SERMONS

Christ is Risen! Alleluia! Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!

I was catching up with my old friend Mary Ellen not long ago. She’s one of those friends, you know the kind - who know you so well and who you know so well that no matter how much time passes it’s like you’re picking up right where you left off.

It’s time to let it all go.
It’s time to let everything go.

It’s time to let go of our worries and our fears and our guilt. It’s time to let go of selfishness and greed. It’s time to let go of anger and impatience, but it’s also time to let go of our need to be right and judging others who think differently than us. It’s time to let go of trying to get things perfect and it’s time to let go of blaming ourselves, and others, for not being perfect. It’s time to let go of our families and friends, our church community and all the communities of which we are a part.

Tonight we begin the Triduum, or worship in three parts over three days that is Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. We have, with God’s help, moved along our Lenten journey of God bringing us home again to Christ. Here, tonight, we are gathered with Jesus’ other disciples as the Master humbles himself to wash our feet.

There is nothing more important than the gift of faith that God in Christ makes possible through the cross.

The “Hosannas” of Palm/Passion Sunday, which do so quickly change to cries of “Crucify him, crucify him!” remind us of humanities basic changeability, yet they are but a backdrop to the permanence and eternal and enduring love of Christ that so patiently and persistently fulfills God’s promise of grace and mercy by climbing to the cross and going to the grave.

One of my fellow pastors here in the Hudson Conference of the Metropolitan New York Synod, Pastor Paul Britton, recently told us a story about a young boy receiving Holy Communion for the first time. As this boy received God’s gift of grace in the body and blood of Jesus, he beamed with joy and then turned and skipped exuberantly back to his seat. Pastor Paul wondered aloud, after telling this story, if, as Christians desiring to be reverent with the precious and holy gift of Holy Communion, we sometimes become overly earnest and serious and forget to let God help us experience the light-hearted joy of knowing that we have been fed and freed by the living Christ.