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This morning, little Elly got baptized and we remembered who we are and whose we are. By water and the Holy Spirit we are made members of the church, the body of Christ, and joined to Christ’s ministry of love, peace and justice.
Next Sunday we will hold a congregational meeting – another sacramental moment when we show who we are and whose we are, and in a very practical way we figure out in community where God is calling us at this time; as we consider our holy work.
Easy as 1,2,3The three lessons for today speak of God’s creative power, the love and peace of Jesus Christ, and the blessing of the Holy Spirit to go forth and spread good news. You and I who are living in the midst of time trust that God is at the beginning and at the end of the age – and Paul’s admonition to us is to live in community… we are not alone in this age and the next. That is good news indeed.
I’m very excited to be here – but to be honest, I’m also a little scared. You see, I was taught from a very early age that it was more important to think about what I want to say than say it; it was more valuable to listen than to speak. No wonder I spend my day in a hospital listening. No wonder figuring out what I want to say has been a struggle.
Let me recast this scene in Acts: Jesus is with his disciples moments before he ascends into the clouds. You would think that the disciples would be “down” with what is happening. But the disciples are still thinking small, “Lord is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?”
Jeremiah 29: 11; 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8; Joshua 1: 9; and Romans 8: 28-29 were chosen by the Confirmands for today’s reflection.
I understand that your parents/sponsors have written you a letter – that is wonderful. And I have been reading Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. It’s a letter he wrote to his son about what it is like to live in this world. So I decided to write you a short letter – longer than a post card, longer than a Tweet…but shorter than a sermon – sharing with you what I want you to know.
As I sat down to study today’s Gospel Lesson in preparation for this sermon, a song began to play in my head and wouldn’t stop. See if you can identify the name of the song and the larger body of work from which it comes:
There is a lot happening around here these days. I have more weddings this summer than ever before and more babies are being born (I guess that kind of still goes hand in hand, no?) People graduating, and moving, and getting new jobs. And on the more sobering side, more people facing surgery, loneliness… change.
Yesterday, my husband took my yellow dress to the dry cleaners. And he went up to the counter and very proudly told the person at the counter, “My wife’s preaching tomorrow. Can I have this pressed?” And some man yelled out, “Man, you better stop her!”
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Happy Easter. Welcome again to you all – this is a good day to be together. It is a good day to celebrate life and hope and the mystery of resurrection; to proclaim, anew, the core of Christian faith—Life wins! Love wins!