Sermons 2006

"He goes before you to Galilee...." Easter B 2006, 16 April, Mark 16:1-8

Home | "Light and Darkness", Christmas 2C, 31 December 2006, John 1:1-18 | Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 2006 | "What then shall we do?", Advent 3C , 17 December 2006, Luke 3:7-18 | "Luke's Gospel", Advent 1C, 3 Dec 2006, Luke 21:25-31 | Which Jesus? Proper 29B 2006, 26 November 2006, John 18:33-37 | Apocalypticism and Fundamentalism, Proper 28B, 19 Nov 2006, Daniel12; Mark 13:14-23 | "The Widow's Mite: All and Everything", Proper 27B, 12 November 2006, Mark 12:38-44 | "The Commandments to love God, Neighbor, One Another" Proper 26B, 5 November 2006, Mark 12:28-34 | "Sight -- and Seeing" Proper 25B, 29 October 2006, Mark 10:46-52 | "Baptism: Overwhelming Washing", Proper 24B, 22 October 2006 Mark 10:35-45 | "God's Transforming Love", Proper 23B, 15 October 2006, Mark 10:17-31 | "Divorce", Proper 22B, 8 February 2006, Mark 10: 2-9 | "Hard Sayings and Sharp Words", Proper 21B, 1 October 2006, Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48 | "First or Last?" Proper 20B, 24 September 2006, Mark 9:30-37 | "Unintended Consequences", Proper 19B, 17 September 2006, Mark 8:27-38 | "Ephphatha! Open up!" Proper 18B, 10 September 2006, Mark 7:31-37 | "Rituals", Proper 17B, 3 September 2006, Deuteronomy 4:1-9; Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 | "Choices." Proper 16B, 30 August 2006, Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-25; John 6:60-69 | "Come to the Table." Proper 15B, 20 August 2006, John 6:53-59 | "Do not be afraid." Proper 12B, 30 July 2006, Mark6:45-52 | "General Convention and Jesus' Compassion", Proper 11B, 23 July 2006, Mark 6: 30-44 | "Basics for the Journey", Proper 10B, 16 July 2006, Mark 6:7-13 | "Jesus and Rejection", Proper 9B, 9 July 2006, Mark 6:1-6 | "Trust, Faith, and Belief" Proper 8B, 2 July 2006, Mark 5:22-43 | "Storms, Fear, and Faith" Proper 7B, 25 June 2006, Mark 4:35-41 | Mighty things from Small, Proper 6B, 18 June 2006, Mark 4:26-34 | Trinity, Pentecost 1, 11 June 2006, Exodus 3:1-6; John 3:1-16 | The King Jesus Fire-Baptized Holy Spirit Church, Pentecost , 4 June, Acts 2:1-11; Jn 20:19-23 | "That they may be one" General Convention 2006, Easter 7B 28 May 2006, John 5:9-15 | "Friends, friendship, and love" Easter 6B, 21 May 2006, John 15:9-17 | Mother's Day, two mothers' love!" Easter 5B, 14 April 2006, John 14:15-21 | "Interesting, this Good Shepherd!" Easter 4B, 7 May 2006, John 10:11-16 | "How do you prove you are alive?", Easter 3B, 30 April 2006, Luke 24:36b-48 | "Do you believe because...." Easter 2B, 23 April 2006, John 20:19-31 | "He goes before you to Galilee...." Easter B 2006, 16 April, Mark 16:1-8 | "Journey into darkness", Palm Sunday B, 9 April 2006. Mark 11:1-11, 14:32-15:47 | "Sir, we would see Jesus!" Lent 5B, 2 April 2006, John 12:20-33 | "Miracles and Faith, Ordinary and Not", Lent 4B 2006, 26 March 2006, John 6:4-15 | "Rage, Rampage, and Outrage", Lent 3B, 19 March 2006, John 2: 13-22 | "Images of the Cross", Lent 2B, 12 March 2006, Mark 8:31-38 | "Baptism, Temptation, Redemption," Lent 1B, 5 March 2005, Mark 1:9-13 | Ash Wednesday , 1 March 2006, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 | ""Nanny McPhee' and transfiguration", Epiphany Last B, Mark 9:2-9 | "Jesus, leprosy, and the law of Moses", Epiphany 6B, 12 February 2006, Mark 1:40-45 | "Healing, wholeness, forgiveness, and love", Epiphany 5B, 5 February 2006, Mark 1:29-39 | "Haints, Unclean spirits, and demons" Epiphany 4B, 22 January 2006, Mark 1:21-28 | Epiphany 3B, 22 January 2006, "God's Call -- and Our Response", Mark 1:14-20 | Epiphany 2B, 15 January 2006, "Call and Response", John 1:43-51 | Epiphany 1B, 8 January 2006, "The Baptism of our Lord -- and Ours", Mark 1:7-11 | The Holy Name, 1 January 2006, Luke 2: 15-21

Easter B 2003 Mark 16:1-8

"He goes before you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you."

I have mentioned on occasion that I failed remedial singing – those who have heard me try to sing know why. While I was in my sacristy this week in the middle of Holy Week, Olivia came in to practice on the piano and loosen the keys. She played Hymn 204, which I failed to complete as a solo in remedial singing! But it is a lovely French Easter Carol:

Now the green blade riseth from the buried grain,
wheat that in dark earth many days has lain;
love lives again, that with the dead has been:
In the grave they laid him, Love whom hate had slain,
thinking that never he would wake again,
laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen:
Forth he came at Easter, like the risen grain,
he that for three days in the grave had lain,
quick from the dead my risen Lord is seen:
When our hearts are wintry, grieving, or in pain,
thy touch can call us back to life again,
fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been:
Love is come again
like wheat that springeth green.

Like many people who write a lot, I kept E.B. White’s Elements of Style close at hand for many years. White was an essayist and an extraordinary writer and user of the English language. White and his wife lived a long life together. She died before him. She died of a terminal wasting illness. He wrote once of the autumn before his wife's death—of the autumn when she was just a shadow of what she had once been. It was an autumn when the ravages of disease and treatment had rendered her weak, haggard, worn. And E. B. White writes how in that autumn he watched her again and again struggle her way out to her flower garden to plant tulip bulbs for the spring that she would never see. And he said of her that she went to her garden to make arrangements for the resurrection. 1
A resurrection that she believed she would soon see. He goes before you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you."

Saint Paul provides the earliest witness tradition of the Christian community's faith that God raised Jesus from the dead. The early church made its way in the world with this faith. And they proclaimed that Christ died for our sins and was buried; Christ was raised from the dead on the third day according to the scriptures, and Christ appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve, then to more than five hundred, then to James, then to all the apostles and finally to Paul. Whatever else is true, the church made its way in the world with this faith: Jesus was dead; but is risen—and of that, we are all witnesses.

And so we proclaim during Holy Communion: Christ has died, Christ IS risen, Christ will come again.

He goes before you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you."

The Easter Gospel in Mark 16:1-8 strikes a somber note for Easter even in the midst of the final revelation Good News of the Resurrection. It pronounces the darkest reality imaginable: and the women flee the empty tomb trembling and astonished and silent for they are afraid. It's an unusual way to end a gospel! With astonished silence and fear. But this may be the best way to end Mark's account since it confronts us with the stark reality of Jesus' death and the early Christian community's initial confusion, dismay and fear. Jesus has been crucified, was dead and buried. Easter cannot eradicate that reality. Easter may vindicate it, but Easter cannot cancel it. Mark 16:1-8 both ends and begins a story, but the next chapter cannot be written until some amazed, frightened, silent women report to the disciples what they have experienced.

In Mark's gospel Easter seems to serve and vindicate Good Friday; the resurrected Lord is the crucified Jesus. The women are not yet beyond their fear. In silence they may whisper what the man clothed in white told them about Jesus' resurrection, but they are not yet confident enough to shout it from the housetops in triumphant joy. They have yet to understand that the full meaning of the Resurrection can be understood only through the Crucifixion.

He goes before you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you." Christ has died, Christ IS risen, Christ will come again.

There is a story about a young man named Martin. Martin's parents owned a cabin up in the mountains where two rivers met. The family went to the cabin to celebrate birthdays and other special occasions. The cabin held many good memories for Martin. It was his own personal "secluded, warm haven." But the devastating flood waters from a winter storm destroyed their cabin. All the trees and plants were gone or dead. Martin’s green paradise was nothing more than a barren mud flat.

He was depressed over the whole experience, trying to understand why it happened. But when he returned in April he was startled. Many of the trees showed signs of life. A bud here. A leaf here. "I was overwhelmed by feelings of joy," he said, "struck by the fact that life was there after all!" The whole world was transformed, resurrected. There was new life everywhere.

Easter is above all about new life--new life in Christ. He goes before you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you." Christ has died, Christ IS risen, Christ will come again.

The resurrection of Jesus remains a mystery and a miracle. It remains a mystery. And always will. The resurrection is also a miracle. Nothing quite like this had ever happened before. (3) A miracle and a promise:

“He goes before you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you." Christ has died, Christ IS risen, Christ will come again.

1. as told by Dr. Carl L. Schenck in There you will see him, InterNet
2. Adapted from Jasper N. Keith, Jr., The Eternal Question,
3. Adapted from Timothy J Smith, With Fear and Great Joy,

Wicomico Parish Church
PO Box 70
Wicomico Church, Virginia 22579