My Favorite Easter Sermon
I learned much from my rector in New York, Father Andrew Mead, but nothing so important and basic as his preaching on Easter Day. Although the details and the style varied from year to year, there were two things that were constant. First, a genuine welcome of everyone who was there. I remember him saying this Easter service was for you, whoever you are. If you have been at church throughout Lent, this is for you. If you have not been in church since Christmas, still, this is for you. If you have doubts about Christianity, nonetheless, this is for you. He said it in such a way as to foreclose guilt in the occasional visitor while at the same time foreclosing smugness in those of us who had been there every day. It was a message important for us all to receive.
And the second thing he always did was to “get Jesus out of the tomb!” Whenever he taught clergy he would tell us that the preacher’s one job on Easter Day is to “get Jesus out of the tomb!” We need not be creative or original, but we absolutely need to be basic. Jesus was dead and then he was alive: he left his tomb and showed himself to the women, the disciples, and many more.
The resurrection of Jesus is the pivot of the universe: nothing else can ever be the same. It is the most important datum of cosmic history, and it is indeed for everybody.
Out & About. The next Good Books & Good Talk seminar, on Sunday, April 16, will take up Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers—the first of her delightful mysteries and the one in which she introduces her famous detective, Lord Peter Wimsey. The seminar meets at Incarnation in Dallas from 5 to 6:30 p.m., in Room 205, of the education building.
Also on April 16, I am to preach at the traditional services at Incarnation, namely, 7:30, 9, and 11:15 a.m.