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The Church being Born

Surprise!?! #diversity, #love and #easter #reclaimholyweek

Christ is Risen

Christ is Risen, Indeed!

What a funny recitation, its as if we don’t believe eachtother that Christ was resurrection, as if its a surprise to us.

Its only sort of a surprise, it reminds me of a Stenta Surprise ( my husband and various members of that family)

The Stenta side of the family is not that good at surprises…they hate to be on the receiving end of surprises.

Usually surprises go like this

I tell my son we have a surprise for me huband

Something like, “I got a Phillies keychain for your dad, but Shh! Its a surprise

Why don’t you go and give it to him and tell him its a surprise” (all in my husband’s hearing)

That is usually as close to a surprise we try to get…

Surprises are funny, though, because they are about how you feel.

You can be expecting something, and still be surprised when it happens.

Ex: You are trying to get pregnant, and then SURPRISE! you are …

On the one hand you were trying to get pregnant…on the other hand that realization is a surprise.

The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, ‘Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, “After three days I will rise again.” Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, “He has been raised from the dead”, and the last deception would be worse than the first.’ Pilate said to them, ‘You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can.’ So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone. Matthew 27: 62-66

tomb1

In Matthew’s verison, everyone knows that Jesus is supposed to rise from the dead….

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. Matt 27:1

women

Some people even believe it

And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, “He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.” This is my message for you.’ So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.’ Matt:28:2-10

images

Even those who believe it are suprised by the appearance of Christ….

Why is that? I think its because, the faith journey is one of surprises. One where, in retrospect things make sense, but you believe and work at faith, but still can be surprised by just how amazing God is.

This is why its so hard to recognize Christ when he appears.

This is why, even though we hope & pray for it, we would be surprised if Christ showed up today.

And there is some kind of essence to this surprise/to this faith. This surprise is a part of who and what we are.

I bet if you asked Mary and Mary why they went to the tomb, they would say “I don’t know” I bet if you ask someone why they went to church that day, mostly they wouldn’t know.

Yet here we are at Easter, and all of us have gathered at the tomb

to experience the resurrection

To tell the news to one another

Christ is Risen

He is Risen indeed

This conversation, the one we have to review yearly, monthly, weekly through worship, is the very conversation that makes church because God surprises us. God’s fullness cannot be witnessed in one mere human being. We think too small. Even in the Gospels we have not one, but many accounts of what happened to Christ. None of them are considered “wrong” instead, they are considered to give us some perspective and scope of who God is and just how full, deep and wide God’s love is for us.

This happens only as we witness too and share our experiences, in essence having the same conversation

Christ is risen? (eyebrows up)

Christ is risen, Christ is risen, Indeed (affirmative tone)

Indeed, Christ is Risen (more strongly)

Then many voices, affirming the same thing, in different ways, Christ is Risen, Christ is Risen indeed.

Church is so that conversation (as opposed to becoming an echo chamber) becomes a rich and diverse reflection of who Christ is, and what Christ means for humanity

And that diversity, richness, depth of love and sacrifice–even though we saw it coming. Often God’s love takes us by surprise

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About katyandtheword

Pastor Katy has enjoyed ministry at New Covenant for 6 years, where the church has solidified its community focus. Prior to that she studied both Theology and Christian Formation at Princeton Theological Seminary. She also served as an Assistant Chaplain at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital and as the Christian Educational Coordinator at Bethany Presbyterian at Bloomfield, NJ. She enjoys working within and connecting to the community, is known to laugh a lot during service, and tells as many stories as possible. Pastor Katy loves reading Science Fiction and Fantasy, theater, arts and crafts, music, playing with children and sunshine, and continues to try to be as (w)holistically Christian as possible. "Publisher after publisher turned down A Wrinkle in Time," L'Engle wrote, "because it deals overtly with the problem of evil, and it was too difficult for children, and was it a children's or an adult's book, anyhow?" The next year it won the prestigious John Newbery Medal. Tolkien states in the foreword to The Lord of the Rings that he disliked allegories and that the story was not one.[66] Instead he preferred what he termed "applicability", the freedom of the reader to interpret the work in the light of his or her own life and times. "Hallows, not Horcruxes" Harry Potter

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