn your face and heart toward him today?
Will you sprint to that empty tomb and ask him where he is and let him show you where he is?
We are eternal beings and an eternal community, right here in Nuriootpa. We are the crucified and raised. We are the baptised of Christ. We are the church of the ancients and the gen y’ers and those yet unborn. We just are…..
Why are you crying? Look around. The Resurrected One is in their eyes. He is in your ears. He is in your hands as the high feast of the Easter lord will take place. You’re invited. You’re in.
With your tears where will you now look? To more of yourself? To more of another guru? To more of others who will struggle to be able to give you what we all need – new life and meaning and deep, deep peace?
Even our most loved partner, friend or mentor will not be able to deliver what we so long for and need. Only the One who has lived the darkness and tears and pain and triumphed fully is the one fix your gaze on today. He did it all for you. He did it all to create us – his body, his community, his family, his bride whom he loves.
When you walk out if here today, will you be with Mary Magdalene or still alone in your crying and doubt? That is where she started on Easter Day. But she didn’t end the day that way.
She sums it all up as the sun sets and a small band of brothers and sisters in faith discover that this day will go on for the rest of their lives and the rest of time.
She says it….. “I have seen the Lord”.
Will you be in her words as you exit this place on Easter Sunday?
Have you seen enough? Have your heard enough? What will be enough?
Look around, people of the Resurrection. He’s alive. He’s alive in his people, he’s alive in his gifts.
We are indeed, the church.
We are what we are, for better, for worse, in sickness and in health, in doubt and faith, in fear in joy, in restlessness and in peace – all by the grace of God (1Corinthians 15:10).
Look around. He’s alive. We are alive.
He is risen!