Sermon for Easter Vigil 2019
“Peter got up and ran…”
In the name of One God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Movement is a pretty amazing thing when you begin to think about it. The fact is, we each move through our lives, with little to no thought about it. We reach for something, we walk across a room, we embrace someone, we exercise, the number of things that we do is endless in any given day. And yet it is not so for all people. There are those whose lives are marked by great effort in trying to do the things that they might have once taken for granted.
And then there are those who are still learning how to use their bodies and discovering the great joy of effortless motion. You only need to watch a toddler walk or usually run recklessly, resulting in a spectacular fall; a small child learning to play catch and to throw a ball, only to have it go in the opposite direction they intended; or that middle school student who is going through a growth spurt, as they run or dance or just try to walk gracefully down a school hallway, feeling the whole time like their body is just not doing what it suppose to do. All of these individuals, are perhaps more aware of what movement takes, as they are discovering how their body works, and how they might move through their lives and through the world around them.
Movement is at the heart of the story of God and God’s people. As we gathered in the dark church, with candle light, we heard that from the very beginning God was active. Even in the midst of a formless void, indeed out of nothing, the movement of God brought forth all that is. If this does not move us to awe and wonder, we need to take another look. The story of God’s movement is told to us throughout the scriptures, we have heard them read, we have perhaps scoured them ourselves, and studied them in community, and yet perhaps we have missed some of the most important elements. Perhaps we have missed that God is active.
In each of our lessons this night, we heard recounted that God is moving, not just that God once moved, long ago in a far off place. No the scriptures are alive, the stories are active in our midst today, and we discover that the Word of God is alive and moving in our lives and in our world, right now. Their is a historical element to the text, but scripture is living and active. It invites us to consider our own lives in the context of a moving story; a story that is always moving toward God, and God’s kingdom.
The story of creation is one that we can see played out over and over again, in the process of birth and rebirth all around us. God invites us to share in this creative movement: to plant, to nurture and to steward the world around us. It is not just to stand in awe of, but to be an active participant in the process of life unfolding all around us. We must allow ourselves to be swept up into this story, this narrative of life, of abundance and of all things being made good.
The scriptures remind us though too, that humanity and indeed each of us, have not always moved with God. The scripture call us to remember the times and places where we and indeed our societies, clubs, schools, houses of worship and indeed all that humanity has created and touched is marked by moments of selfishness and avarice. We are invited to realize that we need God’s movement in our lives, and in our world. We are invited to realize that it is in God’s movement that we come to see the world, each other, and our very selves as we were made to be: good.
And this night, this most holy of nights, we are reminded that in the moments we may fall victim to the terror of the uncertainty that God is still moving, or that God is even there at all, we are invited to go. We are invited to get up and run, like Peter, to discover again all around us, the movement of God. We are invited to encounter the resurrected Christ tonight, tomorrow, each day we are given. We invited to encounter Christ in the movement of God in our world, in our neighbors, and in our very selves.
We are invited to see that faith means that we must do something. That we must go.
And so my friends, may we get up and run, may we go into the world, seeking Christ in one another, recognizing the movement God in the world around us, and knowing deeply the hope that comes from its experience. Go my friends. Go.