There are two specials ladies in my life, and I’m in love with both of them.
One is my niece Caroline, who is about to be baptized into the other one, the bride
of Christ, Mother Church.
Today Caroline joins us in inheriting the legacy and risen life of Jesus.
In holy baptism, our liturgy explains, our gracious heavenly Father frees us from
sin and death by joining us to the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
His story is now her story, as it is our story.
We are ticketed for trouble and loss and death and life on the other side of it, a
thousand times over in the daily grind here as practice and preparation for the
once more when this all ends.
And God gives us each other to remember not to give up, to keep going, like the brave
women of Easter morning before us.
Before there was church, there was an altar guild.
Early on Sunday the ladies gathered the necessary supplies to do religion right.
They rose early to honor Jesus by anointing his body properly just as soon as sabbath was
over and there was light enough to see.
They were honoring God’s commandments and the best of their burial traditions.
But as so often happens with the faithfully religious, they were not ready for
He is not here, but has risen.
Remember how he told you...
Then they remembered his words, and ... told all this to the eleven and to all the rest ...
But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.
Caroline, I’m warning you now, there is a tendency that runs among among the men in
If a female tells us something, rather than believe her, we run like Peter to check it out for
ourselves, because we silently suspect it is leiros.
Please forgive me for using that word, but Luke used it first.
The translators chose “idle tale” because the Bible marketing department vetoed
the accurate word, which begins with bull and rhymes with twit.
Resurrection sounds like leiros, just like a God who remains deeply in love with the likes
It’s beyond impossible; it’s true.
God loves this messed up world and God loves you fiercely, and in Christ has
flipped the script.
Now we keep dying until we live.
Remember how he told you...
Caroline, when men don’t believe the truth you tell them, remember.
Church, when you can’t find the body and life interrupts your thoughtful religious
Children of God, when you cannot find what you are looking for, remember.
When manageable explodes into chaos, remember.
When you stare into the emptiness and don’t yet recognize it as good news, remember.
When some Maundy Thursday breaks your heart like bread, remember.
When some Good Friday rears its ugly, bloody head, remember.
Wash your face and remember your baptism, Luther taught us.
Remember who and Whose you are.
Remember your future.
Beloved church, when a sanctuary’s doors close for the last time, remember.
Beloved Caroline, when your beautiful blue eyes close for the last time, remember.
Easter is not an idle tale, it’s a destiny.
Easter is not a holiday, it’s a lifestyle choice—a posture of daring hope, a pattern
designed by God and flaunted by faith.
We serve and suffer and die and then we keep going because life wins.
Of course it doesn’t always seem that way.
When—not if, when—it looks or feels like what Uncle Pastor Brian is saying is
complete leiros, remember how Jesus told you...
Look in the water.
Look in the word and the wine.
Look at those scorched California hills, shrouded in soot last fall, that are now so green
and yellow and alive.
Look into the eyes of the miracle who is your neighbor.
Keep looking until you remember.