Christ the lord is risen today – alleluia! And so a happy Easter to all. And thanks for being with us on this most holy of nights.
A special welcome to Jimmy and Dakota and those who are with you tonight to see you called forth to the new life Christ offers to you – and to all of us — through His death and resurrection.
When I was young and growing up in southern Indiana – at the foot of my parents bed was a large cedar chest – which once held sheets and towels and other things given to my parents on their wedding day.
But by the time I came along – those things were long gone – replaced by numerous photo albums, filled with black and white pictures.
From time to time, my parents would get in the mood to drag some of those albums out – and told stories to me and my siblings about my uncles in their military uniforms, my grandparents standing in front of their new model T,
one of my grandfathers working the farm with a team of horses – and our favorites – pictures of my mom and dad when they were kids.
I loved seeing those pictures and hearing those stories – it told us, my brothers and sisters and I – about our past. Our history. All giving us a better understanding of who we were as individuals – and who we were as a family.
Tonight, we have just opened the Church’s cedar chest of memories – and have heard stories of our ancestors in faith –
going back to the very beginning when God created the heavens and the earth.
We heard stories of Abraham our Father in Faith, and Moses the lawgiver, stories of mountains leaving their places and hills being shaken – before the presence of God.
Stories of seeking the Lord, walking in light, the removal of stony hearts, and of being Baptized into the death of Christ so we can rise with him to new life.
Stories told and remembered so we can have a better understanding of who we are as individuals called by God, and who we are as the family of God: formed into the image and likeness of God’s own Son.
Stories told and remembered so that we know we are not alone in our struggles and doubts, our fears and our failings. Knowing that we are caught up in the love, mercy, and forgiveness of a God who loves us so much –
that God’s own son, Jesus Christ, suffered and died to free us from all those things that keep us bound – tied up in ourselves and our somewhat small ways of thinking – keeping us from loving God with all our hearts and all our minds.
Tonight we listened to stories told and remembered so we know the words we have sung all throughout Lent are, indeed, true: We have set our eyes on the way, this journey is our destiny. Let no one walk alone. The journey makes us one.
And so Jimmy and Dakota - we welcome you tonight into our family – and invite you to join us on our shared journey: where day after day – week after week – year after year over a lifetime: we set our eyes and hearts and minds and souls on the way – to becoming more like Christ – so one day we will meet up with all those who have gone before us – our ancestors in faith whose stories we have heard tonight — and all of us together will give eternal praise to the Lord our God.
And so why should we not continue to rejoice by singing: Christ the Lord is risen today. Alleluia! Happy Easter!
Moments in time...