Beloved Members and Friends of St. Martin’s,
Do you remember a time when things seemed the very darkest, when a crisis was upon you that seemed to be inescapable? How did you get through it? Have you ever had that kind of experience, and then been delivered from that distress through an unimaginable gift? The followers of Jesus have been through days or unimaginable grief, and when the women go to the tomb, they see the last thing they would expect: the stone is rolled away, the graveclothes are lying empty, and the body is gone!
But we do not see the resurrection itself. Did Jesus awaken and arise, groping his way out of the dark like Lazarus probably did? We cannot know. What matters is that Jesus is risen! The tomb could not hold Jesus; DEATH could not hold Jesus.
Tonight we celebrate the Great Vigil of Easter. We start with the kindling of the new fire, and the lighting of the Paschal (Easter) candle, which signifies the light of God in the world. We then process into the church by candlelight, hearing ancient chants and the story of God’s redeeming work in the world. Then the lights come up—and we celebrate the first Easter liturgy after the long 40 days of Lent. There will be some refreshments after this service. Then Sunday, we celebrate again the glorious resurrection of our Savior, and join together for one of Julia’s wonderful brunches, and set the kids loose on an Easter egg hunt. And then we settle into the Great Fifty Days of Easter.
The Lord is risen indeed! There is a reason why the season of Easter lasts 7 weeks. Our story is not over yet in the gospels. He lives!