“I have seen the Lord!” John 20.18
Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed. Alleluia!
So goes the Easter acclamation.
Easter is a season of true joy. Many of our members worked hard to enhance our celebration of Easter Sunday, and their efforts are beyond my ability to name in totality. I give thanks for you all: Choir, Altar Guild, Rebecca Circle, Witness, Fellowship and Property Committees. Bravo! And I even grateful for the dedicated servants at both Faith and St. Paul Churches!
The New Testament agrees on these three things about Easter: the tomb of Jesus is empty, a godly messenger explains why, and Mary Magdalene is the first witness of the risen Lord. As for descriptions about resurrection itself, the testimony is all over the map. How can the singular event of human history be captured in a unified explanation? I imagine if quantum physics was known in the first century, we might get different descriptions.
What would remain the same, though, whether we use the ancient knowledge base or contemporary scientific theory to discuss the resurrection, is the impact on the lives of the witnesses. They spent the rest of their lives after Easter telling the story of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. The Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead has been using their witness ever since to gather together communities to experience the new creation that comes from the resurrection.
Life is simply not limited to death. What God does through us has ongoing significance. Faith grasps that it matters for us to be involved in God’s redeeming work. Easter effects how we spend our energy in praise and prayer. The life-giving service we render to others and the community around us becomes our prayer that God’s will be done through us and that it lead others to praise God for the wonders done in the name of Christ.
Opportunities for witnessing to the resurrection abound.
Attend with me the HOPE Nehemiah Action this Monday evening, April 4, St. Lawrence Catholic Church – Higgins Hall, at 5225 Himes Avenue, Tampa, FL 33614, in West Tampa. Sign in is at 6:30 p.m.
Bring food and wish items for the Well by the second Sunday of the month and join us at the Well, 3023 N Florida Ave, on the third Saturday.
I’ll be making my witness in several venues this month, including the ELCA Church Council (on anti-racism), the University of Tampa (life after death), the Interbay Rotary Club (interfaith relations), the Atlantic Institute Abrahamic Table (prayer traditions), and more.
Looking forward, mark your calendar for a Sunday afternoon special on May 1. We will have a re-dedication of the sanctuary upon completion of the restoration by offering a concert recital featuring our own classical pianist Miles Cameron. The afternoon of gratitude will be a benefit for the Well. We want to invite everyone in the community who helped make the restoration of the St. Paul sanctuary possible. Look for details to come. We have a witness to make in Seminole Heights!
Christ is risen!
Pr Russell Meyer