Easter Vigil Sermon by The Rev. Matthew David Morris

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“And these words seemed to them an idle tale.”

Welcome to Easter, friends.
Welcome to the moment when idle tales prove true.
Welcome to the season of imagination,
when we are invited to believe the unbelievable,
because doing so teaches us something about love.

I rise up this morning
Smile with the rising sun
Three little birds
Beside my doorstep
Singing sweet songs
A melody pure and true

Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary, mother of James.
Three truth tellers.
Three faithful servants, to the grave and beyond.
They came to the place
where love had been laid down,
seemingly defeated,
only to discover that love had fulfilled
the promises made to them.

They came to a place
that had just the day before
been filled with the evidence
of the world’s cruelty,
only to discover it had become empty with possibility;
the tomb a womb of imagination.

Two men in dazzling clothes (and all I can think about when I hear that phrase
are drag queens),
two beautiful, shining, dazzling beings
of light and love and fabulocity
say to the grieving women,

Gurl… Why you cryin?

Mamma Jesus is not here anymore.
The love you are looking for is not dead in the grave.
The love that promised you fulfillment,
that assured you that God’s kingdom is so close,
you can almost taste its deliciousness…
that love is not dead, honey.
By no means.

The world could not kill it,
because that love is of God.
That love is God.
And you cannot kill God.
God will not have it.

This is my message to you oo oo

Singing don’t worry about a thing
‘Cause every little thing
Is gonna be alright

Welcome to Easter, beloveds.
A special welcome to those two precious souls
who are about to be baptized.

Lillie and Anne.

Are you excited? Are you nervous for what is about to happen?

I’m excited, and can I tell you why?

I’m excited because I think that
Baptism is like a song that God wrote
for us to learn how to sing together.
I think of God as the very first songwriter.
The one from whom all melodies come.
God, the source of all inspiration,
wrote this song called baptism
and you––Lillie and Anne––
have your own verses in that song.
You are a part of the song that God is singing
and I am so excited to be a part of this moment with you.

You see, the Church has a way of describing
what baptism is.

Baptism is full initiation
by water and the Holy Spirit
into Christ’s body,
The Church.

That is our tradition’s language,
and it’s good to name it,
and to think about it,
and wonder after it.

But here’s another reason I’m excited:
you, Lillie and Anne,
and all of us here,
are also going to have our own understanding
of what Baptism means in our life.
We have a baptismal covenant,
a commitment we all aspire to keep,
and those words are the same for all of us.

But the way that they become a part of your lives?
That is unique to you.

You are each an individual body
that is about to become joined together with a huge body that reaches across states,
and nations, and continents;
that stretches back hundred
of years.

And all of us are a part of the song that God is singing.
A song that God sang
when Jesus was born and then baptized.
The melody turned heavy and somber
when Jesus died on the cross.
And then,
on a Sunday morning
after a really hard weekend,
the song of baptism reached its most exciting moment.

It’s Easter, and the tomb is empty.
Death tried to silence the melody,
but God kept singing.

And from that empty tomb
came a song of hope
that lives in the heart of every person;
in the heart of every hopeful song.

Rise up this morning
smile with the rising sun.
Three little birds
beside my doorstep.
Singing sweet songs.
A melody pure and true
Saying this is my message to you…ooo..ooo

Saying don’t worry
about a thing.
‘cause every little thing
is gonna be alright.
Saying don’t worry
about a thing.
‘cause every little thing
is gonna be alright.

God made us a promise
that God’s love would never abandon us;
that God’s peace would always be available to us.
God made this promise to our spiritual ancestors,
who journeyed from the garden,
throught the flood
through the desert,
through bondage and liberation
and the valley of dry bones,
through the landscape of Galilee
and the streets of Jerusalem,
and ultimately,
to the grave,
and through the grave
into a new life.

This may seem unbelievable,
but the Easter invitation
is to believe that the unbelievable
is the truest of the true;
that the light of God’s love cannot be silenced,
and that you are part of God’s song.

God’s promise is the perfect melody,
and we are invited to harmonize
by simply being who we are,
who God made us to be,
who we are becoming,
and bringing ourselves fully
to the place where God resides,
which is the heart,
and the world,
and everywhere.

God will teach us how to sing,
like Miriam and her tamborine,
a song of love & joy & freedom…
because that’s God’s job.

Our job is to use our voices,
and our imaginations,
and our creativity,
and to join the risen Christ
in sharing the song of God’s love
with a world that desperately needs to hear it,
and sing it,
and harmonize with it.

Christ was in the tomb,
and all of us with him.
But the tomb is empty now.
Empty with possibility.
Christ is risen.

So don’t worry
about a thing.
Because every little thing
is going to be alright.


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