An excerpt from Terry's sermon on Easter Sunday...
In a conversation with a Mentor, Carolyn Baker, this week we spoke of Life and Death…
"What does Easter mean to you?" Carolyn asked.
I was a bit surprised by my answer, "I have no idea." Really a confession of sorts.
In that moment something opened up in me, some wind blew through my heart, that that was less about an idea or an understanding and more about a feeling…
It was a relief to remember that resurrection cannot be contained in our minds!
Evangelical or Progressive, faithful church goer or 'C&E" Christmas and Easter worshippers, you will never be able to get you minds around resurrection.
Wether you study the Bible or the Wall Street journal you will never comprehend the mystery that LIFE conquers death, Good vanishes evil, one crucified risen from the grave.
So, what does easter mean to me? I have't the faintest idea. Or to put it another way, "All my ideas, in fact the sum total of all humanity's thoughts, and conjectures, about resurrection are but a faint shadow of the vast mystery of Jesus Christ Risen form the dead.
It is time, that we, "People of the Book" lift our head from it's pages get out of the book and into our bodies.
If we want to make sense of Easter we need to get out of the confines of our craniums and open to the story our bodies know in a much deeper way.
As long as we stay in our heads, in our faint understanding of the mystery of resurrection, we'll not be able to join the story. Settling for mere thinking about it, and analyzing it, and judging it, it will remain a story, a tradition, instead of a life altering encounter.
In order to feel the story we need to wake up to our the wisdom of our bodies… That requires is to slow and soften and let go a bit.
It is no secret that slowness remembers and hurry forgets;
that softness remembers and hardness forgets;
that surrender remembers and fear forgets. (Mark Nepo)
In a way it's no surprise that Mark's ending to the gospel story ends so sharply: "So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid." We've had 2000 to ponder the story… and still we too run away from it at the same pace of those women on that first Easter morning...
So let's pause in these few moments to see if we can touch, feel, sense the power of resurrection…
1. Resurrection grounds us in the reality of connection to our humanity… to creation… to the larger story.
Feel the weight of your body… solid pew holding you… feel your feet on the floor… and underneath this earth.
2. Resurrection opens us up to what has already begun…
Feel the breath… In and out… Is this also God's breath… spirit, life
Held and loved… ready for new life… what does that feel like?
3. Resurrection opens our minds and hearts to the vast mystery of the Universe… 14 billion years… evolution of beauty and complexity … we get to be a part of that ….
Feel: Awe and wonder… like open expansive
4. Now feel the Spirit of the Risen Christ as he invites you to surrender all that holds you back… all the grasping… all that seems to stand between you and LOVE… if even for this moment.
Feel the surrender, falling into like release… Stay there for a moment… Remember this feeling when you leave this place…
5. Now open up to the power of the resurrection that propels us into the world with the good news… Feel the surging energy of purpose
May we know… that the same spirit that raised Christ from the Dead gives life to our bodies… these bodies… not only some future resurrected body … but these bodies… this flesh, this heart beat, this breath, this tingling sensation.
It is these bodies who will carry this feeling into the world …clap… dance… sing….
When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer
BY WALT WHITMAN
When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.
I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.
The conversations we have and the words we use shape our perception of what is real. What we habitually tell ourselves and others about the nature of reality profoundly influences the quality of our lives and relationships. The recital of our script or personal narratives happens often at an unconscious level. It is time to open up our minds and hearts to consider replacing outmoded ways of thinking and living with inspiring, fresh ideas that have the power to hold the Wind of change that is sweeping our lives.
“We cannot live in a world that is not our own, in a world that is interpreted for us by others. An interpreted world is not a home. Part of the terror is to take back our own listening, to use our own voice, to see our own light.” ~ Hildegarde of Bingen