Second Sunday of Easter by Matthew David Morris

April 8, 2018

Lessons:

Acts 4:32-35

1 John 1:1-2:2

John 20:19-31

Psalm 133

I have a story I’d like to tell.

No, I have a story I have to tell.

 

This story is impossible. You’re not going to believe me.

 

But I have to tell this story. I have to tell it even though I know you won’t believe me.

 

It happened.

 

I have to tell it because it happened. I was there, and it happened, and I have to tell you about it.

 

Some of you were there, and if you were there you will be able to testify to the truth of my story, even though you were standing in a slightly different place in the room, and even though you may not have heard everything perfectly.

 

But if you were there

you will know that my story is true,

and you will also need to tell the story,

because people aren’t going to believe us.

 

But I cannot stress this enough — we have to tell this story.
We have to tell the world what happened, because what happened changed things. It changed everything.

 

What happened started something new.

Something that has been waiting to happen forever.

And now is that moment. And we saw its beginning.

 

We were there, and all those who weren’t there will need to hear this story.

 

And some of them will believe us.

 

Some of them will hear the words

pouring forth from our hearts,

and the words will be balm

that soothes their woundedness.

They will hear the words

and they will recognize

something that sounds like God,

and they will be inspired

to share that feeling that

wells up in them

with someone else

who isn’t in the room.

 

They will tell others about what they heard,

and they will testify to that feeling

that welled up in them

when we talked

about what happened,

and they will connect that feeling

to the livingness of God,

and they will be right to do so,

because the living God

who moved their heart to feel

is the same living God

who gave us the words to speak,

and is the same living God

who caused to happen

that thing we saw.

 

And we do not have language for what we saw.

 

We cannot explain it perfectly.

We will need new words.

We will need scrolls,

and books,

and internets of

new words.

 

We will need centuries

of language

of new words

to describe that moment we had.

 

That encounter.

 

We will need to rewrite the meaning of every history ever told.

 

We will need to give our children new names;

to draw new maps;

to sing new melodies.

 

We will need a new culture because of that moment we had together.

 

And some of them will not believe us.

Some of them will not think it real,

this moment that we had.

But we cannot let that disbelief stop us from telling this story.

Because if death, itself, was conquered,

and what we saw what was we saw,

then certainly disbelief can be overcome.

 

Thomas proved that.

And so did we.

Who among us could before we saw with our own eyes?

 

But they will not have seen.

What we need is to tell the story

— for them and for us

and we need to let our own hearts

be softened by the memory

of what we saw.

 

We need to describe Jerusalem

on the morning it happened.

We need to talk about   

the way the sky looked            after it happened.

We need to talk about

how our                         entire life              felt like a drop of water in the

ocean of God,

and how no metaphor

      could be expansive enough,

            and how every metaphor      

                  gets us a little closer

to the feeling of

             what happened.

 

We need to risk sounding crazy,

to risk sounding irrational,

to risk not making sense.

 

Because what just happened is absurd, isn’t it?

What just happened to us happened, didn’t it?

 

If it did,

Does that mean sin has lost its hold?

Does that mean that we are finally home,

and that this exile of our souls, and bodies, and lives

is finally done?

Even more, could it mean that

God can suffer, too?

 

Was he not God?

Did he not die?

 

He did!

I know he did,

          but he rose, too.

 

So, what of God,

who does not die or let the words of peace and love

stay in the tomb?

 

This is new!

 

So, we have to tell this story.

We have to keep telling this story.

Because when we tell this story,

we point to the

new reality

that is unfolding all around us.

 

And maybe…..

 

…maybe others

will want to understand,

and they will understand

what it felt like,

and then they will know

what it feels like,

and then they will come alive

in the new world

which God is creating

all around us.

 

That is why we tell the story.

That is why we say, CHRIST IS RISEN!

 

 

Because we were there.

And we saw it.

We touched him.

And now we have to tell this story.

 

You have to tell this story.

 

Amen