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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

No Longer and Not Yet

The story is the same story we’ve told for two thousand years.  If there is anything new to be heard, it will be because we are ready to hear it.

The tomb is empty. And all of the disciples are left amazed – and wondering what’s going on.  Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, Peter and all the rest of them find themselves in a place where their understanding and experience of life up to this point is no longer true but they are not yet sure what will take it’s place. 

Jesus’ empty tomb is the quintessential "no longer" place– Death is to be feared no longer. 

The amazement of the disciples is the quintessential "not yet" place– the potential and possibility of encountering and experiencing the life giving presence of God in the Risen Christ anytime, anywhere and in anybody – including themselves.

But, what does this all mean for you and me?  Is resurrection just about going to someplace called heaven after we die, or is there something else?

Perhaps the real question is – do you fear dying? How many times have you imagined your own death, or literally been fearful for your life?  Most of us have. And if you haven’t perhaps you need to take some time and imagine the world without you in it. 

The empty tomb gives each of us the freedom to just go ahead and die – get it over with – so we can go about living the fullness of this amazing thing we call life.

The empty tomb of Easter is a reminder of the countless moments of our lives when all that has gone before is no longer and all that lies ahead is not yet.

Without the fear of death – what remains?   Freedom, Potential, and Possibility. The not yet of resurrection waits to be lived and told by each and every one of us. 

It’s the same story it has always been, but it is not over and never will be. The Risen Christ waits ... inviting us into the not yet of our lives.

Today's message is excerpted from my sermon "The No Longer and Not Yet of Easter" given this past Easter Sunday. 

You can hear the entire sermon here.

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