Sermon by The Rev. Kathy McAdams
April 21, 2019 - Easter Day
St John’s Episcopal Church, Franklin, MA
1 Corinthians 15:19-26
“If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied (1Cor15:19).” Even if you have the most amazing life – a great family, a fabulous job, home, car, vacations, horses; everything you’ve always wanted, if you think that’s all there is, you’re aiming way too low and settling for way too little. Christ was raised from the dead, and therefore; we will be too. All of us. We’re in. We all get to go to heaven. Because Jesus overcame death and the grave. His resurrection gives us that hope that anything is possible with God…and with each other. Like Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and the other Mary, we are called to be witnesses to Resurrection; bearers of hope for our community and the world. But no one wanted to believe these women’s tale, that the Lord had risen from the dead. They found his tomb empty and they went to witness to this miracle, to tell anyone who would listen…but no one would. These women had important news, life-changing news, world-changing news, but no one wanted to hear it. Only Peter was even willing to go out to investigate their unbelievable story, but when he saw the proof – the stone rolled away from the tomb and the grave cloths empty - he didn’t join them in witness; he just went home.
Don’t be like Peter. Now that you know…now that you know that Jesus has given you eternity, that you are free to live your life in the knowledge that you’re going to Heaven, don’t just go home and keep that knowledge to yourself. Let’s share it, if not in words, then in how we live. Let our lives be witnesses to resurrection.
I was taught then when someone gives me a gift, I should say, “Thank you.” So that’s a good start. “Thank you, God, for assuring us all a place in Heaven.” So, if we know where we’re going when we leave this earth, what are we doing while we’re here? How are we supposed to spend our lives? What if, instead of just saying “Thank you,” we put it into action? What if we spend our lives showing God how grateful we are for God’s gift of eternal life? What if we try to make this life, this earth, more like Heaven, to bring the Kingdom of God right here? What if we try to make it more like what God created in the first place – when we walked with God in the Garden of Eden, unafraid and unabashed? What if we believe that God has provided us with everything we need, that the world is bountiful, and there is enough for everyone? Can we do that? Can we share what we have to make sure that everyone has enough? Can we make wars to cease? Can we live in peace, with justice for all? I believe we can, with God’s help…and with each other.
If you’re someone whom we only see on Easter and Christmas, please come around more. Get to know us. Let us get to know you, and take part in the work we are doing here – with the Franklin Food Pantry, with the One Family program, with common cathedral, and maybe you have other ideas for things we can be doing together in this community. Let us witness to each other of Christ’s resurrection. Let us work together to be witnesses to the world. Amen.