Easter Sunday – April 20, 2014

Matthew 28:1-10

28 After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 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. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 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.” 8 So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

Some years ago, when I was working at a large corporation, we received an email announcing a “Town-hall” meeting that was to take place the next morning at “…10am easter time”! My co-workers and I got a kick out of this misspelling, and we made a few jokes about it before getting back to our work.

Later on though, when I looked at the email again, it got me to thinking…that the email was not really all that far off!

Although it was mid-November and we were looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas, I realized that it really WAS ‘Easter-time’!

As Christians, we are always living in the time of Easter, always walking in the light of the Resurrection…the light that first broke at dawn on that cool morning in the cemetery about 2000 years ago, and shines on today, even brighter than ever…in each of us! It is the light that fills our lives with hope and our world with God’s grace and love…the light that we are called to carry with us as we live our daily lives…the light that we are called to share with each other, no matter who they are…the light that can reach into the darkest places and bring compassion to those in need and the promise of new life!

As single parents we can sometimes become overwhelmed by our responsibilities…and find ourselves too busy to even think as we have to deal with work, home and child raising issues. In the midst of all of our busy-ness, it can be easy for us to get distracting and to forget that we are always living Easter-time, as our lives may not always feel bright and hopeful, but filled with stress and anxiety!

This is not to imply that being a single parent is all worry and turmoil, most of my experience as a single parent has been wonderful: from spending hours playing with my daughter when she was younger, to hiking in the woods, exploring the neighborhood, taking vacations, teaching her to ride a bike, and later to drive…even the teenaged years which can be filled with moments of challenges and conflict can also have moments of closeness and joy…sometimes in the most unlikely of times, like during a ride home from a party that went badly, during a bad break-up when I have found myself the only one that she felt she could talk to…or when I was struggling with a personal problem and my daughter reached out to help me…like she did when I was recently broke my elbow and she pitched in to help me by taking me to appointments, do some grocery shopping, and some cleaning (proving that she was not as self-centered as teens can often appear to be).

We have also had many moments of fun, from something really mundane like goofing around at an appliance store while shopping for a new refrigerator, to the joy we experienced when she passed her drivers-test, or trips to the beach when we got to play in the surf!

Life is not always easy, but it is not always difficult either…mostly life as a single parent is just plain busy…and a bit stressful as it can feel as if all the responsibility falls upon our shoulders!

However, there is hope…because we DO always live in Easter-time, we are always immersed the grace and love of God, given to us through Christ on that first Easter morning!!! The good news for today is not just that we live in light of Easter, but also that we do not live there alone…just as we do NOT have to face all of the responsibility of single parenting alone…as we share this light with each other, by living our faith out loud, and by reaching out to others for help and support, while offering the same in return.

At Christmas we celebrated when the light of God’s love came into our dark world with the birth of Jesus, and today, at Easter, we are continuing that celebration as that light, born in a simple stable now shines brightly from the open tomb, and fills our world with hope!!!
Today we celebrate because that light also shines through us, and through our children, and gives us the ability to manage life as single parents, facing each day’s busy-ness, challenges, worries, and joys with faith and love…together!

Today we celebrate because we are Easter people, and through us, Christ in alive and active in our world …where it is always Easter time!

Let us Pray:

God, thank you for the gift of Easter…for the light of your love that shines in our weary world, promising to make all things new! As Christians, please help us to let that light shine through us in all that we do…and to fill us with hope and faith, even in the midst of our often busy and stressful lives. Let us remember that we walk in the light of Christ together…and are never alone, or separated from your grace…help us to feel this hope and to share it with all those around us, so that your light can one day banish darkness from the lives of your children…and ours!

Amen

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