Here’s My Question – An Easter Sermon On Mark 16:1-18

Easter Sunday – Mark 16:1-8

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

I wonder what that means for you today and why it matters. I don’t think we can understand what today really means apart from this past week. Without Holy Week we risk coming to this day and asking, “Risen from what?” We risk coming to this day believing it is only about Jesus’ resurrection and not our own. And what good is it to us if Jesus has been raised but we have not?

There is no Easter without Holy Week and Holy Week is about more than what happens each day in the church. It’s about what’s happening in your life every day That’s why throughout the past week I began each day’s sermon by saying, “Here’s my question.” And then I would ask a question that I hope tied our life to that particular day of Holy Week. 

  • Here’s my question from Monday. “In what ways are you fragrancing the life of others?” I was asking about those times we love without reserve, completely pour ourselves out onto another, and those times we hold back because the risk or cost of loving is more than we’re willing to pay. 
  • Here’s my question from Tuesday. “What troubles your soul today? What is the hour from which you want to be saved?” With those questions we faced our own mortality and considered that maybe death doesn’t follow life, but life follows death.
  • Here’s my question from Wednesday. “In what ways have you been the betrayer? Whom have you betrayed? And how did that happen?” We faced our betrayals of Jesus and others, and how each betrayal begins with a betrayal of ourselves. 
  • Here’s my question from Maundy Thursday. “What in you needs to come clean tonight? And what is your fear about that?” We looked at the ways our self-worth has been contaminated, and we imagined coming clean and reclaiming our full worth, dignity, and original beauty.
  • Here’s my question from Good Friday. “What is the cross of Jesus asking for in your life today? And what is it showing you?” I wondered if the cross might be a sign exposing and condemning human violence, calling each of us to speak truth to power in our lives.
  • Here’s my question from Holy Saturday. “What are you waiting for? And what is your hope on this day?” I was asking about those tragic days when our life has been forever changed, the door to our future has been shut and sealed, and we wait.

Those and a thousand others like them are the questions of Holy Week, the questions we come with today. I wonder what other questions, experiences, hopes, and sorrows you bring this day.

I will offer you no answers. I didn’t during Holy Week and I won’t today. I have no answers for you or myself. All I can offer you today is the empty tomb. 

“He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him,” the young man told the women. The very large stone had been rolled back, not so Jesus could get out but so we could see in. 

The empty tomb is not an answer to the questions or circumstances you bring this day. It is a response. It is an opening to a new beginning, a fresh start, an unimagined possibility. 

Whatever the circumstances of your life are today, whatever has been done or left undone, whatever has or has not happened to you, the empty tomb prevents the present from closing in on you, from closing you up. It promises the possibility of something new and the chance of something different. It is the invitation to transform your life, to be different, to live differently.

The empty tomb opens the door to your future, to life and more life. What do you see when you imagine that new life? I want you to picture this new life in very tangible and fleshy terms. Where is it? Who is there? What does it look like? What does it feel like? What does it taste like? What does it sound like? What does it smell like? That’s your resurrection.

And if it’s difficult to imagine your new life then look over there at Sonora, that little one who in a few moments will be baptized into this new life. What is the best life, the best future, your could wish, hope, and pray for her? That’s resurrection. That’s the empty tomb.

You got it? You know what your new life is? I wonder what you might need to do today to step through the opening of the empty tomb and start living your new life. The tomb is empty. The door is open. The time has come.

Alleluia. Christ is risen. 

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

Yes, but here’s my question. From what are you risen?

____________________
Holy Week 2021
+ Palm Sunday: Working Out Our Life
+ Monday in Holy Week: Fragrancing Life
+ Tuesday in Holy Week: What Troubles Your Soul?
+ Wednesday in Holy Week: The Night Of Betrayal
+ Maundy Thursday: Coming Clean About Ourselves
+ Good Friday: A Call For Change
+ Holy Saturday: Waiting

2 thoughts on “Here’s My Question – An Easter Sermon On Mark 16:1-18

  1. Thank you, Rev. Michael for the encouragement of asking questions. Now I will consider, over the next few days, what my personal questions might be. Thank you for setting the stage for this spiritual adventure. Peace, Jerry

    Liked by 1 person

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