Low Sunday Misnomer

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2 Easter 2017

I Peter 1:3-9; John 20:19-31

Celebrate today the sounds of resurrection

where truth is mocked

and violence glorified.

Shout out for joy

an Easter song of freedom

in every place where love is crucified.

Christ is arisen.

He is risen indeed.  Alleluia!

This Sunday, the 2nd Sunday

of the Easter season

is often named ‘Low Sunday’.

The Easter hymns have been sung

(well, not quite)

the eggs hidden among the grasses and bushes

of hundreds of homes and churches

have all been found.

And the Christmas and Easter folks

have done their religious duty

until next December.

But there is nothing ‘low’ about this Sunday.

We are still in resurrection season

we remain within the time of bountiful

“Alleluia’s”.

And our Scripture lessons

throughout these weeks

offer hope after Holy Week’s sorrow

and crucifixion.

This week

this second Sunday of the Easter season

is about generosity

in many, many ways.

The story is told of a young girl

in one of the horrors we know as

Concentration Camps.

She found a raspberry one day,

carried it around until evening

then presented it to her friend

on a leaf as a gift.

Imagine a world in which your entire possession

is one raspberry

and you give it to your friend.

This is the gift of resurrection

we are offered this day

this season.

Even when we live in fear that all this ‘good news’

is nothing but a pious dream

out of touch with reality

in a world filled with chaos and hatred.

When Jesus appears with his friends

he does not simply state he is there

in a big “Here I am!”

No, he offers them peace.

We must remember what they have been through

this past week.

Fear of being found

complete self-disdain for having abandoned him

when the guards came to arrest him.

They are frightened they will be the next

group to hang on their own cross.

So Jesus brings peace to their undone souls.

He who endured hatred

he who suffered the ignoble death of crucifixion

is in their midst

offering them peace

and solace.

There is no explanation to resurrection.

The writers of the gospels put experience

into the only form they had: words.

And like the character in The Princess Bride

we might say the only thing we can say:
“Inconceivable!”

Except this is good news even these thousands

of years later

this is a great witness to us who have not seen

nor touched nor heard.

And what we can experience these

post-Easter millennia

is a great sense of love;

love for the one who endured so much hatred

yet can offer peace and a deep joy

that goes beyond any rational thought.

And like that little girl who offered the only thing

she had to her friend

he still offers us his love

not on a leaf but from a broken heart.

And he still shows us the way to love

our broken world

love from our own broken lives.

And we can believe or not

but he offers his love anyway.

This day we offer Jesus’ love to this child

David Laird Lebron.

He, like us, has not seen Jesus

nor heard him speak

nor felt his touch.

But we offer our sight

our hearing

our touching

to this child

so he might believe some day

that Jesus loves him

that Jesus gives him peace

(even at 3 am when he is screaming).

And like his parents he will try to make sense of his world

because that is human nature.

Some of us here love a good mystery novel.

I am not one of you.

There’s enough mystery in this life

without having to read about it

or watch an Alfred Hitchcock movie to experience it.

But faith is a mystery

which we can try to unravel

but sometimes the best we can do is say

we don’t understand faith.

It does not make perfect sense.

It only asks us to believe even when we say we cannot.

And this whole ‘doubting Thomas’ label

is a misnomer.

He didn’t doubt.

He simply wanted what the other disciples

received.

There will be a day when David will want

what Elliot has.

A toy

a game

a friend.

Ben and Jenn will have to figure out

how to give David what he wants

without taking it away from Elliot.

This is what Jesus did with Thomas.

Here is what I gave

it’s yours as well

just offered differently.

For Jesus meets Thomas where he is

in his life of wanting what he did not have.

And Jesus meet us where we are

and finds a way to bless us.

We can accept or not

but he offers anyway.

In a few moments we will baptize this child

and he will accept it

(he might not like it)

but it is given anyway.

And he will be anointed with oil

a gift that Jesus gave to the disciples

of his own spirit.

And he will be God’s child

God’s little boy

who has come to receive a blessing.

And those of you who bring him

his parents

his godparents

his grandparents

are responsible for keeping that love alive

for David

even as you seek to keep it alive for Elliot.

And that is how faith is passed along

from one generation to another.

We didn’t see

we didn’t hear

we didn’t touch.

But we heard.  Amen.

Low Sunday Misnomer