Note: This series is based on the 1970 rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, by Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice.
This Sunday is Easter Sunday! We will have many ways of celebrating the day including a sunrise service with our neighbors from The Water’s Edge in Ocean Beach, a fundraiser pancake breakfast, our traditional services including a brass quintet, and an Easter egg hunt for children. (Note: Find a full schedule here.)
To me, much of this feels like the fanfare that we might expect from the horns we’ll hear on Easter morning. It’s like the herald of something even better and more amazing. And just like the brass, it’s not that any of these things are somehow unworthy or inherently not-good-enough. It’s that the core of Easter just can’t be topped!
Jesus is risen! Hallelujah! Death isn’t the end! Love doesn’t die!
Luke 24:1-12 (CEB)
1Very early in the morning on the first day of the week, the women went to the tomb, bringing the fragrant spices they had prepared. 2They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they went in, they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4They didn’t know what to make of this. Suddenly, two men were standing beside them in gleaming bright clothing. 5The women were frightened and bowed their faces toward the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6He isn’t here, but has been raised. Remember what he told you while he was still in Galilee, 7that the Human One must be handed over to sinners, be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” 8Then they remembered his words. 9When they returned from the tomb, they reported all these things to the eleven and all the others. 10It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles. 11Their words struck the apostles as nonsense, and they didn’t believe the women. 12But Peter ran to the tomb. When he bent over to look inside, he saw only the linen cloth. Then he returned home, wondering what had happened.
Consider these questions:
- Reading Luke’s telling of the resurrection story, notice that Jesus doesn’t appear in this section of the text at all. Yet even in his absence he is clearly the focus of the text. Do you think it’s possible to focus your spiritual life on Jesus even without seeing him?
- Who else stands out to you in this section of the text? Is it the women who were going to anoint Jesus? Is it the gleaming figures in bright clothing? Is it Peter? Why?
- Peter runs to the tomb. In the Gospel of John, there’s even a footrace! What compels you about your spirituality that would cause you to run or race (either in body or in spirit)?
Post-Worship Update on 4/23
Audio from the sermon can be heard below, and video can be found at this link (will open in a new tab).
Easter Worship was filled with joy and light – and more than a few new faces! Did you meet anyone new? Have you kept in touch?
In our Resurrection exploration, we discussed some of the pop-culture examples of a return to life from death. With the latest Avengers movie due out this week and the new Star Wars movie due at the end of the year, many fans are naturally wondering which heroes will be returning.
But when we put our heroes on pedestals, whether that would be movie heroes or our Christ and Messiah, we can sometimes forget the journey that brought them to those moments of triumph. But our heroes have origin stories that are the beginning of their respective journeys. Our Christ journeyed toward his moment of triumph at resurrection.
So when we understand that all of us have origins and journeys, when we understand that we may be headed toward our own moments of transformation or even triumph, we may also come to understand that we do not journey alone. As fellow sojourners together, dear friends, we can be heroes too.
Consider these questions:
- Who is/are your hero(es)? Why? Do you know their origin or their journey? Was does this tell you?
- What has been your journey? How has it changed you? What’s your spiritual origin, and where do you think it’s taking you?
- Have there been moments that have been particularly challenging where you were able to make it to the other side? How was this made possible? How has this experience affected/changed you?