the resurrection of our lord
the PRAYER. . .
O God, you gave your only Son to suffer death on the cross for our redemption, and by his glorious resurrection you delivered us from the power of death. Make us die every day to sin, that we may live with him forever in the joy of the resurrection, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
the READING. . .
And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.
the DEVOTION. . .
“This is the way the world ends/ This is the way the world ends/ This is the way the world ends/ Not with a bang but a whimper.” Those are the last lines of a poem by TS Eliot. “The Hollow Men.” And they go against everything hold dear. You see, we love bangs! The bigger the better! We can’t live without ’em! Especially when it comes to the end of the world. Earthquakes! Volcanoes! Tsunamis! Infernos! Asteroids! Nuclear Holocaust! We can’t imagine it any other way! And it’s the same here in the church. Raptures! Armageddons! Lakes of fire! Matthew understands that. So, Easter morning – for him – begins, pretty much, the same way Good Friday ended! With the bang we expect! Earth shaking! Rocks splitting!
But for Mark… and Luke… and John… it doesn’t happen that way. For Mark and Luke and John, there is no earthquake. Instead, Easter begins like Good Friday ended. Not with a bang! Not, even, with a rumble! But with a whisper… and a breath… and a sigh….
Bob Barndt, pastor