Thursday, April 13, 2017

Christ Is Risen! There Is Good News To Share!

Good news, oh, the chariot's coming

Good news, the chariot's coming,

Yeah, I don't want to be behind. (Spiritual)

Dear sisters and brothers, this is one happy preacher writing this story. Why? Because good news is coming soon! It's coming in the morning! Easter Sunday morning!

Sunday morning I will stand before the faithful, and a few who haven't been so faithful, and announce: "I have good news to share!" The economy is still hurting, health insurance is unaffordable, the world seems to be on the brink of war, but I have good news to share. In spite of sickness, tragedy, natural disasters and suffering, I have good news to share. The world is full of evil and hatred, wars continue to escalate, terrorism lurks in the shadows, but I have good news to share. The good news will reverberate from coast to coast, nation to nation, ocean to ocean, and continent to continent. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

I've always been excited about Easter. One of my earliest childhood memories is sitting with my dad on Easter Sunday on a folding chair on the front porch of the sanctuary because there was no more room inside. I vividly remember the bright Easter sun, the singing birds and the blooming flowers announcing the good, glad, glorious news of the resurrection much more powerfully and creatively than our pastor; bless his dear heart, who was droning away inside the building.

When I was called to my first church I learned that I would not be preaching on Easter Sunday. Dear Miss Louise, bless her dear heart, she had been the music director at our church since the Reformation.  She informed me that Easter Sunday was reserved for the annual Easter cantata. In the spirit of the Reformation I started to protest, but she, in the spirit of the Inquisition, told me that all of those people who came to church on Easter didn't want to be bored with a silly sermon. No sir! It was an Easter cantata they wanted and an Easter cantata they would get.

I cried that Easter Sunday. People thought I was moved by the cantata, but I was crying because I thought I would have to move in order to preach an Easter sermon. But the good Lord must have heard my cries because a couple of years later he moved Miss Louise. Bless her dear heart, he sent the chariot for her and I knew that good news was coming.

For my first Easter sermon I went out and bought a stunning, three-piece polyester light blue suit with matching patent leather blue shoes that shined so much you could see yourself in the reflection. I worked up a mighty fine Easter sermon and generously applied the Old Spice to drown out the Easter lilies and some hair tonic to doctor up my hair. (The light blue suit, the blue shoes, the sermon, and my hair have all disappeared, but I think I still have the Old Spice.)

I was so excited I barely slept Saturday night, but the next morning, Easter Sunday, I stood in the pulpit looking like an Easter egg and smelling like a barber shop, but just as happy as I could be. I couldn't tell you what I said, but I had good news to share.

As people sniffed the air and looked quizzically at my blue outfit, they told me it was a good sermon. After locking all the doors to the church I walked out into the bright Easter sun, heard the birds singing, saw the flowers blooming and I realized that all creation was announcing the good, glad, glorious news of the resurrection much more powerfully and creatively than I ever could, bless my dear heart.

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! That's good news to share!

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