April 16,2017 — Nancy Bancroft
Easter Sunrise Sermon
Why Are We Here?
We got up and going very early this morning. It was dark when we left our warm beds, and our homes. It was dark when we got here. Why did we come?
In the 1950s the husband-and-wife musical team Les Paul and Mary Ford popularized a song that answers that question – The World Is Waiting for the sunrise
Easter is a symbol of the greatest challenge of all: faith in darkness. In the story of Easter, Mary Magdalene is the heroine who supported Jesus, believed in him, and followed him to his death when most others had run away in fear. Mary came to the tomb to weep and in her weeping we can all identify with her. Her hope for a better world seemed dashed. In the darkness it looked like hatred and violence had overcome Jesus message and mission of love and peace and inclusivity. And then the sun rose. And she came to see that she had been changed. That she had new life because of Jesus. Her love had overcome fear.
Today the world is still waiting for the sunrise, and we come together to celebrate the existence of goodness, joy, love, community. We come together to support each other, encourage each other, to be a sign to each other that love is stronger than hate, community is stronger than self-interest, hope is alive.
The message to us is a clear one. When we follow Jesus, the path is often through darkness to what looks to the world—to us—like failure and defeat. But when we ourselves carry the message of Jesus—when we live the life of Jesus here and now, when we, too, confront the world around us with the blessedness of those poor, those outcast, those foreigners, those women, those voiceless for whom Jesus gave his life—we carry within ourselves the promise of new life. We live the ongoing message of the Resurrection itself: What comes in the name of Jesus will not die. The darkness will not overcome it as long as we ourselves never blow out the light of Truth in our own hearts. Alleluia