“For the Church does not exist just to transmit a message across the centuries through a duly constituted hierarchy that arbitrarily lays down what people must believe; it exists so that people in this and every century may encounter Jesus of Nazareth as a living contemporary. This sacrament of Holy Communion that we gather to perform here is not the memorial of a dead leader, conducted by one of his duly authorized successors who controls access to his legacy; it is an event where we are invited to meet the living Jesus as surely as did his disciples on the first Easter Day. And the Bible is not an authorized code of a society managed by priests and preachers for their private purposes, but the set of human words through which the call of God is still uniquely immediate to human beings today, human words with divine energy behind them. Easter should be the moment to recover each year that sense of being contemporary with God’s action in Jesus. Everything the church does – celebrating Holy Communion, reading the Bible, ordaining priests and bishops – is meant to be in the service of this contemporary encounter. It all ought to be transparent to Jesus, not holding back or veiling his presence.” – Rowan Williams, Choose Life: Christmas and Easter Sermons in Canterbury Cathedral (London: Bloomsbury, 2013), 145-46.
My colleague Joshua Coutts, Assistant Professor of New Testament at Providence Theological Seminary, was invited to record an Easter message for the congregation of Fourth Avenue Bible Church in Niverville, Manitoba. His meditation based on Romans 8:18-25 proclaims the reality of the resurrection amid our current global struggle with COVID-19. You can view it here.
Last Easter Sunday I had the privilege of celebrating the resurrection with the Church of Pentecost in Winnipeg. Overseer Gabriel Addo-Asante has shared with me a recording of my sermon. In some ways, we find ourselves, just a year later, in a much different space. In other ways, though, it is the same world: God’s good creation marred by Sin, held in captivity to Death, redeemed in Christ’s cross, awaiting the final revelation of the children of God.
The following is an excerpt from John Chrysostom’s (whose name literally means “golden-mouthed”) Easter homily (ca. 400) that has been permanently embedded into the Pascha liturgy of the Eastern churches. Continue reading A Golden-Mouthed Proclamation of the Resurrection
A Guest Post by Robyn Elliott
This is the thirteenth in a series of posts engaging with the sermons in Leaps of Faith: Sermons from the Edge. This post is a reflection upon an Easter sermon entitled “Early on the First Day of the Week . . .” (pp. 125-132). The Scriptural text for the sermon was John 20:1-18. Continue reading “Early on the First Day of the Week . . .”