By NEMS Daily Journal
So we come in our bewilderment and wonderment,
deeply trusting, almost afraid to trust much,
passionately insisting, too timid to insist much,
fervently hoping, exhausted for hoping too much.
Look upon us in our deep need. . . .
You defeater of death, whose power could not hold you,
come in your Easter,
come in your sweeping victory,
come in your glorious new life. . . .
Hear our thankful, grateful, unashamed Hallelujah! Amen.
Prayers of Walter Brueggemann
Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth
After just five days in the capital city of Jerusalem, Jesus of Nazareth was arrested, tried, and put to death. His followers scattered and now are huddled, in fear, behind a locked door somewhere in the city. One woman comes to the place where he is buried. He is not there; he is not dead.
… The Greek word translated “Do not hold onto me” means more: do not try to confine, control, manipulate, own me (Gail O’Day in Frances Taylor Gench’s, Encounters with Jesus, p.132) .
… Jesus cannot be held and controlled, that’s the first Easter lesson. Jesus, and the movement he inspired, is about more than our political, social, economic, or even theological and religious agendas. Don’t try to confine me in your religious practices, your creeds, your exclusive theology that reassures you that you are absolutely correct and everybody else is wrong and going to hell.
The singing began in a garden long ago, before dawn, when Mary, weeping, devastated – as we are sometimes, frequently in fact, by the senseless cruelty of the world, the randomness of evil and death – heard Jesus say her name … New life began at first light on Easter morning.
So please know, on this Easter morning, that God has created you for life and joy. Jesus Christ is risen.
Please know that whatever is happening in your life today, whatever you are dealing with, worried about, struggling with, there is a power alive and at work in the world and in your life. It is on your side; it will hold you up. It is the power of life and love. Jesus Christ is risen.
Please know that whatever you are afraid of today, tomorrow, in the future – there is nothing ultimately to fear. Jesus Christ is risen.
And please know that though death is real, more real is a love from which nothing, not even death, will ever separate you, and so you can entrust your life and the life of your dear ones to him. Jesus Christ is risen.
A new world at first light on Easter morning –
and the singing –
“Christ the Lord is risen today Alleluia!
“Come ye faithful, raise the strain of triumphant gladness.”
Jesus Christ is risen.
He is risen indeed.
– excerpted from The Rev. Dr. John Buchanan, “A New World at First Light,” Easter 2010, Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago