A digital version of this week’s worship bulletin and sermon.

Gathering

PRELUDE

GREETING

Thanksgiving for Baptism

GATHERING HYMN         “Now All the Vault of Heaven Resounds”     red book # 367

KYRIE                                                                                           red book page 184 (set 8)

Canticle of Praise                                                               red book page 169 (set 6)

PRAYER of the DAY

Word

ACTS 10:34–43

PSALM 118:1–2, 14–24

1 CORINTHIANS 15:19–26

LUKE 24:1–36

SERMON                                                                                         Pastor Chris Halverson

There is a cartoon making its rounds on-line that I just love.

Two earnest looking evangelists—red ties, clean shaven, well groomed—you know the type

They come to a woman’s house and ask her, “Have you found Jesus.”

And, you notice, off to the side, behind her living room curtainJesus hiding

His sandaled toes peeking out from under these pink drapes,

His iconic white robe and long hair just barely noticeable behind her curtain.

It’s like he’s playing hide-and-go-seek with the evangelists…

 

This isn’t the only time Jesus played hide-and-seek.

In today’s gospel the women at the tomb and Peter try to find Jesus,

and Cleopas and his friends succeed in finding Jesus.

 

And today, on this Easter Sunday in 2013, we still play hide-and-seek with Jesus. And it’s worth asking, where do we find the risen Christ?

Where do we find the risen Christ?

Prayer

 

Where do we find the risen Christ?

The women first look for him in a logical place… the tomb.

It is clearly the last place they laid him. And for that matter, they weren’t looking for the risen Christ, they were looking for a body to anoint with ointment and spice.

The women are looking for a body and Cleopas and company are looking at a stranger—not the savior.

The women are looking for Christ at his tomb—or as the men in dazzling raiment will say, they are “looking for the living among the dead.”

And that’s easy enough to do—look for Christ among the dead, in the past, in the dust bin of history.

We can look to him and find only ancient history which no longer applies to today, looking so far backward that we don’t notice him right next to us.

Or we can look to him and find only easy Sunday School answers/ or Confirmation answers

which we’ve not thought about, or reflected upon, since we were teens or since we were young children.

Our seventeen year old self had it all figured out,

so the more complex Christ/the deeper Jesus,

who calls to us,

must be an imposter.

 

Then the women go, and tell their story to the disciples.

And, maybe because it was the ancient world and women were considered unreliable witnesses—even the gaggle of at least five of them who we find at the tomb

or maybe, just because the disciples aren’t looking for Jesus—they don’t know they are playing hide-and-seek and should be saying “ready or not here I come.”

Or maybe, just because it is such an incredible claim—one that should fill us with perplexity and amazement

Whatever the reason—their response to the women is to hear this message, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, crucified, and has risen again

Their response is that they hear it as an idle tale—an Idle tale.

And maybe today you are hearing it in the same way.

It is simply words on a page.

It is simply a story told by unreliable witnesses

It is simply a good story, perhaps too good to be true, or even too fanciful to be believed.

Yes, maybe today you don’t look for the Resurrected Jesus,

don’t at least peek behind the living room curtain

because it seems an idle tale.

 

And that’s okay

after all we should be rightly stunned, amazed, perplexed, even terrified,

when we realize he really is hidden behind that curtain.

Stunned, amazed, perplexed, terrified,

especially because we rarely find the resurrected Christ—he finds us—he finds us.

 

Take for example the very word find

the Greek word we have before us today, about finding the rolled away stone, can carry a sense of “an unexpected surprise.”

I may have told this one before—but according to legend—Archimedes, an ancient Greek scientists, was once asked to determine if a crown was pure gold, or gold mixed with silver.

He thought and thought for days and days about how he could possibly find an answer to this question.

To determine what metal it was made from he needed to be able to find it’s density, but he couldn’t just melt the crown down to do so… because then you have a melted crown, and what good is that?

Then, one day, Archimedes plopped into his bathtub—and the water rose and ran down the side…

And that was when he found that submersing the crown into a tub of water could tell him the volume of the crown, and from the volume he could calculate out its density.

And he was so excited he rose from the water and ran through his house naked and wet shouting “Eureka! Eureka!” That is “I’ve found it, I’ve found it.”

 

Don’t you see?

He didn’t find anything new—but suddenly, that which had always been true—water rising in a bathtub as a way to measure volume—came to him in an unexpected and surprising way.

He found it—but not really,

instead he was struck with the truth of what was already there.

 

To say it a little differently, Jesus came out from behind the curtain and said boo!

 

And when we ask the question “Where do we find the risen Christ?” it is instructive to look at where Jesus does show up—where he is found—where he finds us—in today’s gospel.

 

He finds us on the Road to Emmaus.

He finds us when two of us are walking to Emmaus.

We shouldn’t be surprised—after all he promised to show up where two or three are gathered in his name. He shows up there in a small community of a couple—Cleopas and another—discussing his life and his dead.

 

He finds us as well, when we run into someone who doesn’t know the story about Jesus that we are sharing with one another—so we proclaim it to him—and in doing that we remember him

we remember him

putting back together our memories again, our community again, and our lives again.

He finds us in our remembering for another.

 

He finds us in scripture too.

He finds us as he explains from beginning to end the word of God—telling the story of God’s actions for our sake—like we did last night at Easter Vigil.

 

He finds us, when we invite the stranger into our house

he finds us in our unpretentious moment of service to a stranger,

taking him off the weary Emmaus road, because it’s nearly evening—he finds us in our welcome to a guest.

 

He finds us where, he promised to show up, where he commanded us to do this in remembrance of Him.

That is he finds us at table.

He finds us as we bless and break bread together.

 

Finally, he finds us as we put all these pieces together—when we finally shout for joy “The Lord has risen indeed.”

 

I told you all last week—in our weird, reverse order service that followed the story of the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem with Palms and all the way to the Passion of Christ—

You remember right—the very first thing we did was share the peace and you all were a little weirded-out by shaking hands so soon in the service

 

Well I told you that the normal order of service we do most every week—followed the story of next week’s readings—well next week is this week—Emmaus is here.

In our gathering together in a community shaped by Christ’s story,

in our sharing this good news,

in our reading of scripture and relating it to the world in which we live,

in our invitation to others as guests,

in our eating together the blessed meal of Holy Communion,

and in our eager Easter shouts of “he has risen,”

we live this resurrection of Christ.

 

Here gathered together we find an answer to the question: Where do we find the risen Christ?

Here Jesus steps out from behind the curtain and says “tag your turn to hide.”

Here we leap from the bathtub shouting Eureka—because we found our answer by being found.

 

Christ has risen! He has risen indeed—alleluia!

HYMN of the DAY                      “Christ Is Risen! Alleluia!”                      red book # 382

NICENE CREED

PRAYERS of INTERCESSION

PEACE

Meal

OFFERING

OFFERTORY ANTHEM                           “Glorious Morning”

GREAT THANKSGIVING

LORD’S PRAYER

COMMUNION SONG

          “Let There Be Peace on Earth”  also red # 474, red # 384, red # 379

Sending

BLESSING

SENDING SONG                       “ Jesus Christ Is Risen Today”                   red book # 365

ANNOUNCEMENTS

ANTHEM            “The Lord is Risen This Morning”             Nancy Price & Don Besig

DISMISSAL

POSTLUDE

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