(Posted April 2, 2016)
Coming back from the empty tomb we’ve learned: Jesus has gone ahead of us, into the City to spread the good news. The good news is Easter isn’t just one day and it’s over; the fight against our own eternal death has been won for us for every day from here to Eternity.
However, as we left church this week, we too, “returned to the city” – the city of obligations, problems, jobs and bills. How will we ever find Easter joy in our daily lives?
Well, just as we were instructed not to look for the living among the dead when we sought out Jesus, that same advice applies in our post-Easter journey. Jesus is not to be found in the news story of adults trampling children to snatch all the candy in an Easter Egg Hunt. That was a display of moral zombies seeking what they could devour. It took place in the graveyard of a terminal disease called Greed.
"May Peace Prevail on Earth"
Instead, we need to seek him among the living. You don’t need to look very far. This Saturday our Confirmation youth will go with me to the World Peace Society in Wassaic, N.Y., to see the place that Peace Poles are made and learn how concentrating on the concept of peace can help people find ways to make peace show up in their own lives. Starting this Sunday, our kids will raising money from a raffle they have designed. (And just plain contributions as well.) The winning ticket will get a big bucket of cash, and the money the kids raise will allow them to get an eight foot tall Peace Pole, inscribed in eight languages and Braille, with the words “May Peace Prevail on Earth.” It will be installed outside our church and can be brought inside in the winter to be mounted on a stand as a teaching tool. Any money raised, about the $200 needed for the pole and installation, will go into a Youth Group bank account. Our Confirmation class is the beginning of First Church’s new youth group.
Live Raptors on April 10
And still the Easter message journeys on. On April 10, after Church, we will host a special presentation “On Eagle’s Wings” down in the gymnasium. An early Earth Day, presentation, we will be visited by a show of live owls, hawks, and a bald eagle – all of whom have been nursed back from the brink of death to a new life by the dedicated staff of Horizons Raptor Rehabilitation. It’s free and open to the public, so we hope you’ll bring your friends to introduce them to the joy and hope that is our intended life at First Church.
A Trail of Kindness
Finally, if you need more evidence that Jesus walks ahead of us leaving a trail of kindness, I recommend the story about a thoughtful Ohio postal worker who knew that there was a teenager with special needs on her mail route. He had sent a note to the Easter Bunny about how much he wanted a guitar at Goodwill. Garrett McGrevy was surprised to find in his mailbox a return letter from “the Bunny Village” with a bag of easter jelly beans attached to the letter. This was a small act of kindness, but one that brought Garrett a wave of hope about that guitar. So, if you need an Easter lift, please visit this ABC news story.
Let us all rejoice that Christ is risen, and is walking with us in our kindness toward one another. – Pastor Pat Kriss