March 26, 2016

Easter Vigil Sermon 2016

Passage: Genesis 2:3
Service Type:

Just as in the story of creation we read that God rests on the Sabbath day, the seventh day (Saturday), so too in the story of our Lord’s Passion Jesus rests on the Sabbath, the seventh day – what we now commonly call Holy Saturday. The parallel is intentional. After the work of creation, God reposes; after the work of recreation, Christ sleeps in the tomb. Behind him is the agony of Good Friday – remembered, to be sure; inscribed in the Body of our Lord; still dominating the hearts and minds of the first disciples – yet its acute pain is somehow behind us. “It is finished”, Christ proclaimed on Good Friday. Ahead is the Resurrection; but today, like a seed or a bulb in Springtime, the Lord’s love germinates in the ground.

The darkness of our parish church tonight represents the darkness of Christ’s grave – of that place where love germinates, as it were, on Holy Saturday. Yet more than this, of course, the darkness of the Church represents the darkness of the disciples’ confusion and despair over the loss of their Master, the darknesses of the violence and betrayal suffered by Christ – indeed, it represents all the darknesses that are woven into the fabric of our lives. It is in the midst of these darknesses that we gather this night to do nothing more nor less than to watch and to wait. Indeed, this has been our primary task since Thursday evening – to wait with patience and attention....

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