Liturgy of the Palms Sixth Sunday in Lent April 12, 2009 Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary

Liturgy of the Palms B April 12, 2009 Textweek

Acts 10:34-43, Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; I Corinthians 15:1-11; John 20:1-18

Christ is Risen

The Mystery of Easter....The mystery, or in other words, the secrecy of Easter, the obscurity of Easter, the ambiguity of Easter, the inscrutability of Easter, the vagueness of Easter, the anonymity of Easter. Whatever words we use to phrase our questions and our arguments about Easter we come back again and again to: What is it all about....?

Two quotes from Saturday’s papers might only serve to muddy the waters a little more: “In recent weeks we’ve seen a series of international leaders such as President Barack Obama, Mr Brown and Kevin Rudd give addresses that not only sounded like sermons, but were grounded in morality rather than politics. In one instance, involving Mr Rudd and Mr Brown, the sermons were delivered in a church, St Paul’s in London.”

And the second is quite delightful... “Plantu, Le Monde’s cartoonist [the French Newspaper], was not buying Mr Sarkozy’s view of the new world-order. He greeted the president’s return to Paris with a depiction of a banker dragging a crucifix onto which had been nailed a U.S. dollar. “The death of Anglo-Saxon capitalism?” was the caption. The banker replies “ I don’t give a damn: I’ll resurrect it at Easter”.

Interesting link......
France's president, Nicolas Sarkozy, comes from a long line of Jewish and Zionist leaders

Faith & Religion, including the religion of the atheist, The Church, Mosque, Temple and Synagogue and their Celebrations such as Easter permeate each and every culture....

Plantu the French Cartoonist has taken one of the ‘sacred stories’, the story of Easter, and has used it to illustrate, or illuminate a contemporary event..... And perhaps the sermons the International leaders were also consciously, or sub-consciously, seeking divine wisdom to influence present events.....

We probably find ourselves doing the very same from time to time... thereby allowing, and even enabling the wisdom of scared texts to give shape and/or meaning to events in our lives.........

When we contemplate the question, What is it all about....? in regard to The Mystery of Easter, we are, more often than not, already thinking/understanding within a framework of tradition, authority and orthodoxy, and so we find tradition, authority and orthodoxy giving shape and meaning to our lives. We become unknowingly monastic - creatures of habit - holding on to what we know. So it is no wonder that when the economy fails we want to kick-start it with a stimulus, just as we would a patient with heart failure.

And there we come face to face with the mystery of Easter, we want, naturally, to hold on to life - MY life, as I know it and live it........

However, as we contemplate the texts/stories of Jesus, we find ourselves looking at a life that called forth new points of reference. The framework of tradition, authority and orthodoxy became the very cross on which he was crucified. Here we are asked to look beyond MY life, to look beyond even death......

First we must leave the habits of ‘tradition, authority and orthodoxy’...

This is not the story of an event. Easter illustrates a process, the activity that occurs between the Alpha and the Omega. It is not about Jesus. Early theologians focussed on the historical actuality, the Event, rather than on the revelation, what the event sought to bring to life

The mystery of Easter tells of Dying and Rising. It is our story, and its meaning for us is to be contemplated through the Divine eye - that which sees humanity as a whole moving toward wholeness.

In the narrative we hear the resurrected Christ ask, “Why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?" For now is the hour of rejoicing.

Jesus then goes on to say, "Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"

And if we can hear those words spoken anew, we too might live. Do not hold on to Jesus: rather, follow in the activity that is revealed in/through his being, for his father is our father, his God is our God, his story is our story......

Jesus offers a New way, not a kick-start; he offers a living way, not a repeat, not a replay, not a continuation of past activity, but a growing and maturing into life’s wholeness....

The Mystery of Easter calls to us...................

Our quest and question, What is it all about....? is not answered here today. However, a door is opened, a stone is rolled away. Doubt and Faith stand in the garden, the Adam and Eve of tomorrow’s creation, looking into the empty tomb...... Where will you look for the promise of tomorrow?

I encourage you to watch a full episode of parliamentary question time on ABC.... And then to recall the narrative of Easter, the sacrament of Bread and Wine and the possibility that this community holds for giving shape to tomorrow......

The Lord be with you
Peter Humphris


.<