Easter Sunday Sermon, 2015

The Holy Gospel according to Mark, Chapter 16:1-8

When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3They had been saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?" 4When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you." 8So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

Sermon, Pastor Kris Garey, Resurrection of our Lord Sunday, Easter, 2015  (we include a Baptism, for little Braylon, on this day!)

PreachingToday is a day of Baptism
here at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hovland
          a day of God’s gift of actual water poured out
          combined with the living Word of God
as Braylon is Baptized  into Christ...
Imagine the details for this day...name, sponsors, date, travel time, family schedules, weather reports, who can be here who can’t, getting technology right so far away family can participate, practicing where to stand, knowing where to be at what time...
Sure, here, at Trinity, all of that can be pretty simple...still, it means
for Braylon’s parents Desi and Rick, for brother Adrian, for grandparents Dusty and Eric and great grandparents Duane and Virginia
a lot of details as Braylon’s baptism came near.
Seems even if we don’t expect to get caught up in details, they still find a way to catch us.
So imagine with me
the women at the tomb, Mary Magdalene, Mary mother of James, and Salome
          who had seen where the body of Jesus was taken,
          and who felt details catch them:
                    what to do to find comfort,
what spices to take to cover aroma of death
                  what time to head out, the morning after crucifixion and death
                    indeed, even whether to go,
                    and whether to tell anyone what they were doing
                    and then, when approaching,
                    the detail that loomed
                    how to gain access to the body, so to anoint with care.
                    For they knew the large stone had been placed to close off the tomb...
                    to large for even three to move
                    details
                    how to get beyond the stone
                    how to get within the entrance
                    how to deal with aroma and decay
and arriving,bowls of spices in their hands more details to face
                    far different than could have been imagined...
                    Stone, gone...entrance open
                    (who would have done such a thing, how can this be, what desecration has happened, they might have asked one another, aloud or in their minds)
                    and then more details to confront and confound
                    A young man (telling us he wasn’t a tall and strong goliath type who could alone have moved a stone so large)
                    A young man, not troop of Roman soldiers, not gang of thieves, dressed, the details say, not in clothes with sign of wear and dirt and dust but in white robe
                    Sitting, not in front of open tomb
                    but on the right
not blocking entrance, but hosting entrance
                   
Alarming these details would have been
to the women there, with their gifts of spices to give...
          and the detail of their alarm
         was known by the young man in white, there on the right
who said words that would raise alarm
(for when have the words come to you
“Do not be alarmed”
that you have not felt alarm...?)
and then more alarm
for he  
already knew the details of why they were there, at the tomb
Knew they looked not just for anyone, but “for Jesus of Nazareth”
“who was crucified...”
alarming enough
but there is more
in the details of what he knew
for then came detail
that would undo every other detail of all time
“He has been raised, he is not here.”
raised?
what kind of detail is that for one whom you have seen die?
what kind of detail for one who death has taken hold of?
Raised...not here...
and then the young man not strong enough alone to have moved the stone that had hidden the entrance they’d wanted to enter...
said more
“Look, there is the place they laid him....”
Now, if you are one of the women, planning to cover scent of death with spices from your hands..
hearing that detail
where do you look?  first at companions, with you to anoint the dead body?
first at the young man, or at uncovered entry, or off to the side, hoping to hide...
where do you look?
before looking in? before realizing
the body is not there
Jesus is not there
the Gospel of Mark does not let us linger...
for we with the women now hear of Jesus who had died
“He has been raised, Look, there is the place they LAID him...But go,
tell his disciples and Peter...”
(tell disciples who were distraught? tell Peter who had denied in life even knowing the one now dead? go and tell...tell them what...what details do we have to tell, the women might have thought ...”
go and tell
Jesus IS going
(not was taken, not has been carried...IS GOING)
Jesus IS GOING
meaning still moving, still walking, does that mean now not dead?
is going AHEAD of you
meaning you three women           and the disciples and Peter
will still follow, where Jesus IS GOING, ahead of you
to Galilee
into ministry as Jesus had been before and would be now again
as Jesus had before death told them
I will be with you, ahead of you...
the voice of the young man in white saying
“he is ahead of you
you will see him”
means the young man knew even this detail
that Jesus had told before death.
Who would not flee
who would not be seized by terror and amazement
who would not run from hearing or repeating such words...
Details.
as for family of Braylon
there are many
but in this Gospel of Mark’s original ending
what we don’t have are details of how the women finally tell...
finally dare to say
what the disciples and Peter and world might count
ludicrous absurd unbelievable...
Details matter, but not all are needed...nor included
so that we too might know at times we must dare to face what seems empty
and yet believe:
the tomb was empty because Jesus was doing as Jesus had told them
going ahead of them
defeating death, sin, devil, alone-ness, without-ness...
always to be with the world and in the world
so that
all the world would know, Jesus Christ is Raised and breaks death’s fearful hold..
and know
a new creation comes, and whether we can see it yet or not
these almost 2000 years after Jesus had died
the detail of the Resurrection is the promise to Braylon and all the baptized
that we too          with Jesus Christ are raised
after death are raised again to new life
where we are with God,
and in this life, to God with us, where we are.
Like the women at the tomb, with the simple gifts we bring in our hands,
we too may afraid to tell
but the Holy Spirit works within us
and finds ways
for us to believe, even when it amazes us...
and so we welcome Braylon and all our children into the faith
and thank the Holy Spirit who assures us,  
“Baptized, we live with God,
who sustains us, in emptiness of loss
and in joy of birth,          for wherever we are,
we can know, Jesus is with us, and is ahead of us.
Now, and for all time beyond time.
3By the LORD has | this been done;
     it is marvelous | in our eyes.
24This is the day that the | LORD has made;
     let us rejoice and be | glad in it.   (Psalm 118)

Thanks be to God!
 

1 comment

  • David Broman

    David Broman Duluth, MN

    On June 9, 2017, I was in Hovland MN with my family visiting the dock where my grandmother got off Steamship America, immigrating from Sweden. I stopped by Trinity Lutheran to see what I could learn about the area and my great grandmother's burial place. Kris was very gracious and spent time showing us pictures and giving us a tour of the church building. Days later, I sent her a copy of an old diary that had some valuable historical information for Hovland. She then sent me a thank-you card and a packet of information about the church and it's current restoration project. As president of Lake Superior Freethinkers, I won't be contributing to a church, but I thank you for your kindness and applaud your efforts to build community and preserve the history of Hovland. ~David Broman lsfreethinkers.org

    On June 9, 2017, I was in Hovland MN with my family visiting the dock where my grandmother got off Steamship America, immigrating from Sweden. I stopped by Trinity Lutheran to see what I could learn about the area and my great grandmother's burial place. Kris was very gracious and spent time showing us pictures and giving us a tour of the church building. Days later, I sent her a copy of an old diary that had some valuable historical information for Hovland. She then sent me a thank-you card and a packet of information about the church and it's current restoration project. As president of Lake Superior Freethinkers, I won't be contributing to a church, but I thank you for your kindness and applaud your efforts to build community and preserve the history of Hovland. ~David Broman lsfreethinkers.org

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